“No one wants a fifth major more than me”

Rory McIlroy speaks again. No one wants a fifth major more than me. The four-time major winner has released himself from the self-imposed vow of silence and answered questions from the media yesterday after his round of 67. His balance of the second day of this 123rd US Open culminated in the understandable statement: “No one wants my fifth major more than I do.” The chances are good. Not just because “Rors” can get involved in a major at the weekend for the first time this year. It’s the way the 34-year-old acts on the Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course. He shone on both days on the front nine with only 30 shots each, he used his driver wisely and the numerous opportunities for good scores that the course offers. When approached strategically. McIlroy also appreciates that holes like 2, 3, 5, 12, 13, 16 and 18 favor his preferred drive draw.

Above all, McIlroy remained patient and rather defensive. The best example is the 5 hole. The long par 4’s fairway slants dramatically from left to right in the landing zone, so he went for a 3 wood, staying shorter but placing his ball on a flat area of ​​the fairways and attacked the flag with a long iron. The result on both days: Birdie. As architect Gil Hanse said after the restoration of George C. Thomas’ 1927 masterpiece, “It’s a design for thinking players.” And so it all looks like McIlroy has the best prospect of a major in a long time – because the course suits his game and his clever strategy suits the course.

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The double flags at the Los Angeles Country Club

Clarification: Anyone who watches the US Open on TV should not have missed the fact that the flagsticks on the North Course of the Los Angeles Country Club are each equipped with two flags. What is just as unusual for a US Open as the place itself is intended as a homage to the members. Because the double flags are a tradition at the LACC: one shows the hole number on both sides, the other the club initials. The USGA adopted this as a reminiscence of the host and added a red numbered flag to the white numbered flag with the inscription “US Open”. This is a bit reminiscent of Merion 2013, where the club’s tradition was taken over and the major pins were also equipped with the usual willow baskets.

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Kaymer does the same for Rickie Fowler

At the front: Martin Kaymer missed the cut by two strokes with his +6 and was allowed to go home early to his wife and child, but the 2014 US Open winner is still on everyone’s lips at this 123rd “Open American”. , albeit indirectly. And precisely because of his performance nine years ago in Pinehurst – it’s a long time ago, especially in sporting terms. At that time, the German was ten under par after two rounds, marking the lowest 36-hole score in US Open history. It’s notable because leader Rickie Fowler has been sharing that mark since yesterday – thanks to his record round of 62 on Thursday and 68 yesterday.

Support from the fans did not help Homa

Unrequited love: The fans cheered and crossed their fingers for him – and Max Homa had planned so much for his beloved home game, was even counted among the favorites as a connoisseur of the Los Angeles Country Club from student days. But the North Course proved to be bulky and brittle for Homa, and yesterday it withstood his sporting wooing for good results. And so the home game ended prematurely despite the opening 68, because Homa brought a creepy 76 on the tableau yesterday – with two bitter double bogeys on the two par 4 closing holes, which he puzzled over for a long time afterwards.

Place a little more difficult, criticism continues

Gentle increase: The resentment about the North Course, which is too easy for a US Open, does not stop. Although the surface was a bit more difficult yesterday and USGA Tournament Director John Bodenhamer wanted to tweak the set-up again for the weekend, Brooks Koepka led the list of critics. “The place is just not my cup of tea,” grumbled the five-time major winner. “I’m just not a big fan of blind tee shots. And there are some places where it doesn’t matter where you aim. The ball keeps rolling to the same spot.”

And the USGA crew had already dispensed with any watering before the second round, mowed the greens twice and ironed them to a stimp meter value of 13 and put some shots backwards, so that the total distance was extended by a good 160 meters. The average score of the field on the par 70 layout was 72.1 shots, only a barely noticeable 0.7 shots more than the day before. On the net, some fans had already spoken of a Mickey Mouse course and called for the return of the former USGA boss Mike Davis, under whose direction US Open places have been exhausted to the point of being unplayable. Rory McIlroy didn’t want to join in this chorus, but also wished for a tougher course: “The course has the potential to get a little harder and faster over the next two days. I wouldn’t be surprised if LACC North hits back this weekend – a US Open is supposed to be a mental as well as physical challenge.”

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Racy heckling to Mickelson’s address

Disturbed start: Phil Mickelson, who celebrated his 53rd birthday yesterday and still had nothing to celebrate because he failed at the cut, was the victim of a particularly unusual disruptor on Thursday. The man in a sombrero and with a mustache glued on didn’t want to leave it at the usual “Mashed Potatoe,” “Get in the Hole,” or “Yabbadabbado” bleating, but shouted something along the lines of “lipstick” and “high heels,” according to another viewer. in the direction of “Lefty”, who was about to putt on the ninth green. It was probably a reference to Mickelson’s $200 million association with LIV Golf and sponsor Victoria’s Secret, a well-known US lingerie label. Everyone can now piece together the connection. The heckler was taken away by security forces and expelled from the facility.

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In and around the Los Angeles Country Club

Finally: It is already a tradition that a tour of the clubhouse of the respective organizer is due at majors. Thanks to the Insta account “Golfclubhouses”, this is also possible with the “club house” of the Los Angeles Country Club:

And because everyone has now worked on the luxury villas or luxury estates of various celebrities or people with just a lot of money, we also show the immediate vicinity of the US Open venue in Beverly Hills with the homes of Lionel Richie to the Playboy Mansion.

 

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