June 08, 2010
The game of golf, she be a cruel and fickle mistress, mateys.
That first sentence sounds so much better if you say it in a pirate voice. But you could sing it in falsetto and it wouldn't be any less true. Just one day after battling to the wire for the win at the Memorial, both Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler fell short in their bids to play in the U.S. Open next week.
Both Fowler and Rose got tripped up by playing too well too late. Both guys are well within the top 50, ranked at 32 and 33 respectively, but both got there too late. The Open needed to keep certain slots open for the qualifiers, and so locked down the top-50 field a couple weeks ago.
So, on to the qualifiers. The 36-hole winner-plus-others-take-all forced golfers to play at a high level for two full rounds. Fowler missed qualifying by six shots, Rose by only three.
And that there brings up a good point. Why doesn't Rose get an automatic in for winning a tournament? I know that schedule-wise, the Open field has to be largely set by a certain time, but look — there are 156 spaces in the field, and there's no reason you can't keep one or two provisionals open for the final tournament winners of the last couple tournaments before the Open.
The qualifying events have some great stories, and we'll be bringing you those throughout the day, but it's a shame that the two hottest golfers of the past weekend will be watching along with the rest of us.