Everything else is way secondary: Miller claims his U.S. Open round remains the best


It seems not everybody was blown away by Justin Thomas' record-breaking display in the U.S. Open.

Thomas carded a sensational, nine-under 63 at Erin Hills on Saturday to move firmly into contention at the year's second major. After 54 holes, he is one stroke behind surprise leader Brian Harman.

However, the man who had previously held the record for the lowest score to par in a U.S. Open, 1973 champion Johnny Miller, was not exactly effusive in his praise of Thomas.

Miller famously won at Oakmont courtesy of an eight-under final round [63 on a par 71 layout] and clearly feels that achievement has not been bettered, citing the unusually friendly scoring conditions in Wisconsin on a course that boasts the widest of fairways and has been softened by rain.

In an interview with the Golf Channel, Miller said: "Taking nothing away from nine under par, nine under is incredible with U.S. Open pressure. But it isn't a U.S. Open course that I'm familiar with, the way it was set up.

"It looks like a PGA Tour event course set-up. I'm not sure where the days of the 24- to 29-yard-wide fairways that we played every time went. It's interesting to see where the USGA has gone with the U.S. Open, being a little more friendly than in years past."

Continuing to downplay Thomas' admirable efforts in favour of trumpeting his own past glories, two-time major champion Miller added: "For one, the greatness of my round is the 63 in the last round of the U.S. Open to win by one. Everything else is way secondary.

"If somebody does it tomorrow [Sunday] to win the U.S. Open by one, that's the specialness of my round. And secondly, Erin Hills isn't exactly Oakmont.

"The course wasn't designed to be soft, and if it was going to be soft, it should have been 26- or 27-yard-wide fairways. That's what made it easy. The guys weren't afraid to bomb it.

"It was never that way in the U.S. Open. It was always about really tight fairways and having to be a great driver. This went totally against the tradition of the U.S. Open."

Following his round, Thomas was asked in a news conference what he would say to Miller - renowned for his straight-talking work as a broadcaster - when the two next met.

"I wish he was calling it just to hear what he would have said," replied the 24-year-old. "It's a tremendous honour to tie him [by shooting 63 in the U.S. Open]."

A classy response from one side, at least.

What to Read Next