The US Open is back at Torrey Pines next week and we are excited to see our favorite pros faceoff. There is sure to be some fierce competition that I, for one, can’t wait to see unfold. With Phil fresh off his PGA win and no longer needing an exemption, it got us thinking about all of the players we won’t see teeing off next week. Here’s who we will miss…
No longer one of the young guns, at 32 years of age, Rickie Fowler has not missed a U.S. Open since 2010. Now ranked 87th in the world, he needed to Monday qualify to get in. He missed the cut line by 1 stroke shooting (-5) under par, and thus will not be teeing it up at Torrey Pines. I know he has not been playing his best golf recently, but this one baffles me.. Yes, I understand there is a qualifying criterion that players must meet & yes, I recognize that he has not won in over 2 years. I get all of that. But the bottom line is he is good for the game. I think the USGA missed the mark here. They could have offered him a special exemption to play. A true partnership is measured by mutual benefit. The PGA and USGA have certainly benefitted from Fowler’s presence for decades. I know what you are going to say, “Hey dummy, so has Rickie who made a cool $40 Million”. I will concede, valid point, he has benefitted as well, however its bigger than that. He brings a different element to the game. He draws a unique set of eyes that otherwise would not be watching. Even Phil Mickelson recognized the importance of Fowler when he tweeted that he could have his, now un-needed special exemption, following the huge win at this years PGA
I hereby designate my (no longer necessary) exemption to Rickie.
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) June 8, 2021
Now, to be fair, I am big on loyalty. Some have even said that I can be blindly loyal at times. Shoot let’s be honest. I have been called much worse. All that really means is to me – once you are in, you’re in! Once I have accepted you as my own, that’s that. I will not abandon you when the going gets tough. I will be there, in fact, specifically for those times and help pull you up in your time of need. Hell, its easy to be there when times are good, and everything is smooth sailing. It’s when the sea is angry, when the boat is rocking side to side and about to capsize, that you will see someone’s true colors. You will see who is still there. This my friends is where you will see where their loyalty lies. This is an important trait to me…I wish the USGA had a little of that in this situation.
We are already going to miss the Sunday red this year. I, for one, would have liked to see some Orange on Sunday.
J Day, the former world #1 has also had a fall from grace in recent years. Winless since 2018, he is set to miss his first Major in almost a decade. He is currently ranked 69th in the world. Only the top 60 automatically qualify. Day needed a solid finish last week at the Memorial tournament to catapult him inside, but he never got that chance. Jason Day was a late WD citing lingering back problems. He didn’t enter one of the Monday qualifiers, however that may not be entirely due to health issues. You see, he and his wife are expecting their 4th child soon. Some things are just bigger than golf…Golfers around the world can relate and we all hope to see him back out on the course soon and expect a bounce back by years end.
Talk about a good run. The last time he was outside the Top 100 was in 2006! But 2021 has not been kind to the master of the “pop stroke” He has missed almost half of the cuts this season. He had a run of five of six events from November to February where he did not play well enough to see the weekend. Sneddy has already missed more cuts in this short year than he has in any of the previous nine (He has missed 8 out of 20 starts in 2021).
The last time he missed a U.S. Open was almost a decade ago in 2012. He is currently ranked 135 in the OWGR but has played much better recently. Snedeker has landed four top 20 finishes in his past six events, but it was too little too late. Surprisingly, Snedeker has not won in almost 5 years. Take a guess where that last win came at? That’s right – Torrey Pines at the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open.
Sadly, we will not be seeing him at Torrey this year, but it’s only a matter of time. I have a feeling we may be seeing him hoist some hardware on a Sunday afternoon again here very soon. “Until we meet again old friend – Keep on keepin’ on”!