News & Notes from the Final Round of the U.S. Open

by Tom Cade

It is over. The 2019 U.S. Open is in the books. The greatest golf tournament on the planet delivered on every level. Gary Woodland didn’t blink; Justin Rose did. Brooks Koepka nearly made history, missing a three-peat by inches.

Fans pack the grandstands on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach
Fans pack the grandstands on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach

And what did we learn this week? Well……

  • People love golf. All kinds of people. The U.S. Open is the game’s Chautauqua. It is the most democratic of golf’s events, for the players and for the spectators.
Young fans with Tiger hats enjoy the action
Young fans with Tiger hats enjoy the action
  • The Poa greens of Pebble Beach restored the reputation of Poa greens. (Can you hear me now, Chambers Bay?)
  • John Bodenhamer, the Northwest native and former executive director of the WSGA and PNGA, passed a huge test in conducting his first high-profile event as the USGA’s new senior managing director of championships (i.e. the man in charge of everything that happened at Pebble inside and outside the ropes).
  • Because of the weather (i.e. no overwhelming heat or humidity) and prime time TV viewing on both coasts, the West Coast is always the best place to conduct a U.S. Open. Always.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Nothing else in life matters.
  • Ice cream bars cannot be checked through in baggage at the airport.

Our Northwest boys who made the cut did alright. Alex Prugh, the 2005 Washington State Amateur champion from Spokane, was paired with Rickie Fowler in today’s final round. He beat Fowler by four shots, and finished tied for 21st with Tiger Woods. Prugh had birdied his final hole in the second round to make the cut by a single shot.

Andrew Putnam, the 2010 WSGA Men’s Player of the Year from University Place, Wash., shot 2-under 69 today, and finished tied for 43rd. His only previous U.S. Open was in 2010, also at Pebble Beach.

Nick Taylor, the UW grad and two-time PNGA Men’s Player of the Year from Abbotsford, B.C., finished tied for 43rd.

Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor, Wash., a two-time WSGA Men’s Player of the Year, finished tied for 65th.

And that is all, from the Monterey Peninsula.