Fox misses cut at Open

What a great U.S. Open.

Thrilling.

Adventurous.

Heartbreaking.

And, anywhere in between.

Before anything else, Jordan Spieth deserved the win.

He is now halfway to the Grand Slam and the week leading up to the Open Championship at St. Andrews is going to be outstanding.

Dear Royal and Ancient Golf Club, please pair Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson together the first two days.

Spieth finished birdie-double-birdie.

My guess is that has never happened in U.S. Open history, but it was must-see TV.

Riveting stuff.

I am a big fan of having microphones near Spieth because some of the things he says are great.

It was painful to watch Johnson three-putt the 72nd hole to miss a win and a playoff.

That was less painful, though, than the coverage by Fox Sports.

That was downright hideous (more on that later).

I am a huge fan the way Mike Davis from the USGA sets up the Open golf courses.

I love the way he challenges players in various manners.

I love how he turns two-shot par 4s into driveable par 4s and makes players think about a course of action.

I hate when players whine about a golf course.

Whine. Whine. Whine.

Napa Valley anyone?

And, there was more whining this past week about Chambers Bay than in a pre-school room.

Billy Horschel whined after he shot 67 on Sunday.

He took a swipe in anger at the 6th green (but did no damage) and was blasted on social media because of his antics. He also had his “I’ve lost respect for the USGA” comment.

Look, you have something bad to say on anything regarding how Davis set-up the course overall or by day, then look Davis in the face and talk to him.

Don’t go on Fox and air all your dirty laundry.

ESPN’s Mike Golic has said it many times, you have a problem in the locker room with someone, then settle it in the locker room and not in public.

Horschel did not do that and, really, it’s unacceptable.

“You have to use your brain, which is a rare thing in modern golf and something we’re not very good at, I don’t think.” – Geoff Ogilvy, on playing Chambers Bay.

Jim Furyk refused an interview request by Fox because he had nothing good to say and didn’t want to say anything negative.

Phil Mickelson said publicly that he loved the place and everything about it.

There are times when coachspeak is warranted.

At the same time, Davis cannot go around and say how great everything is when it clearly isn’t.

Greens weren’t great (but the same for everyone).

The fan experience was completely mixed. If you found a good place in the stands your life was great.

But, following a group was almost impossible.

That will not be the same next year at Oakmont.

Johnson missed the awards ceremony and that is unacceptable.

Part of your responsibility in that situation is to show up as the runner-up.

Louis Oosthuizen was there, but Johnson was a no-show.

I understand that their roads to second place were vastly different, but please do not shirk your responsibilities.

I am also still trying to land the Fox interview with Johnson.

Rocco Mediate tweeted this out Sunday:

“The U.S. Open is not about perfect conditions it’s about dealing with the conditions that you face period the guy who does wins very simple.”

From Bruce Feldman:

“Whining about a golf course at a major is a bad look. Whining about it where there’s a bunch of guys in red numbers looks even worse.”

At one point in time Sunday, 26 of the top 38 on the leaderboard were at even par or better for the day.

That means the course was unfair?

Adam Scott, who shot 64 Sunday, played his final 23 holes without a bogey.

Oosthuizen went 77-66-66-67 and missed by one. Think he can find that one shot from his 77 on Thursday?

Now, the telecast.

There was nothing more terrible than Fox and its double-box watching Jason Day walk from the third green to the fourth tee.

It looked like Fox was waiting for him to faint.

So much golf was missed during that time, but Fox missed a lot of golf during the four days.

Greg Norman and Jay Delsing, to me, were the outright highlights.

Curt Menefee seemed completely out of his element and Tom Weiskopf has zero personality.

Holly Sonders was not good as the interviewer (and someone told me Sunday that their young daughter asked where the rest of Holly’s dress was). She has to ask better questions and please find something better to ask the U.S. Open winner.

You had some 10-ish minutes to prepare for the interview and everyone in the production truck should have been shouting out questions to ask like a family on “Family Feud” shouting out answers.

Pick the two best questions from the pile and ask.

“How do you feel” doesn’t cut it.

Anybody see of hear from Juli Inkster at all?

Don’t hire someone and not use them. Inkster has 40 worldwide wins and seven majors. She’s more than qualified to talk about the U.S. Open.

I really wish Natalie Gulbis and Morgan Pressel would have been more involved with the telecast.

Televising golf is not easy, especially at a major.

But, I don’t think anyone expected a train wreck like this.

I liked some of the new things brought to the table and I’m not going to complain about not being able to follow a ball on the ground.

Us locals had a problem seeing scores of players because of the thunderstorm watch box at the bottom of our screens for the local weather.

That has to be addressed for next year.

I like the immediate update on the leaderboard when someone did something.

I liked the pro tracer a lot and hopefully it is used more and more.

I needed to hear, “Jordan has 185 to the hole, but only needs to land it at 153, so he’s hitting a pitching wedge.”

That’s what Delsing and Corey Pavin were for, along with anyone else walking with groups.

Because of the set up, the ball would roll forever, yet Fox would cut away from the ball rolling to watch someone 30 seconds from hitting a shot or a putt. Show the roll until it stops.

Joe Buck, like Menefee, was out of his element at times. His call of Spieth winning the Open after Johnson’s three-wiggle was just not right. I expect him, like the telecast, to be infinitely better next year at Oakmont.

I find it hard to believe that Fox could not find some sort of doctor to explain vertigo to us watchers in simple english.

Sorry, I don’t want to hear it from Norman.

Calling Doogie Howser.

Please, Fox, show more shots.

Don’t cut to a player when he is 45 seconds from hitting a shot. You can show at least three or four shots from others during that time.

I loved the drone shots of the course because it showed exactly how hilly the greens are.

Fox brass has to answer a lot of questions on how to get better.

The banter at the end of Sunday before the award ceremony was more painful than watching the three-whack.

From Ken Coleman on Twitter:

“You get the feeling #FOXGolf production truck is like a fast food joint that is overwhelmed & understaffed. Yikes!”

Good call.

More, though, with golfers being mic’d up. That was really good stuff.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com, followed on Twitter at @MathisonMike and is on the radio weekday mornings from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. with Joey Klepack and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturdays on WEIR-AM)