The United States Open Championship is being contested at Congressional this week. Congressional is not one of my more favorite venues for an open. It has your usual long rough, fast greens, super long golf holes, and lots of trees, but it is a fairly boring golf course in Johnny’s opinion.

There are some nice historic moments here over the years. Ken Venturi staving off heat stroke to play 36 holes in 110+ degree heat and win an Open here. Tom Lehman playing his normal right to left draw but drawing it into the water to lose an Open.

This year it appears early on to be a boat race.

Rory McIlroy, aka Spaulding from Caddyshack (Judge Smailes Grandson) is playing like a man possessed. The kid has probably more overall golf talent than anyone on the tour other than a healthy Tiger Woods or a Phil Mickelson. Problem is Tiger is wearing a leg brace right now and Phil is over thinking his way to not keeping a ball in play on the planet.

At the time end of his second round, McIlroy has taken it to 11 under, which is rare air in a US Open Championship. Even par normally wins. Shooting under par is unheard of. Rory is making it look easy. He shoots a routine 6 under in day one to lead by three and has added another 5 under today to get to 11 under par.

Granted the course is a little soft, they have had some rain, the greens are not as fast as the USGA demons would like them to be. But…no one else is within 8 shots of him early on. Spaulding is doing what he has done before. He smoked out of the gate at The Open Championship last year at St Andrews with a 63 – the lowest ever first round score in the 150 year history of the Open Championship, and tying the course record in the process….Then the wind nailed him on day two and he ballooned to an 80, effectively shooting himself out of it. He rebounded nicely to still finish 3rd.

Fast Forward to the Masters earlier this year. Rory starts day 4 with a huge lead. The only thing that could happen to make him lose is a Greg Normanesque collapse….voila….he starts spewing oil on the front nine, hits one to places never seen on #10, goes mental after that with a 4 putt from inside of 5 feet and finished well back after carding an 80. (this appears to be his bad karma magic number)

I hope the youngster finishes this one out. He has a lot of game, he is charismatic, borderline cocky, but supremely confident in his game. He is just 22. This could be the player of the next generation. He has had some big blow ups but has seemed to rebound. Right now his game is as good as anyone on Tour.

If he keeps it together this week and can finish the deal, you might need to be making some space on his mantel at home to hold some trophies. This could be the start of something amazing.

Until Next week…

Stay Classy Northern Ireland!

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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