At the last U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, the green was so fast and brittle that shots wouldn’t stay on the green. The USGA felt it had no choice but to spray a light mist after every other group that came through.

Mickelson says the decision for when to spray the greens was based on the scores of the previous group.

“So if nobody double- or triple-bogeyed in the group in front of you, the green did not get water,” he said. “If your group made a double or triple, the green got water for the group behind you. ... And to have it left to something like that is disappointing.”


Another example that golf is getting younger — and tougher — is illustrated at the U.S. Open, where 20 amateurs are in the 156-man field. That’s the most amateurs since 20 played in 1962 at Oakmont, the year Jack Nicklaus won the first of his 18 professional majors.

Four of the amateurs were exempt — U.S. Amateur runner-up Doug Ghim, U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Matt Parziale, U.S. Junior Amateur Noah Goodwin and British Amateur champion Harry Ellis.

Braden Thornberry, the NCAA champion a year ago at Ole Miss, qualified from a PGA Tour-heavy sectional in Memphis, Tennessee.

The next trick is to see how many advance to the weekend.

Of the 14 amateurs who played last year at Erin Hills, only two made the cut. No more than six amateurs have made the cut in the U.S. Open dating to 1959, most recently in 2015 at Chambers Bay.

The best finish by an amateur in the last 60 years was Nicklaus, a runner-up to Arnold Palmer in 1960 at Cherry Hills.


Garrett Rank catches plenty of grief from players and fans as an NHL referee.

He can dish it out, too.

“I deal with so much abuse and get heckled so much that when I actually do deal with the officials in golf, I find myself giving them like a hard time and asking them a lot of questions to see if they know the rules,” Rank said. “It’s kind of funny, and I probably shouldn’t do it.”


The U.S. Open filled out its 156-man field when two players, Emiliano Grillo and Byeong Hun An, were among the top 60 in the world ranking.

The USGA had set aside six spots for those who might get into the top 60 after last week’s tournaments. Four more spots were awarded to the first alternates from sectional qualifying in Japan (Rikuya Hoshino), Europe (Ryan Evans), Columbus, Ohio (Ted Potter Jr.) and Tennessee (Scott Piercy).

If an exempt player were to withdraw, the next alternate spot goes to Max Greyserman from the Oregon sectional.

Based on his Twitter feed, Evans was excited to get the news.