2009 U.S. Open Officially a Bust

Rain, tape delays and unknowns rule the day

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    This is Ricky Barnes, your tournament leader. Somehow.

    Maybe we're being too picky.

    After all, the U.S. Open has had many of the things we love about major golf. It has a classic course, Bethpage Black, that manages to be both beautiful and utterly diabolical in the way it treats even professional golfers. It has a rowdy crowd, whose cheers and taunts have kept the proceedings lively. And it has surprise stories, unknowns rising from obscurity and stealing a chance at their first major title.

    Even with all of that, though, it's hard to escape the feeling that this U.S. Open has been pretty disappointing. This is coming from us; we spent almost all of our Sunday watching the Open, and we loved it. But the casual golf fans among us? They have to be tuning out.

    The first symptom was the rain. Rain delayed much of the opening rounds, pushing round two to Saturday and round three to Sunday. Intermittently, the rain came and went, re-flooding the course and quickly suspending play. Tape delays ruled the day(s). Now, it's Monday, and many of the people who would have sat down to watch the final thrilling round of the tournament on Father's Day Sunday are back at work, stuck refreshing a gamecast on their computers, or trying to find a streaming feed somewhere out there on the Internet.

    Then, of course, there are the players involved. Tiger Woods? Still playing, but behind much of the leaderboard. Phil Mickleson? Contending, but only barely. Instead, the final group consists of Lucas Glover and leader Ricky Barnes, two unknowns that have charged from nowhere to lead the tournament on its final day. Casual types rooting for a Tiger charge -- or a Phil win, given his wife's recently discovered breast cancer -- have been disappointed.

    So it is that the 109th U.S. Open, typically so enjoyable an event, has become a  bit of a bust. We can't complain about major golf. But we can feel a little like Bethpage had more to offer in 2009. Stupid rain.

    Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.