BROOKLINE, Mass. — Cameron Young was nine-over through 31 holes at The Country Club, and that was surprising. Since the start of the year, he has posted an impressive four top-fives, including a tie for third at last month’s PGA Championship.
Young then went birdie, hole in one, birdie, birdie over his next four holes, and that was surprising. That’s five-under — which is also the number at the top of the leaderboard.
Young missed the cut by a stroke, and that was surprising once again.
He was full of surprises. So yeah, Young leads our list of the 10 surprising golfers who missed the cut at the U.S. Open. Below are the rest.
10. Fran Quinn
What he shot: 76, 77 (+13)
Surprising because: Well, maybe not completely surprising; after all, Quinn, at 57, was the oldest player in the field. But the U.S. Open is usually thick in sentimentality, and this would have fit the bill.
9. Mito Pereira
What he shot: 70, 74 (+4)
Surprising because: OK, fine, we like a good storyline. But after his tragic ending at last month’s PGA Championship, Pereira deserved a better fate.
8. Shane Lowry
What he shot: 72, 72 (+4)
Surprising because: He hadn’t missed a cut all this year. One birdie in the first round cost him.
7. Tony Finau
What he shot: 73, 72 (+5)
Surprising because: This has been Finau’s run starting with the Masters — tied for 35th there; tied for second at the Mexico Open; tied for 41st at the Wells Fargo Championship; tied for 30th at the PGA Championship; tied for fourth at the Charles Schwab Challenge; and second at the Canadian Open. In other words, it’s surprising he missed the cut this week.
6. Billy Horschel
What he shot: 73, 71 (+4)
Surprising because: Another player in form, after his win at the Memorial two weeks ago. But Horschel couldn’t overcome eight bogeys and a double. His major struggles continue.
5. Viktor Hovland
What he shot: 70, 77 (+7)
Surprising because: He’s eighth in the world, and you would have thought that his ball-striking would have been a good fit at TCC. And things were looking good Friday — until he played his final 11 holes at a whopping nine-over.
4. Cameron Smith
What he shot: 72, 74 (+6)
Surprising because: He’s sixth in the world, and you would have thought that his short game would have navigated the greens at TCC.
3. 11 of the 15 LIVers
What they shot: Sergio Garcia (74, 70, +4); James Piot (69, 75, +4); Talor Gooch (74, 71, +5); Kevin Na (75, 70 +5); Branden Grace (76, 69, +5); Sam Horsfield (73, 73, +6); Louis Oosthuizen (77, 69, +6); Shaun Norris (70, 78, +8); Phil Mickelson (78, 73, +11); Jinichiro Kozuma (76, 77, +13); Jed Morgan (82, 74, +16)
Surprising because: You would have believed that more than four of the 15 LIV-associated players in the field would have made the cut. Here are the four who did: Richard Bland (+2); Bryson DeChambeau (+2); Dustin Johnson (+1); and Patrick Reed (+1).
2. Phil Mickelson
What he shot: 78, 73 (+11)
Surprising because: You expected more than this. Notably everyone in Lefty’s group missed the cut — Oosthuizen and Shane Lowry did too.
1. Cameron Young
What he shot: 72, 72 (+4)
Surprising because: He played average for 32 holes — and out of his mind for four.