Tour Confidential: The biggest disappointments at the U.S. Open’s halfway point

Tiger Woods missed the cut at the 2024 U.S. Open after firing rounds of 74-73 (+7).

Tiger Woods missed the cut at the 2024 U.S. Open after firing rounds of 74-73 (+7).

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The cut has been made, and 36 holes remain for the 74 players who get to stick around to tee it up at Pinehurst No. 2 this weekend. What’s been the biggest disappointment at the midway point of the U.S. Open?

Zephyr Melton, assistant editor (@zephyrmelton): I’ll go with Scottie Scheffler’s second-round 74 that featured zero (!) birdies. His one-over start to the tournament seemed as if it would be his one “bad” round, but Friday was even worse. Pinehurst No. 2 seemed like a course that would perfectly fit Scheffler’s game, but so far he’s looked out of his comfort zone. It’ll be interesting to see if he can put together a little run playing early tomorrow. 

Josh Sens, senior writer(@JoshSens): You mean, aside from the moment when my U.S. Open pool pick Sepp Straka made a rattle-the-flagstick triple bogey? Brooks Koepka can be polarizing, but he sure is compelling when he’s playing well in a major. When he birdied the 18th (his 9th hole of the day) to get back to even, I was expecting we’d see stone-cold-killer Brooks the rest of the way. It was deflating to watch him stumble in to make the cut on the number.

Ryan Barath, senior editor, equipment (@RDSBarath): You might call this a cop-out, but my biggest disappointment is with many of the golfers currently sitting at five over par. We’ve got Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Cameron Young, Brooks Koepka, and of course Scottie Scheffler. Add in that Wyndham Clark and Collin Morikawa are only sitting one shot better at four over and that’s a lot of big names who won’t be competitive come Sunday afternoon (unless they pull off a miracle tomorrow). Look, the leaderboard is great, and I’m not bagging on the players at the top, but at some point, these players need to step up more regularly at these big events.

Tiger Woods looks at the ground while standing on a green during the 2024 U.S. Open.
Tiger Woods makes somber admission after U.S. Open missed cut
By: Josh Berhow

Jessica Marksbury, senior editor (@Jess_Marksbury): I’ll take the Big Cat. There was a time, not long ago, when we speculated that Pinehurst may be one of Tiger’s last best chances to bag a major championship at a course that’s not Augusta National. Unfortunately, it’s clear that, while we know Tiger has the shots, he simply isn’t scoring when he needs to in order to be a factor on the leaderboard. A major championship weekend without him is always a bummer.

Dylan Dethier, senior editor (@dylan_dethier): Jeez, I’m with you Jess! The weird thing is that Tiger looked … kind of good? There were a few sloppy mistakes that cost him the cut, but there were also a few irons that could have been flagged but kicked to tough positions instead. When his appearances are this scarce it’s a bummer to feel deprived of a full week of Tiger. But I’ll add Viktor Hovland to the mix. He came in with some momentum coming out of the PGA Championship but played so poorly on Thursday — 78 — that a second-round 68 still wasn’t enough to get him to the weekend, never mind contention.

Jack Hirsh, assistant editor (@JR_HIRSHey): Justin Thomas. I mean how much longer can this go on for? Every time we feel like JT has some momentum the last few years, it gets zapped with an embarrassing missed cut at a major. Yes, Spieth’s downturn lasted longer than J.T.’s, so far, but Spieth wasn’t flirting with 80 at seemingly every major. Thomas was 152nd in SG: Approach this week, losing three shots to a field that included a high school teacher. Yes, a high school teacher hit irons better than Justin freaking Thomas this week. That’s just wild to think about.

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