WATCH: This Masters champ just got an outrageously bad break at the U.S. Open
In case you haven’t noticed, this year’s U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., is playing tough. Really tough. The wind is gusting, the rough is thick, and wayward shots are severely punished by fescue so deep it can be difficult to even get the club on the ball, let alone hit a good shot.
And even when you do make solid contact, there’s rub-of-the-green circumstances that can make even a well-struck shot go wrong.
During the U.S. Open’s third round on Saturday, 2021 Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama learned that the hard way, when his shot from the fescue hit the pin — and ricocheted backward into a greenside bunker. Talk about adding insult to injury! Check out the video below.
Here’s how it transpired: Matsuyama was even par for the tournament and only five shots off the lead when he approached the 314-yard par-4 5th hole on Saturday.
In an attempt to drive the green on the reachable hole, Matsuyama ended up on the right side of the green, in deep fescue. His next shot — a 23-yard approach — looked good at the start. So good, in fact, that it hit the pin. Unfortunately, that rarely goes well for the pros, and this shot was no exception.
The ball bounced hard, and backward, into the front greenside bunker.
“I don’t know if that’s a bad break or a good break,” analyst Paul Azinger mused.
It’s hard to tell on the video where exactly the ball struck the pin, but you can’t help but think that Matsuyama was done wrong by the ricochet.
He then failed to get his bunker shot up and down, and had to settle for a bogey.
Matsuyama’s best finish at the U.S. Open was a tie for second in 2017.