Now that the huge surge in U.S. Women's Open ratings would dispel Donald Trump's erroneous (surprise, surprise) assertion that viewers tuned out the U.S. Open because of the dried out Pinehurst, let's look to some more thoughtful takes on the week.
I'm not sure this will work, but Michael Bamberger files a super postscript in the SI/golf.com Digital thingy that's a pain to read (aren't they all...we must make it hard for readers to read and experience ads!). Essentially, Bamberger touches on Kaymer and Wie's fascinating wins and the huge sucess of back-to-back Opens.
Mercifully, Bill Fields' assessment at GolfDigest.com is easier to access and he makes an interesting point about the importance of Michelle Wie finishing off her win in such strong fashion.
But let's also be honest: We were fortunate to get the sublime performance of Martin Kaymer and the breakthough achievement by Michelle Wie. Had Wie's late blunder at the 16th hole -- What was she thinking not playing a conservative shot to the fairway from that bunker with a three-stroke lead? -- led to an ugly defeat, the mood would have been much different Sunday evening. As it was her strategic error provided only a scare, and golfers will now want to try to duplicate Wie's fantastic birdie putt on No. 17 like they do Payne Stewart's crucial par putt on the 18th in 1999. Forget a statue. Someone should be drawing a painting with a table on top of a turtle's back. That would immortalize Wie's going 72 holes without a three putt with her odd stance on those wacky greens.
Doug Ferguson wrote in his weekly column that "two weeks of U.S. Open golf at Pinehurst No. 2 could not have gone much better. It really was double the pleasure."
Perhaps the most telling statistic was the scoring average in the final round.
For the men it was 72.40. For the women it was 72.39.
Only three men finished 72 holes under par, led by Martin Kaymer and his majestic play. Michelle Wie was the only woman under par.
Don't underestimate the importance of weather. Each week featured one burst of showers overnight, but otherwise scorching weather allowed setup specialists Mike Davis and Ben Kimball confidence that the course would play relatively similarly.
"We got to control the situation," said Davis, the USGA's executive director.
I would also add that the combination of amazing maintenance work by Farren, Robinson, et. al. deserves as much credit as anything, especially for presenting greens with so much turf that two weeks of championship golf was never an issue. Throw in a superb bit of orchestration by the USGA's advance team to put on a fantastic Open operationally and it's hard to imagine things going any better.
The only thing missing? Water trucks to wet down dirt paths, spectator walkways and parking areas. But who would have expected so little rain? Besides, firm, fast and sandy doesn't come without a tiny price to pay.