If at the end of 72 holes, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler or Justin Rose were atop the leaderboard, no one would think twice.
But after they all miss the cut? That’s a little different.
While stars like Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Adam Scott are all in contention after three rounds, some of golf’s finest didn’t even make it past 36 holes.
Mickelson, a six-time runner-up at the U.S. Open, was 7-over par for the tournament, one stroke away from making the cut.
McIlroy and Rose, who won the Open in 2011 and 2013, respectively, finished at 8 over, while Fowler’s score ballooned to 11 over.
Fowler, who has yet to win a major, said not trusting his driver during the week cost him a chance to earn his first.
“If you’re not driving the ball on the fairway, then you’re not able to control the ball into the green, and it’s just going to be a long day,” Fowler said.
Fowler also talked about McIlroy’s day.
Fowler’s playing partner, despite shooting 7 over in the first round, birdied four of his first seven holes on Saturday.
However, McIlroy had a bogey and two double-bogeys on the back nine. One of the doubles was on the final hole of the day and moved him from on to off the cut line.
The Northern Irishman didn’t speak to reporters after his second round.
“Rory got off to a great start. ... It was unfortunate to see him finish the way he did,” Fowler said. “It would have been a little more fun if we could have both snuck in there for the weekend.”
Mickelson, who finished his round early Saturday morning, thought 7 over would be enough for him to make the cut, saying he’d be “surprised” if he didn’t.
The 46-year-old would have made the cut, if not for a bogey on his final hole.
“I didn’t score the way I would have liked to, but I enjoyed the challenge,” Mickelson said. “It’s a fun opportunity to really test yourself when a course is set up like this that will reward good shots and penalize severely poorly struck ones.”
McIlroy, Mickelson, Fowler and Rose weren’t the only noteworthy names to miss the cut, either.
Former U.S. Open winners Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy, Lucas Glover, Retief Goosen and Webb Simpson also missed the cut.
Others to miss out on the third and fourth rounds included Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama, Jimmy Walker, Brandt Snedeker, J.B. Holmes, Luke Donald, Paul Casey and Jamie Donaldson.
Oakmont to host another U.S. Open
The USGA announced Saturday morning that Oakmont Country Club will host the U.S. Open in 2025, while Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., will host the major championship in 2026.
After hosting this year, it’ll be the 10th time Oakmont has hosted the U.S. Open dating back to 1927. Shinnecock has hosted six U.S. Opens, including the second-ever staging of the event in 1896.
“Bringing the U.S. Open Championship to Oakmont for the 10th time in 2025 is a testament to the quality of this fine golf course and longevity of the strong relationship the USGA has with the club,” Diana Murphy, president of the USGA, said in a press release. “It is an honor to make this announcement during the 116th U.S. Open when everyone here can celebrate the Open’s return to this iconic course in nine years.”
The USGA has now locked up the next decade of locations for the U.S. Open, starting with Erin Hills in Wisconsin in 2017.