Ole Miss junior Braden Thornberry finished +9 on Friday and just missed the cut to advance through the weekend at the U.S. Open Championship.
Thornberry faced substantial odds this past weekend at Shinnecock Hills Golf Course. Whether it was the high powered winds or the lightning fast speed of the greens, the course in Southampton, New York frustrated PGA golfers.
Paired up with Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker, Thornberry shot a 76 on Thursday and a 73 on Friday to combine for a score of +9. He missed the +8 cut by one stroke. Although he did not make it through the whole weekend, the No. 3 ranked amateur in the world showed he could compete with the world’s best. He posted a better score than some of the more well known names, including Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson.
Thornberry battled the course on Thursday and ended the day at 6 over, just 7 shots from the leader, Dustin Johnson who sat at 1 under after the first round. In the Friday round, Thornberry tallied up three birdies and six bogies. Friday’s round brought his scorecard down to 9 over par overall through the first two rounds and sent him home. Thornberry ended Friday with scores better than Woods, Matt Kuchar and Rory McIlroy.
The weekend went on without Thornberry, though many pros still could not find any rhyme with the course. Notoriously, Phil Mickelson angrily missed a putt on the green and hit the ball a second time while it was still moving. The golf community was outraged by the veteran’s lack of discipline shown and Mickelson was assessed a two stroke penalty on the hole. Many pros voiced their own opinions, and the United States Golf Association offered an apology for the unfairness of the golf course after the third round of play.
The U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills came to a close when Brooks Koepka took the lead on the final day and never looked back. Koepka, with a final score of +1, became the seventh player in PGA Tour history to win back-to-back U.S. Open Championships.
Thornberry will begin preparing for the 2018 Arnold Palmer Cup, set for July 6-8 at the Evian Resort Golf Club in France.