When caddies and fellow players call him the golden child, it is partly in jest.
Rory McIlroy was still 16 years from being born the last time the final round of a US Open began with a four-way tie. And yet, somehow, the world No1 summoned the spirit of 1973 on Sunday at Chambers Bay.
It would take something extraordinary for Rory McIlroy to claim the victory he arrived at Chambers Bay in pursuit of.
Jason Day retains a strong chance of completing what would be one of the more astonishing major championship victories in recent times, with the Australian part of a four-way 54-hole lead at the US Open.
The latest endorsement of Jordan Spieth’s major credentials arrived parallel to another lamentable exit by Tiger Woods. While the former will undeniably be a force in this sport for a long time to come, evidence pointing towards a Woods return is increasingly difficult to glean.
Unfortunately one of the abiding images of the 115th US Open will not involve holed putts or a trophy presentation.
Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, two shining beacons in an otherwise dismal Ryder Cup showing by the United States at Gleneagles last September, will head into the third round of the US Open as the joint leaders at Chambers Bay.
It was not quite like the 1990s when sub-70 scores in major championships were routine more than exceptional. But for a 51-year old Colin Montgomerie shooting 69 in the opening round of the 115th US Open was clearly something to be proud of.
For Tiger Woods, the saddest aspect of an opening round of 80 at the US Open is the lack of eyebrows that will be raised on account of it.
Legend warns to beware the injured golfer. Perhaps the same applies to caddies.
The bookmakers still believe in Tiger Woods in spite of last week’s performance in the US Open.
It looked pertinent in more ways than one that Sir Alex Ferguson took to a London stage alongside the bulk of Europe’s latest, victorious Ryder Cup team last week.
There are two sure signs to look for when a golfer is succumbing to the pressure of a big occasion.
Justin Rose may feel St Andrews owes him one, even though he does not quite admit that Open Championships at the home of golf are his bogey events.
Zach Johnson may not have been many people’s choice to win this longest of Open Championships yet, as the sun finally shone on the Old Course and the tears began to flow, he ended it as the humble champion that warmed many hearts.
Late on Saturday morning, a little before lunch, a barman carried three cases of champagne in through the back door of the Royal & Ancient clubhouse by the back of the 1st tee. It was, after all, shaping up to be a long afternoon, and so only sensible to lay in some fresh supplies for the members.
Billy Horschel has expressed regret after letting frustrations get the better of him at the US Open to the extent he stopped narrowly short of embedding his putter into a green.
The notion that Tom Watson would readily accept this, the 144th Open Championship, as his final appearance in the event is at odds with his character. Watson may be widely portrayed as a cuddly 65-year-old but he has always been one of his sport’s hardest characters.
The Royal & Ancient has defended its handling of the Open Championship, despite fierce criticism from players and a planned Monday finish for the first time since 1988.
When pressed on the reason for an unwavering belief that he can retrieve his career from such a low competitive ebb, Tiger Woods has a stock answer. “I have done this before.”
Phil Mickelson, at 46, will become the oldest golfer to win the Open since 1867 if he carries off the Claret Jug here. And there were a few moments on Friday when Scotland stopped trying to pretend it was Bermuda, when the rain cascaded over the links and the wind seemed keen to join the wrecking party that the American looked every one of his years.
In the tournament where Phil Mickelson cited divine intervention for denying him a place in the record books Henrik Stenson must believe he is worthy of some.
With a dodgy back and an Open record that even a chiropractor cannot do much about, Justin Rose was not really expected to dominate Jordan Spieth on the sunny links. But he hit four birdies in a an opening round of three under while Spieth, a fully paid-up member of golf’s Big Four, managed only level par after fluffing the final hole.