The 2015 US Open Golf Championship came to a dramatic conclusion and finished, with a now familiar name, lifting the trophy.
It was the 115th playing of the tournament and one that will live long in the memory, for a number of reasons. There was plenty of criticism of the Chambers Bay golf course leading up to the tournament. Players such as Ian Poulter and Ryan Palmer were quick to come out with their criticism of the course prior to the event, whereas others chose to keep their counsel.
As per form for the US Open, the winning score was nothing spectacular and the course was certainly a test, especially the greens. If the majority of players were happy to keep quiet about the choice of venue leading up to the tournament, this was soon to change, as the first day of play came to a close. Ryder Cup winner Sergio Garcia was one of the first to voice his concerns, stating that a tournament such as the US Open deserved to have better quality greens. The Spaniard then followed up on the second day, by saying it was like playing the NBA Finals on a court with holes and slopes and no backboards. Damning criticism indeed.
Billy Horschel went one step further and stated that he had lost respect for the USGA. In-fact, the greens were so bumpy that one player even referred to them as broccoli.
Despite the clear lack of enthusiasm by the players for the Chambers Bay greens, no one can deny that it played a part, in what was a great week of golf.
There were some early casualties, as the defending champion, Martin Kaymer failed to make the weekend. Joining the German with an early exit were two-time champion Retief Goosen, 2010 winner Graeme McDowell and three-time champion Tiger Woods. It was the performance of Woods that was most disappointing, finishing on 16 over par and producing some shots that left many people rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
Following the first round, there were two players at the top of the leaderboard with American Dustin Johnson and Swede Henrik Stenson both carding a 65. With Patrick Reed just one shot behind and Jason Day and Jordan Spieth a further two shots back, the majority of the pre-tournament favourites remained in contention. Tiger Woods opened off with a round of 10 over par, his worst ever round at the US Open.
The names of Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth were to remain at the top of the leaderboard come the end of the second round. However, Henrik Stenson had dropped away at this point and despite many people thinking that the European golfers would take charge of the tournament, this was not proving to be the case. Not one of the top ten golfers at the end of round two were from Europe, with United States, South Africa and Australia making up the group.
One unfortunate incident during the second round was the collapse of Jason Day from vertigo. The Australian was playing well at the time, sitting just two shots off the lead and after receiving medical attention, Day finished his round with a bogey. This left him three shots behind the leaders, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. At this stage, there was no sign of the world number one, Rory McIlroy.
Despite having to deal with vertigo, Jason Day carded a superb 68 for his third round and this moved him into a tie for first place with Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Brenden Grace. This group were now three shots ahead of the chasing pack, who were being led by Louis Oosthuizen. The South African hit the lowest score of the round for the second day running.
The fourth and final round was where things really got interesting and the drama started to unfold at Chambers Bay. For the first time in the week, Rory McIlroy carded a score under 70 but his 66 was not enough to bring the Northern Irishman in to contention for the tile. Instead, it was Dustin Johnson who got away well, leading by two shots at one stage but his game was seemingly falling apart on the back nine. The American dropped back to 3 under par. Brenden Grace remained in contention until the South African hit a wild tee-shot out of bounds, resulting in a double bogey that he struggled to come back from.
However, the tension built to an astonishing final hole, where having putted for birdie, Spieth left Johnson with an eagle putt to win the championship. Not only did Johnson miss that putt, he then went on to miss the birdie putt and handed Spieth his first US Open title, in dramatic fashion.
The win made Spieth the only golfer since Tiger Woods in 2002, to win the first two majors of the year.
The 2015 US Open will always be remembered for the sensational finish it produced but also for the substandard quality of the greens at Chambers Bay. Will Chambers Bay host another major golf tournament? It seems doubtful at the moment. Will Jordan Spieth win another major golf tournament? That seems a certainty.