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updated: 6/18/2017 9:00 PM

Imrem: U.S. Open could have used some spice

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  • Brooks Koepka reacts on the 18th hole during the fourth round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.

    Brooks Koepka reacts on the 18th hole during the fourth round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.

 
 

Much was said about what the U.S. Open golf tournament was missing over the weekend.

Phil Mickelson stayed home. Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy failed to make the cut. Erin Hills didn't distinguish itself as a major challenge.

What remained was as dynamic as a grammar-school checkers playoff.

Brooks Koepka won going away … terrific performance … worthy champion … football physique … about as flamboyant as a clump of fescue.

When Koepka dropped the final putt, a couple weak fist pumps signaled relief rather than victory.

(Heck, the tour hasn't had a world-class fist pumper since Tiger Woods exited.)

This U.S. Open could have used a Jose Bautista club flip here or there, now and then.

Yikes! Just hinting that would enrage enthusiasts of what is referred to as the gentleman's game.

I might be banned from miniature golf and petitions might circulate to have me deported to golf purgatory, as if my swing hasn't already plunged me there.

The warning will be clear: Don't mess with the sleepy nature of this sport.

Golf is so stodgy that it's remarkable players don't play the majors in tuxedos.

But, sorry, this is sports in the 21st century, when athletes are supposed to be entertainers and this event was as entertaining as a yodeling festival.

Maybe it's impolite to suggest that big-time golf needs someone like Bautista to spice up the sport, but it does need more Jose heat and less Joe cool.

Old-time baseball fans, who rival golf fans for backward thinking, hate when the Toronto slugger flips his bat to punctuate a home run.

OK, then, there has to be something between Bautista's histrionics and what occurred Saturday at Erin Hills.

Justin Thomas shot a 63, set a U.S. Open record for lowest score in relation to par and temporarily took the tourney lead.

Imagine if Bautista achieved the baseball equivalent of that trifecta, or an NFL wide receiver did. Neighbors would call the cops to quiet the party.

Thomas' reaction after recording an eagle 3 to complete his round? Well, it's difficult to even refer to as a reaction as he mustered all he had in him just to wave his hand toward the gallery, raise his putter toward the heavens and allow himself a narrow smile.

This was a near-perfect time for a club flip and young fans would have loved it.

Instead, the impression was if Thomas cured cancer, he'd celebrate with a grilled cheese, Mountain Dew and nap.

Some golfers might be a wild and crazy guys away from the golf course but they check their pizazz on the first tee.

To them, acknowledging a special shot too often means barely touching the bill of their hats.

Not all of them, of course. Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar at least smile a bit during a round.

Maybe my rant here is a product of being such a pathetic golfer who simply tries to limit his 8s to 7s and 7s to 6s.

Within that context, it would be nice to know that sinking a 30-foot putt for birdie isn't routine even on the PGA Tour.

It's bothersome when a great shot is executed and the response is like it was supposed to happen.

OK, so pro golfers shouldn't do the club flip or play with lampshades on their heads.

But something more than a limp wave would be nice.

mikeimrem@dailyherald.com

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