Didn’t Rickie Fowler’s stone-cold finish at The Players Championship in 2015 answer the “can he close?” question?
Do you remember Rickie’s steely eyed determination on the heels of an anonymous player survey naming him golf’s most overrated player? Apparently not. At least not for Johnny Miller. Golf analysis’ reigning curmudgeon-in-chief wasn’t impressed with what he saw from Fowler Sunday, even though Rickie started the day with a four-stroke lead and won by the same margin.
Miller (as he does) offered no shortage of rhapsodies on this theme during the telecast: “Obviously a win is a win, but you’ve got to learn to finish out Sundays like a true champion. He hasn’t learned how to do that yet.”
Damn, Johnny Big Head. Just because your body was inhabited by an alien presence and you inexplicably shot 63 during the final round of the 1973 U.S. Open to win your only major doesn’t mean you’re the authority on closing.
Seriously, who does this odious 69-year-old play well to? The AARP crowd? He should have been off the air a decade ago. Blunt assessments, as a character trait, are only interesting if you’re on the mark more often than not. Johnny isn not.
Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy were a little more impressed with Fowler’s performance and happy to twist the knife on the aging blowhard.
Rickie playing the last with a 5 shot lead and Johnnie Miller saying he’s not sure what this will do for him as he didn’t play that great ?
— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) February 26, 2017
Johnny still not impressed ? https://t.co/t6yMltdgqs
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) February 26, 2017
A Twitterer by the name of EaglesBer responded to Donald’s tweet in jest with “the bar for a good round is a 63 at Oakmont anything less is pathetic” But it’s not joke. This does really seem to be the way Miller thinks.
For his part, Fowler offered threw some low-key shade Miller’s way in his post-round presser, reprising the analyst’s “a win’s a win” remark (assuming he was aware of it, if not, even better).
“Well, I started with a four-shot lead and I still won by four. I didn’t play great. It wasn’t a pretty round. But we got the job done. A win’s a win.”
It’s about time someone brought Miller down a peg or two, if only Jack could muster the energy to publicly embarrass Miller; we remember this humiliation fondly: