Of all the certainties in golf, the fact that Johnny Miller would disparage any record-breaking 62 in a major has long been carved in stone.
Why? Well, Miller’s record-setting final-round 63 at Oakmont in 1973 U.S. Open has long been his calling card.
We got a taste for Miller’s feelings toward anyone joining him at 63 when he put down Justin Thomas’ at the U.S. Open earlier this year, saying the tournament was more like the Milwaukee Open than the U.S. Open.
Thus, no one in the world of golf was surprised when dear Johnny offered this faint praise of Branden Grace’s record-breaking 62 at Royal Birkdale.
“(The course) was set up really, really easy today, folks, but still a heck of a round,” Miller bellowed from the booth.
Now, Miller does have a point about course difficulty. As Justin Ray of Golf Channel tweeted
Stenson's 63 was 9.8 strokes better than field average that day. Thomas' 63 was 9.0 better. Grace's 62 is currently 6.7 better than field.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) July 22, 2017
The problem, however, is that Miller has spent so much time gloating about and referencing his 63, that these remarks look like criticism even when they contain a morsel of truth.
It isn’t surprising, then, when the Twitterverse has this response. The truly shocking thing, however, is PGA Tour pros seem to be just as tired of hearing Johnny relieve his past glories as the rest of the golf world.
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) July 22, 2017
Listening to Johnny Miller watch guys take runs at his 63 is like listening to a father watch his daughter's prom date unfold.
— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) July 22, 2017
What does 63 minus 1 equal? Johnny Miller's world caving in. Majestic #theopen
— Tweeter Alliss (@TweeterAlliss) July 22, 2017
Unreal 62 by Gracie with Johnny Miller on the call. Perfect. #theopen
— Graham DeLaet (@GrahamDeLaet) July 22, 2017
Now, if Miller would have made a more fact-based and nuanced point, like Justin Ray did, perhaps his remarks would have looked more like analysis and less like jealously. Unfortunately, Miller doesn’t exactly do facts and nuance, so he’s stuck in the web he weaves.
It’s difficult to feel sorry for Miller. But yes, Johnny, your 63 is still the best with relation to the field average. And as you’ve spent 40 years gloating, there’s no reason to stop now.