Written by Staff Writer
In a match marked by 11 bogeys and just five birdies, defending US Open champion Dustin Johnson lost his temper in frustration on the sixth green, briefly becoming so enraged at his playing partner Gary Woodland that he was forced to sign his scorecard and remove his hat.
It allowed Tyler Duncan to advance to the quarterfinals as an 18-hole victor, while Johnson left himself a lot to do on his own back nine after a hole-in-one on the 12th.
A 16-year-old boy named Carlos Alcaraz also made it through. That was the last time either of them reached a US Open quarterfinal.
Alcaraz was born in San Jose, California, the same town as Federer, but his previous victory in a major was a maiden ATP World Tour victory for the eighth-grader.
Alcaraz, in particular, was quick out of the blocks on Sunday after his round of 71 on Saturday was extended by rounds of 70 and 69 for a six-under 283.
So impressive was his first major performance that Alcaraz was interviewed on the first tee in under eight minutes. It wasn’t long before he led with Woodland with a birdie at the seventh.
Woodland played some fine golf too but his struggles on the fifth, sixth and eighth holes all led to bogeys and put him on 13 over for the day.
Alcaraz threw in another birdie on the ninth to be on 10 under for the championship, only to take a bogey at the par-5 11th. It was a bogey on the 13th that put him on the back foot at the turn with Woodland now in a competitive position.
The putter of the up-and-coming 17-year-old couldn’t help him on the 13th either and he was three-down by the time he reached 15 and, with an accuracy count of 72-for-237, the last men of day one.
After launching a third shot into the water on the 16th, Alcaraz pulled out his cell phone to take a selfie on the 17th tee.
His work on the practice range for the rest of the match was negligible compared to the lack of preparation Woodland had, yet he played like a man with nothing to lose.
A couple of wayward drives and bogeys left him in front again at the 17th but a wayward drive on the 18th and another bogey sealed his place in the next round.
The match didn’t feature in the USGA’s tournament day books but it had a high impact on the victor on Sunday and something to feel proud of for his compatriot: “I was part of the history, and that was amazing,” Alcaraz said.