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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Souhan at the U.S. Open: It's windy to start Sunday's final round

Erin, Wis.

The wind is whipping around Erin Hills today, so scores will not be as low today as they were on Saturday.

But for those blasting Erin Hills for being too easy, understand that often the USGA artificially lowers scores by turning par-5s into long par-4s, and par-72 courses into par-70 courses.

If this were being played as a par-70 course, the leader would be at 6-under, which isn't very low considering that the weather has created ideal scoring conditions so far this week.

Scores will be higher today, and the winner will probably come in somewhere between 10- and 15-under.

There's nothing wrong with the best players in the world averaging a few shots under par per day on a course made easy by weather. Erin Hills is a links-style course, meaning rain and wind are the main variables, and until today there has been enough rain to slow the greens and not enough wind to bother the players.

Erin Hills isn't one of my favorite championship setups, but I don't find fault in the way the USGA set it up.


Johnny Miller noted that Justin Thomas' 63 was probably not as difficult to attain as Miller's 63 in the last round at Oakmont.

Miller got some backlash for that on social media, but you know what? Someone asked his opinion. He gave it. And he's right.

It's not demeaning Thomas' remarkable round to point out that Miller's was even more impressive because of course conditions, and the fact that Miller did it on Sunday to win.


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US Open: Schauffele?

Erin, Wi.

The biggest surprise on the US Open leaderboard might be Xander Schauffele, who shot a first-round 66 to move into a tie for second place, one shot behind Rickie Fowler.

He's ranked 352 in the world. He became the only player in the last 30 years to shoot bogey-free 66 or better in a US Open debut, according to Golf Channel.

He is also the only player in the last 35 years to begin his major championship career (in any major) with bogey-free 66 or better. (Also according to Golf Channel.)

He's from La Jolla, Ca., home of Torrey Pines. His father was German and French, his mother Japanese and Taiwanese. Both were immigrants who became naturalized citizens.

He won the 2011 California state high school championship and played at Long Beach State and San Diego State. He played on the tour.


Check out Star Tribune and for Open coverage all weekend.

And please check out new shows with Roy Smalley, Jon Krawczynski and VikingUpdate publisher Tim Yotter at

Doing a show on Sunday with Michael Russo.