This 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay will be the first US Open in 20 years without Johnny Miller in the broadcast booth. (FOX has taken over the broadcast from Miller’s employer, NBC.) But that doesn’t mean Miller’s accomplishments won’t have an impact on this US Open. They will — perhaps especially at this Open. Sure, Miller’s voice became synonymous with the US Open over the years, but it’s his time as a player that will resonate most this weekend.
Chambers Bay is reputed to be the most difficult US Open layout in recent memory. Probably since Retief Goosen tamed a baked-out Shinnecock in 2004, when the course had players mystified (and miffed) at the greens’ speed. The US Open’s acute focus on a high degree of difficulty has a lot to do with Johnny Miller. The most notorious of all US Open setups was at Winged Foot in 1974, commonly called the “massacre at Winged Foot” for how it brutalized even the world’s best players. The year before the massacre, in 1973, Johnny Miller had shot an unprecedented 63 in the final round at Oakmont to win the US Open. Despite Miller’s excellence, that was too low a score for the USGA’s liking. The ghost of Miller, his microphone, and his 63 will all be at Chambers Bay this week. You might even be able to hear it.