U.S. Open

U.S. Open 2024: Tiger yells at a cloud, Rahm gets defensive and our other favorite moments from Tuesday's pressers


Alex Slitz

For the golf nerds who get to work from home, know how to multitask in the office, or are unemployed (apologies, you'll get back on your feet soon), Tuesday remains one of the best days of major championship week. There's nothing quite like flipping on Golf Channel at 10 a.m. and having a full slate of press conferences, driving range highlights, and, the most-welcomed new addition of all, Johnson Wagner re-enactments and walk-and-talks.

As for the folks who have to work real jobs, well, you probably didn't get to geek out all day while you were doing real job things. Don't worry, we've got you covered. 

Below, we pulled some of our favorite quotes, superlatives style, from Tuesday's press conference marathon, which featured the likes of Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm, who withdrew from the tournament earlier today with the same foot injury that caused him to withdraw from LIV Houston last week. Luckily for us, his presser took place long before he made that call. 

Most "old man yelling at cloud" quote: Tiger Woods

To be clear, Tiger Woods did not literally yell at a cloud, nor did he tell any of those ratty kids to get off his lawn. Also, at 48, he's not that old. But he does lean into the old head persona, especially with quotes like this about his teenage son Charlie, who is working as his dad's de-facto swing coach this week. Woods was asked what it's like to have his son out there with him during practice rounds, and he mentioned how cool it is for young Chuck to see guys he watches all the time on them there social media apps.

"It's neat for him to see the guys that he watches on TV and YouTube and TikTok, whatever the hell it is that they do," Woods said. 

That "whatever the hell it is" is peak dad right there. Couldn't just leave it at YouTube and TikTok. Had to show a little disdain for these damn kids and their phones and their engagement-farming. Very similar to something he said during the PNC Father Son Championship back in December. 

"I just don't like the fact that he stares at his phone all the time. Put your phone away and just look around," Woods said on the one thing Charlie does that gets under his skin. "That's one of the things I think all parents struggle with is most kids don't look up anymore. Everyone is looking down. Look around you, the world is so beautiful around you, just look up. But everyone is staring into a screen, and that's how people view life. It drives me nuts at times because he's always looking down and there's so many things around you that are so beautiful at the same time."

Most defensive quote: Jon Rahm

The first question Rahm fielded Tuesday was about his foot, which he handled well, admitting it was a "concern" and "still in pain," which was later confirmed by his withdrawal. Another question, though, from Golf Digest's own Shane Ryan seemed to strike a nerve. Ryan asked him what his "level of career happiness" is right now, and the Spaniard seemed a little confused by the question at first before answering with a little bit of fire. 

"Yeah, I'm in a happy place," he said. "It's not like I've been playing bad, even though a lot of you make it sound like I'm playing bad. I had two bad weeks..."

Nothing wrong with this answer. Like he said, plenty of season left. Actually ... *checks notes* ... there is only one major remaining and just six LIV events, one of them in his home country, LIV Golf Andalucia on July 12-14. If he is going to turn it around, that foot better heal up quickly. 

Most "is the U.S. Open back?" quote: Viktor Hovland

If you go back and watch Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club, without knowing what happened Thursday, you'd think that it was one of the stronger U.S. Open tests in recent memory. But Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler and a number of other players absolutely torching the place in Round 1 was something most fans just could not get over, especially the casual ones. When the four-times-a-year golf watchers tune into the U.S. Open, they expect carnage, and to be honest with you, it doesn't seem like that ridiculous of an expectation once a year. 

The problem is these players are far too good and hit it far too long for an even mildly soft course to be able to defend itself like LACC could not on a gloomy Thursday last June. The only way to produce the "carnage" fans speak is for Mother Nature to cooperate with heat and wind, or for the USGA to go over the edge with the setup (perhaps "borderline" is your preferred nomenclature). The USGA has already stated they plan on making it as fair a test as it can, but it does appear like it will be hot all week. According to Viktor Hovland, Pinehurst is already veering into "severe" territory. 

"I've only been here once before, and I thought it was -- it's a lot more severe than I remember it being," Hovland said. He also added that the greens were actually soft on Monday from some recent rain, and that was the day Wyndham Clark dropped his "borderline" quote. 

"But if they were, in my opinion, borderline yesterday when the greens were soft, what if it starts blowing up a little bit and the greens just keep getting firmer and faster?" Hovland said. "It'll be just interesting to see."

Folks, we might be back.

Most humble: Rory McIlroy

Despite having two more majors than Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy had to answer the same question everybody was asked on Tuesday - what do you make of this Scottie Scheffler run? As Shane Ryan wrote, that's another way Scheffler has become like Tiger, as Tiger's old counterparts would have to deal with the same question back in his heyday. In fairness to McIlroy, he had a Tiger/Scottie-like run earlier in his career, too, though he disagreed with that assessment made by one reporter on site. 

"I haven't been on a run like this," McIlroy said, smiling. 

Stay humble Rors. 

Most relatable: Bryson DeChambeau

Nothing about the way Bryson DeChambeau swings a golf club is relatable, but one thing he's doing right now that many grownups have to deal with eventually is building or renovating a new house. It can be a mind-numbing experience. An endless list of problems and holdups and permits and town council meetings and assorted rip-your-hair-out issues that make you never want to go through it again. It was evident that DeChambeau is going through that right now in the way he answered a question about how he's changed, as a person, since his 2020 U.S. Open win.

"Oh, my life has changed dramatically," he said. "Still working on a house, so that's fun. My brain just went completely sideways on that."

Yep, we all feel that one, bud. DeChambeau put his old house in Dallas on the market recently and has been working on a new one in the same area for a few years now, per The Dallas Morning News. New construction is "fun" when it starts and when it ends. Everything in between can make your brain go sideways. 

Most "I'm never going to live this down, am I?" quote: Scottie Scheffler

The World No. 1 was asked if he saw the video of the Louisville golfer who rolled up "Scottie Scheffler style" to his member-guest over the weekend, and Scheffler claimed he had not. But he did admit he's gotten plenty of roasting from some of his buddies on tour for his PGA Championship arrest and mugshot, which he's been able to laugh at, even if he wants to forget it all happened. 

"I don't love reliving it," he said. "But sometimes being able to laugh about it is a good skill, too. When they make jokes, it's definitely hard not to laugh, especially with some of my good buddies, they're pretty funny with it."

Unfortunately, Scottie, being arrested at the peak of your powers the morning of a major championship the world is watching is something you're going to have to relive over and over. That mugshot ain't vanishing from the internet anytime soon.