Whenever it comes to the subject of 63s in major championships, Johnny Miller’s voice is sought out.
After all, he shot the original 63 in a major championship and it was in the final round to win the 1973 U.S. Open.
Of course, with Miller on the call Saturday at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale as Branden Grace posted a 62 for the first time in major championship history, he was queried about Grace breaking the 63 barrier shared by Miller and dozens of others.
Miller, a two-time major champion who won his sole Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 1976, started by complimenting Grace on his third-round performance.
“He played really, really well. No doubt,” Miller said.
But Miller doesn’t hold back.
So he did offer a caveat.
“(The course) was set up really, really easy today folks, but still a heck of a round,” Miller said.
Some may see that as a dig. Personally, it’s simple honesty, and Miller is right.
The scoring average Saturday was 69.03. That is an average of nearly 1 under. Grace was seven below that, but a record round often produces a disparity of more than seven strokes:
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
So, before you go crucifying Miller, make sure to look at what he means on this point and the merits of it.