Ogilvy Wins Open Mickelson Collapses

By Associated PressJune 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
U.S. OpenMAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Phil Mickelson's bid for a third consecutive major ended with a shocking collapse Sunday when he bungled his way to a double bogey on the final hole, giving the U.S. Open to Geoff Ogilvy.
 
The winning shot in this test of survival at Winged Foot was Ogilvy's 6-foot par putt that he figured was only good for second place.
 
The memory will be Mickelson on the 72nd hole, one minute on the verge of joining Tiger Woods as the only players over the last 50 years with three straight majors, the next minute looking like the Mickelson of old with a reckless attempt to get out of trouble.
 
'I still am in shock that I did that. I just can't believe that I did that,' Mickelson said. 'I'm such an idiot.'
 
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy waves to the crowd after his crucial par save on the 72nd hole.
The celebration took place not on the 18th green, but in the clubhouse.

Ogilvy, whose resiliency carried him to the Match Play Championship in February, closed with a 2-over 72 in the highest-scoring U.S. Open since 1974 at Winged Foot. He became the first Australian to win the U.S. Open since David Graham in 1981.
 
'I think I was the beneficiary of a little bit of charity,' Ogilvy said.
 
Ogilvy didn't just stand around waiting for handouts, though. The 29-year-old Aussie battled to the very end. He holed an 18-foot chip to save par on the 17th hole and then had to overcome a miserable break on the 18th when his tee shot landed in a divot. His approach lost power as it reached the green, tumbling down the slope. He chipped up and, unlike Colin Montgomerie and Jim Furyk before him, made the putt.
 
Even so, this was Mickelson's major to win, and the first one he threw away.
 
Instead of being linked with Woods in the majors, the comparisons turned to Jean Van de Velde at Carnoustie in 1999, when the Frenchman took triple bogey on the last hole of the British Open. But at least Van de Velde got a chance in a playoff.
 
Mickelson could only cup his hands over his cap and acknowledge a New York crowd that he disappointed again.
 
And he had only himself to blame.
 
He had a two-shot lead with four holes to play, but his stubborn side continued to hit driver, and his miscues finally caught up with him. Mickelson hit only two fairways in the final round, none on the back nine. And while he found a way to escape most times, Winged Foot got its vengeance at the end.
 
Mickelson's tee shot on the 18th went so far left that it clattered through the trees by a corporate hospitality tent, into the trampled rough. Instead of playing out to the fairway and trying to get par -- just as Payne Stewart and David Toms had done in beating Mickelson in majors -- he went after the green and hit a tree, the ball advancing only 25 yards.
 
The third shot sailed left of the green and buried in the bunker, plugged so badly that Mickelson had no chance to get close to the flag because the green ran away from him. He blasted out and through the green, into more rough, then chipped back 8 feet past the hole before making the last putt to close with double bogey.
 
Lost in the Mickelson collapse was what proved to be the most demanding U.S. Open in more than 25 years.
 
Ogilvy finished at 5-over 285, the first time a U.S. Open champion finished over par since Andy North at Cherry Hills in 1978. And it was the highest score by a winner since Hale Irwin won at 7-over 285 at Winged Foot in the '74 U.S. Open.
 
He also joined Irwin in another footnote that spoke to wicked Winged Foot -- neither failed to break par in any of the four rounds.
 
Irwin didn't get this kind of help, however.
 
'I had it right there in my hands, and I let it go,' Mickelson said. 'I just can't believe I did that.'
 
Mickelson wasn't the only guy to blow it on the 18th.
 
Montgomerie had his best chance in 11 years to win that elusive major. He holed a 75-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole for a share of the lead and was in the middle of the 18th fairway, 172 yards from the hole, in prime position to do no worse than a playoff. But he missed well to the right, down a steep slope into rough that covered the cuffs of his pants.
 
The best he could do was chip some 40 feet by the pin. Then he did the worst thing he could do, running his par putt 10 feet by and missing the next one for a double bogey and a 71.
 
'I look forward to coming back next year and try another U.S. Open disaster,' Montgomerie said.
 
Furyk also will have a restless night.
 
One of five players tied for the lead on a steamy afternoon, he was 5 over and in the bunker on the 18th when he played a splendid shot to about 5 feet below the hole. He backed off twice, and the par putt caught the right edge of the cup, giving him a 70, one shot out of a playoff.

'I played my heart out, and it didn't work,' Furyk said.
 
Padraig Harrington played bogey-free for 15 holes for a share of the lead, then bogeyed the last three for a 71 to finish fifth, two shots behind. Kenneth Ferrie of England was tied with Mickelson starting the final round and stayed with him for nine holes before he crashed to a 39 on the back nine and shot 76.
 
'I feel for Phil,' Ogilvy said. 'He's won a few majors recently, so I can take one away.'
 
He never imagined it would happen like this. No one did. Mickelson had been so dominant in the majors, and had poured so much into studying ever nook and cranny at Winged Foot, that it appeared he would win this the way Woods often captures majors -- making the fewest mistakes in the final round.
 
But he saved a whopper for the 72nd hole.
 
'I came out here a week or two ago in the evenings, just spending the evenings on the last four holes, thinking I'd just have to make four pars, thinking there was a good chance if I could make four pars on Sunday, I could do it,' he said.
 
Ogilvy earned $1.225 million for his first major, and his third career victory on the PGA Tour, and it should be enough to put him into the top 10 in the world ranking.
 
He became the first Aussie to win a major since Greg Norman in the 1993 British Open, and Ogilvy showed he can never be counted out. When he won the Match Play Championship at La Costa, he set a record by winning four consecutive matches in extra holes.
 
This was about survival from the start, even if the New Yorkers were so raucous they thought Lefty only needed to show up.
 
But he still had to hit the shots, and Mickelson didn't hit a fairway until the eighth hole. The most damaging miss came on the par-5 fifth hole, easily reachable in two. Mickelson hit into the face of a bunker, hit into the rough, than tried to dig it out with a 4-wood and moved it about a yard. He did well to make bogey.
 
By then, the U.S. Open was, indeed, wide open.
 
As the tournament headed into the final two hours, four players were tied top the leaderboard. It wasn't a matter of who would shift into drive, but who could get out of reverse.
 
Mickelson did both, but then stepped on the gas and drove over the edge.
 
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    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”