Top 5 U.S. Open upsets

By Doug FergusonJune 13, 2012, 2:37 pm

SAN FRANCISCO – One of the most famous upsets in golf took place at The Olympic Club. But that wasn't the only one at the U.S. Open.

And it might not have been the biggest.

The U.S. Open often lives up to its name – open – meaning that everyone should have the chance to win golf's second-oldest championship. Every now and then, an 'anybody' does just that. It could be a 20-year-old amateur who puts golf on the front pages, an unheralded club pro from Iowa who takes down one of the giants in the game, or even a 35-year-old from the Army who defies the odds.

Here are five of the biggest upsets in golf:


5. STEVE JONES

Steve Jones won four times in a span of 16 months before a dirt bike accident caused joint and ligament damage to his left ring finger, critical for the golf grip, and derailed his career. He missed most of three seasons, but returned in a big way.

First, he won a playoff in sectional qualifying just to get into the 1996 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills. He opened with a 74, seven shots behind the leaders, and then rallied with a 66 to get back into the hunt. He never went away.

Tom Lehman had a tournament-best 65 in the third round to take the outright lead, and Jones joined him in the last group. For much of the final round, the attention was on Lehman trying to win his first major, and then Davis Love III making a move. Love took bogey on the 17th and had a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that he left 3 feet short. He missed that to make another bogey for a 69.

Lehman, tied for the lead on the 18th, saw his tee shot take a funny hop into the bunker, leaving him no chance to reach the green. Jones two-putted for par, and Lehman missed a 15-foot par putt that would have forced a playoff. Jones became the first U.S. Open champion who had to qualify since Jerry Pate in 1976.


4. SAM PARKS JR.

Sam Parks Jr. was a club pro at nearby South Hills Country Club who had never won a PGA Tour event. He prepared for the 1935 U.S. Open by stopping by Oakmont every day for a month to play a practice round. The preparation paid off.

Oakmont was as severe as ever, and Jimmy Johnson opened with rounds of 73-73 to take the lead. Parks holed a 60-foot chip for eagle in the third round and shot 73 to tie for the lead, with 42-year-old Walter Hagen only three shots back and poised to win his third U.S. Open.

The weather worsened for the last 18 holes, which made scoring so difficult that none of the top 20 players on the leaderboard broke 75. Parks closed with a 76, good enough for a two-shot win over Thomson. Parks was the only player to break 300 at Oakmont.

Hagen also shot a 76, and this turned out to be his last time in serious contention at a major.

Parks never finished in the top 10 at another major.


3. ORVILLE MOODY

Orville Moody was known as 'Sarge' because of his Army career. He won the Korean Open three times while in the Army, but there was little to suggest he would become a U.S. Open champion. His best chance at winning came early in 1969 when he lost in a playoff at the Greater Greensboro Open.

He had to go through local and sectional qualifying that year just to get into the U.S. Open at Champions Golf Club in Texas.

Moody was never really in the picture until the last day, when he trailed Miller Barber by three shots. Barber fell apart in the final round, closing with a 78. Sarge was steady and shot 72 to hold off Deane Beman (future PGA Tour commissioner) and a pair of PGA champions in Bob Rosburg and Al Geiberger.

It was the only PGA Tour event that Moody won. He later won 11 times on the Champions Tour.


2. JACK FLECK

Ben Hogan appeared to have won his record-setting fifth U.S. Open when he closed with a 70 at The Olympic Club in 1955. NBC went off the air and proclaimed him the winner. Still on the golf course was Jack Fleck, a little-known club pro from Iowa who could hit it straight and had figured out his putting. It was a dangerous combination.

Fleck birdied the 15th, made par on the next two holes, and then hit 7-iron from a good lie in the rough over the bunker to 8 feet on the 18th. He made the birdie for a 67 that allowed him to catch Hogan and force an 18-hole playoff.

Fleck never flinched playing against his idol – he even used Hogan irons – and knowing the crowd wanted to see Hogan win another U.S. Open. Fleck built a three-shot lead around the turn, but his lead was down to one coming to the 18th. Hogan needed a birdie to extend the playoff, but he hooked his drive into the rough, slashed at it twice to get it back in play and had to make a long putt for double bogey. Fleck won by three for his first victory.

He won only twice more on the PGA Tour the rest of his career. But while this was an upset of Olympic proportions, it was no fluke. There were only seven rounds in the 60s that week. Fleck had three of them.


1. FRANCIS OUIMET

Even though John McDermott had become the first American-born winner of the U.S. Open the previous two years, it took Francis Ouimet to put golf on newspaper front pages by beating two giants of the game.

The 1913 U.S. Open had been moved from June to September so that Harry Vardon (pictured above left) and Ted Ray (right) could compete. Also in the field was Ouimet (center), the 20-year-old Massachusetts Amateur champion who had local knowledge of The Country Club because he lived across the street from the 17th hole.

It was his first major championship.

Ouimet, six shots behind after the first round, followed with rounds of 74-74 to share the 54-hole lead with Vardon and Ray, and he kept pace over the final round to match with 79s and force an 18-hole playoff.

In the tough, rainy conditions at Brookline, Ouimet played his best golf. He shot 72, while Vardon had a 78 and Ray shot 79. The gallery was among the biggest ever in America for a golf tournament, and it was hailed as one of the biggest upsets in sport. Before long, America began to replace the Old World in golf supremacy.

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.



Original story:

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.