Angel of Oakmont Cabrera Wins US Open

By Associated PressJune 17, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. OpenOAKMONT, Pa. -- Unlikely champion. Familiar scenario.
 
Angel Cabrera hit all the right shots to hold off Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk by a stroke on a Sunday of survival at the U.S. Open, shooting a 1-under-par 69 at brutal Oakmont and giving Argentina its first major championship in 40 years.
 
Angel Cabrera
Angel Cabrera is the fourth consecutive international player to win the U.S. Open. (Getty Images)
And for the second straight major, Woods played in the final group and couldn't deliver in the clutch.
 
Woods squandered birdie chances with his wedge and his putter, and Furyk paid for a risky choice of driver on the 306-yard 17th hole and fell out of the lead with a bogey.
 
That left Cabrera as the winner, and yes, he signed for the right score.
 
The only other Argentine to win a major was Roberto de Vicenzo in the 1967 British Open at Hoylake. He was equally famous for signing for the wrong score a year later at the Masters, keeping him out of a playoff.
 
'It is very difficult to describe at the moment,' an elated Cabrera said. 'Probably tomorrow, when I wake up with this trophy beside me, I will realize I won the U.S. Open.'
 
Cabrera made his share of mistakes -- everyone did on this brutally tough course outside Pittsburgh -- but he overcame late bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes with a perfect tee shot and a par that gave him the victory.
 
Even so, this major will be remembered for gaffes by the guys chasing him.
 
Woods, a runner-up to unheralded Zach Johnson at the Masters, played the final 32 holes at Oakmont with only one birdie. He missed a birdie putt from 6 feet on the 13th, and the only clutch putts he made on the back nine were for par.
 
'He put a lot of pressure on Jim and I, and we didn't get it done,' said Woods, who closed with a 72 and extended his dubious streak of never winning a major when he wasn't leading going into the final round.
 
Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who grew up in western Pennsylvania, ran off three straight birdies on the back nine and was tied for the lead when he opted to hit driver on the 17th, where the tees were moved up. He hit so far and enough left that he had no angle to the pin, and the lie was so deep that he didn't even reach the green. His 8-foot par putt caught the lip and spun away.
 
Needing birdie on the final hole, Furyk dropped the club after contact, and his long putt never had a chance.
 
Cabrera, who had two of just eight sub-par rounds in the tournament and finished at 5-over 285, was in the clubhouse watching two of the best players in golf try to catch him.
 
As poorly as Woods hit the ball in the final round, he only needed one birdie over his final three holes to force a playoff. Woods hit 3-wood off the 17th tee into a deep bunker, but he couldn't keep it on the green and had to make a 7-footer for par.
 
His tee shot on the 18th looked good when it left his club, but hopped along the line of first cut and deep rough, and his approach ran some 30 feet by the flag. His birdie putt was just long and right, and Woods again was the last man to leave the 18th green at a major, no trophy in hand.
 
Cabrera might not have been the winner anyone expected, especially at Oakmont, which has produced U.S. Open champions of the highest caliber. But he earned his victory against the best.
 
Cabrera delivered a 1-2-3 knockout during a difficult week. A birdie on his final hole Friday caused second-ranked Phil Mickelson to miss the cut in a major for the first time in eight years, and he was even stronger down the stretch with Woods and Furyk, No. 1 and No. 3 in the world, both poised to catch him.
 
He blew a chance to win the esteemed BMW Championship in Europe last month by topping a tee shot on the back nine, and Cabrera showed signs of a struggle late in the afternoon when he three-putted for bogey on the 16th and missed the 17th green with a wedge from the fairway to drop into a tie for the lead with Furyk.
 
'He just kept himself calm,' caddie Eddie Gardino said. 'He might go and win the British Open, because he knows he can do it.'
 
Furyk went 70-70 on the weekend, and still had to settle for another silver medal for finishing tied for second. A year ago, he missed a 6-foot par putt on the final hole at Winged Foot and finished one shot behind Geoff Ogilvy.
 
'I had a lot of opportunities,' Furyk said. 'It just didn't work out.'
 
Aaron Baddeley, who had a two-shot lead over Woods going into the final round, three-putted from 8 feet for triple bogey on the opening hole and wound up with an 80.
 
It was the third straight year no one broke par at the U.S. Open, the longest streak in 46 years.
 
That was no surprise at Oakmont, especially on Sunday.
 
Under steamy sunshine, with final-round pressure on a course reputed to be the toughest in America, every mistake was magnified.
 
Baddeley might have made the biggest blunder, and it set the tone for his day. He was in the short cut of rough to the right of the first green when he chipped toward the flag instead of the middle of the green, and it zipped by the hole and off the green. He chipped weakly to 8 feet and ran his bogey putt about 4 feet past. Two putts later, he had a triple bogey.
 
Six players had at least a share of the lead at some point, but not for long.
 
Stephen Ames opened with a 12-foot birdie and looked strong until he hooked a tee shot into the ditch on the seventh, tried to play out, finally chopped it to the right rough short of the green and walked off with a triple bogey.
 
Steve Stricker poured in birdie putts on the fifth and sixth holes to join the lead and closed out his front nine with two good pars for a 34. But he pulled his tee shot into a bunker on No. 10, had to play out sideways, then three-putted for double bogey.
 
Paul Casey was in such bad shape in a bunker on the par-3 sixth that he played backward, away from the green, chipped short of the green and took triple bogey on his way to a 43 on the front nine.
 
About the only players who didn't make any ugly errors -- or many errors -- were the players who ultimately contended for this title.
 
Cabrera traded birdies and bogeys along the front nine, most notably a birdie on the par-3 eighth hole that played 300 yards with the back tee and back pin. He looked as though he might pull away on the back, using his power for short birdies on the 11th and 15th.
 
Furyk finally stumbled with careless shots on the 11th and 12th, only to run off three straight birdies to get back in the game.
 
Woods, the best closer in golf, was a mystery.
 
He couldn't make a timely putt at the Masters. He couldn't find his swing at Oakmont.
 
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery

     


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.