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.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
  • Getty Images

    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

    Getty Images

    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

    Getty Images

    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

    Getty Images

    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.