|Page 2 of 3 < >|
Mickelson Collapse Gives Ogilvy U.S. Open
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.