Goosen wins the US Open
South Africa's Retief Goosen won the 104th US Open at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday in a dramatic shoot-out with Masters' champion Phil Mickelson.
Goosen, the US Open winner in 2001, closed with a one-over 71 to
beat Mickelson by two shots. Mickelson, too, fired a final round
It was a nail-biting closing nine holes as the lead switched
between the only two players left who refused to buckle under the
punishing challenge that Shinnecock Hills threw at them.
Mickelson, looking for back-to-back majors, went in front when
he birdied the par-five 16th.
However, Goosen, the third-round leader and playing directly behind
Mickelson, matched him and went to the par-three 17th all square.
It was on the 179-yard 17th that Mickelson's dream was
The 34-year-old American hit his 6-iron tee shot into the left
bunker. He blasted out to five-feet but saw his par putt slide
Then his bogey putt slipped by and
suddenly a stunned Mickelson was walking to the 18th tee two shots
All the while Goosen was standing on the 17th tee watching the
The South African pulled his tee shot into the same bunker as
Mickelson but splashed out to three feet and made an error-free par putt.
Only a rush of blood to the head could rob Goosen of his second
US Open title and it never looked like coming as he drilled his
drive down the 18th.
A 9-iron to 20 feet from the pin left him three putts for
victory - he only needed two.
It turned into a two man race when Goosen and Mickelson reached
Goosen began the day with a two shot cushion but was challenged by a cluster of players all within striking distance on
a course where bogeys can strike in an instant.
By the time Goosen and Mickelson reached the turn,
challengers Ernie Els, Fred Funk, Shigeki Maruyama, Tim Clark, Jeff
Maggert and Mike Weir had all wilted over the punishing Shinnecock
Els started the day three-under and was eyeing a third US Open
When he walk off the seventh green he had fallen to one-over for
the championship. His victory chances were all but shot with a double bogey on the eighth. Els finished with a mind-numbing 10-over 80
for the day and seven-over for the championship.
Funk saw himself plunging from two-under to three over. Weir
dropped four shots by the time he reached the turn, Maruyama four
and Maggert only one but four back from Goosen.
Tiger Woods' Saturday dream, that he was firmly in with a chance
despite starting nine shots back, was quickly dashed as he reached
the turn in four-over 39.
It did not get any better for the world number one as he
continued to slip further and further back from the leaders.
An idea of what was in store came early in the morning when the
championship was almost reduced to a farce when the infamous
par-three seventh became all but unplayable.
After the first two groups went through officials quickly
decided to water the green between every group to make it playable.
The strong winds and sunshine had dried the green to near
concrete and a lottery for the players.
Kevin Stadler was the first to play the hole on Sunday and he
could only look in horror as his two-foot putt slid past the hole,
kept rolling, and finally vanished off the green.
Stadler staggered off with a triple.
Playing parnter J.J. Henry had no better luck. He too had a
In the second group, Cliff Kresge also carded a triple. Playing
partner Billy Mayfair managed a bogey.
Enough was enough.
The hoses were ordered in and play was delayed for 10 minutes as
water was poured onto the putting surface.
An idea of the difficulty of the par-70 course was underlined by
the early final scores - Trevor Immelman shot an 82, Billy Mayfair
89, Phillip Price 84, Craig Parry 85 and Alex Cejka 85.
Round One Report
Round Two Report
Round Three Report