Posts Tagged ‘Dustin Johnson’

2010 Us Open: Big guns back away from title

June 22, 2010

The US Open finished on Sunday and Tiger couldn’t repeat his Saturday effort. Dustin Johnson who held a 3 shot lead on Sunday morning crashed from a 6-under start to a 3-over finish. Ernie Els who needed to make a charge, couldn’t and shot 1-over par as did Phil Mickelson. The French golfer Gregory Havret had an honest chance to at least make it into a playoff but bogeyed the 17th the ensure that didn’t happen. And the eventual winner, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell dropped three shots over the course of the day but managed to put his name on the trophy.

As I have said many times before, golf is a strange game. I think I’ve used the term ‘funny’ before, but that might infer that it is amusing. It isn’t.

Here we were on Sunday at the final round of the 2010 US Open, with the number 1, 2 and 6 ranked golfers in the world in contention and none of them could rise to the occasion. By my count there were only 6 scores under par on Sunday. One was a 68 by Bo Van Pelt who had shot an 82 on Saturday. What was different for him on Sunday when the leaders were crashing and burning. No pressure?

Granted the couse was obviously playing very hard and the greens were very, very fast, but these are still the very best golfers in the world and they were whipped like dogs.

Of course, maybe that is the other side of it. When the best golfers in the world can’t produce and shoot – in some cases – amateur level scores, is the course just too difficult? Are they really chosing the best golfer or just the most fortunate on any given day?

We know that a golf game can go sideways for anyone, whether professional or amateur. But when it goes astray for everyone you wonder if it is because of the course set-up, the pressure of competing for your national championship or (likely) a combination of the two. It would be interesting to see any of the competitors play the course on Monday following the Open strictly as a fun round and see what they would shoot.

2010 US Open: And Tiger recovers his form

June 20, 2010

On Thursday and Friday Tiger Woods couldn’t make his putter work and ended up  at 4-over par. On Saturday the magic returned and he shot a 5-under par 66 and is going into Sunday 1-under par, 5 back of the leader Dustin Johnson.

Is Tiger back in full form? I guess we’ll see at the end of the tournament on Sunday.

Regardless, it was nice to see the old Tiger back on the course, dropping putts. And the crowd seemed to appreciate it as well.

Phil Michelson took the other route, putting himself in contention on Friday with a 66 of his own, leaving him at 1-under par going into today’s 3rd round. But it wasn’t there today and he fell back to 1-over par at days end.

The story was Dustin Johnson who also shot a 66 to match Tiger’s and put him in the lead by 3 strokes over Graeme McDowell going into the final round.

There was obviously some good golf to watch and Pebble Beach is a beautiful and tough looking course – not that I will every experience it in person, with a public green fee of $495 for 18 holes.

It is interesting to see that only three people are at par or better after the third round:. Johnson, McDowell,Woods and the French golfer Havret, in that order. From there the scores climb as high as 19 over par. A number that Mike Weir shares with one other competitor. I thought that Weir might have a good shot at playing well this week, and he did start with a 1-under 70. Then carded a 79 and 83 in the next two rounds.

Golf is a strange game. Higher handicap amateurs seem to expect their games to be consistent at whatever level they may be playing and get upset when it goes sideways. But you look at the pros – the best players in the world – and they suffer from the same problem as noted with Mike Weir’s first round 70 and his third round 83. Mind you, that is an extreme, but even Mickelson’s migration from a 66 on Friday and a 73 on Saturday.

Anyway, as they say, it’s not over until it’s over (another Yogi Berra malapropism). As is always the case, Sunday will tell the tale.


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