Sunday, June 20, 2010
A Euro won the U.S. Open for the first time since Tony Jacklin 28 years ago. Graeme McDowell's first PGA victory comes in a major at Pebble Beach
Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland held off Frenchman Gregory Havret to capture his first major at Pebble Beach. Dustin Johnson seemed in control when play began, but he quickly imploded with a triple bogie on #2 and failed to finish in the top-10 despite being 6 under with a 3 shot lead. Ernie Els seemed on the verge of gaining control on the front 9, but a double bogey on 10 doomed him. Tiger Woods bogeyed his first hole and struggled throughout the day...and as all the marquee names stumbled, Havret and McDowell were steady. In the end, both Euro players handled the pressure and avoided big mistakes, while the Americans had adventures throughout. Havret had the best result in a major for a Frenchman since 1907, finishing a single shot behind McDowell who ended at even par. Graeme McDowell's triumph was his first on the PGA tour, though he did win in Wales two weeks ago.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Phil Mickelson shot a near flawless 5 under par 66 in round two of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and stands just 2 behind the leader at Pebble Beach
Seeking his first U.S. Open title after 5 runner-up finishes, Phil Mickelson shot his way into Saturday's final group with the round of tournament. Improving by 9 shots from his opening round, Mickelson was deadly on the greens and did not make any mistakes along the way. His 5 under par round moved him to one under for the Open and 2 behind leader Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland..a position he shares with Ernie Els, 18 year old sensation Ryo Ishikawa, and Dustin Johnson who has won the past two AT@T events at Pebble Beach.
It's a virtual International leader board at the U.S. Open nearing the midway point, with Northern Ireland's Graham McDowell setting the pace.
It might be the U.S. Open, but International players are making Pebble Beach their turf nearing the end of round 2. Northern Ireland's Graham McDowell is setting the pace at 3 under par 139, but South African Ernie Els is just two back with both having fired 68's today. Meanwhile, 18 year old Ryo Ishikawa of Japan also is a couple back and only American Dustin Johnson who captured the past two AT@T's here at Pebble is in the top 5. England's Paul Casey and Alex Cejka of Czechoslovakia stand 3 behind McDowell. Phil Mickelson has made a big move early in his second round getting back to even par thru 6 holes after starting 4 over when the day began. Tiger Woods will make the cut, but finds himself 8 off the pace, and 60 year old Tom Watson will make the weekend if nobody betters McDowell's 3 under par lead.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
David Toms was an early finisher at Pebble Beach and at the moment stands one shot behind a quartet of leaders. At even par for his opening round, the 12 time PGA tour winner and former PGA Champion discussed opening day course conditions after his round
Hugo Leon was in position to tie for the opening round lead of the U.S. Open until his ball got caught in a tree.
Heading into his final hole in the opening round of the U.S. at Pebble Beach, Hugo Leon of Chile was even par and one shot off the lead. His was thinking birdie, taking his 8 iron from 150 in the middle of the fairway. His golf ball however flew into the tree adjacent to the 18th green and stayed there. After a 5 minute search, he had to hit again and finished with double bogey. Despite the bizarre unlucky shot, Leon was in good spirits after his opening round 73.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tom Watson has discovered the fountain of youth. At 60, he's experiencing a rebirth of his golf game with improved putting, touch and enough distance to compete. He tees it up Thursday in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, grouped with 17 year old Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa and Northern Ireland's 21 year old star Rory McIlroy. The trio tees off at 1:47 on the 10th hole. Watson, whose chip shot to beat Jack Nicklaus from the deep rough on 17 back in 1982 is one of the U.S. Open's major moments, but last year's performance at the British Open would have eclipsed everything he's done in his Hall of Fame career, had he parred the final hole at age 59. Watson discussed both at today's press conference.
Jack Fleck is the World's oldest living Champion of a major golf tournament. I spoke with the 88 year old who upset Ben Hogan in the 1955 U.S. Open.
He's 88 and can still shoot his age...on certain courses. 55 years ago, he made history by beating Ben Hogan in a playoff to capture the 1955 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Today, Jack Fleck was at the Pebble Beach driving range when I spotted him to recollect his monumental triumph. His defeat of the great Hogan still ranks as one of the greatest upsets in major golf history.
Rory McIlroy is Europe's top young player and has all the tools to be the next star in the world of pro golf.
At age 21, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is making his mark on the PGA tour and is one of Europe's best players entered in the U.S. Open. He has yet to play a competitive round at Pebble Beach, but he hadn't played Quail Hollow either prior to winning his first title on American turf a month ago. Rory's playing partner for the first two rounds will be his teenage buddy Ryo Ishikawa who shot a 58 in his Japan homeland to win a tournament hours before McIlroy did his magic at Quail Hollow. The other player in the trio teeing off Thursday is legendary Tom Watson who is having a career revival at age 60. Watson, whose chip in from the rough on #17 won the 1982 Open at Pebble...had the British Open lead last year until the final hole.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The world's #2 player has 5 runner up finishes in the U.S. Open but has yet to capture his first victory. Pebble Beach awaits.
He's finished runner-up 5 times in the U.S. Open, but still seeks his first National Championship title. Back at Pebble Beach where it all began for Phil Mickelson as a pro in 1992 out of Arizona State he missed the cut in his pro debut, but has since had three victories at the AT@T at Pebble...one of which ended in August after rain postponed the conclusion. No moisture is expected this week to soften things up as the small greens promise to be lighting quick, with fairways hard and fast. With trimmed rough on several holes adjacent to the ocean... many shots can be expected to roll into the Pacific. This year's U.S. Open rough is not diabolical but a poor tee shot into it, will have severe consequences.
Tiger Woods returns to the scene of his most prolific major championship victory. A 15 shot win in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach
He's won 14 majors and the most dominate victory of all time here at Pebble Beach 10 years ago. Tiger Woods returns to Del Monte Forest in pursuit of another championship, having experienced the worst 6 months of his life prior to his 4th place finish at this year's Masters. When asked about his well documented personal transgressions, Woods dismissed the golf writer and carried on answering questions from others. Tiger's 15 stroke win at the 2000