Graeme McDowell Wins US Open

By shooting an even par 284 over four brutal days at Pebble Beach, holding off Gregory Havret by one shot.  The final round 74 by McDowell was the highest final round score by a winner in a quarter century.  Of course, the final round 83 by Dustin Johnson was the highest by a 54 hole leader in a century.  But McDowell played steady never making the big mistake, which is more than you could say about most of his pursuers.

The best final round of the leaders was by Havret; he just couldn’t get up and down from the bunker on 17 for par or on 18 for birdie.  But unlike his country’s football team he didn’t blame the ball or his coach.

A lot of big name players are going to be looking back at today and asking the what if questions.  Phil Mickelson couldn’t make a putt after holing one from off the green on the 1st hole.  Ernie Els had a number of edge grazers but would have been in much better shape if not for the double bogey on #10 when he sent two shots over the cliff.  Tiger could never get his round going and actually spent the 18th green clearing the stage for Havret, which was not exactly the expected outcome.

The USGA probably won’t mind the outcome of this tournament because they consider it pretty much ideal to have the winner golfer shoot level par for the tournament.  But I think some things with regards to course set up have to be questioned.  The 14th green was simply too diabolical.  There is difficult and then there is sadistic, and this green was the latter.  You have high rough everywhere else on the course; why go out of your way to shave that bank behind the green?  Also I don’t know how anyone could hit the green on #17.  That hole is too long and the green too fast for the size of the green.  8th place was +5 and that was with having no days with strong wind, and all 4 days the Cliffs of Doom holes played downwind.  Can you imagine how high the winning score would have been if even one round, particularly one weekend round, had been played in harsh weather?

But the bottom line is congrats to Graeme McDowell for playing 4 solid rounds.  A lot of people thought this week could prove to be the first time since 1970 Tony Jacklin that a European would win the US Open but McDowell’s name was not at the top of the list.  But he brought his best game this weekend and beat the best.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: