2010 US Open Final Thoughts

Starting my list of thoughts about the 2010 US Open. They’re not in any order, and I’m sure I’ll come up with more as the day goes on:

Graeme McDowell came out of the blue, really. If you were to name the best Irish players, Harrington and McIlroy would have come to mind. But not McDowell. I know who he his, but I’m a rabid golf fan.

This US Open wasn’t so much won as survived. Or lost. The USGA has to be happy that the winner finished at even par for the round. Compared to the winner’s romp ten years before, this was much more in their line of thinking.

Still, I can’t figure out for the life of me what happened Sunday. The supposed best players in the world were doing their best to look like weekend hackers. And Phil … oh Phil. What was with that shot off the cable? It just shows that you weren’t focused.

Dustin Johnson had a meltdown for the ages. His 82 was the worst final round finish for a 54 hole leader since 1911, when a poor unfortunate schmuck named Fred McCloud dropped an 83.

I started out yesterday’s live blog by saying that I don’t see how Johnson could lose this one. I found the answer: slowly, painfully and creatively. He had to work to do as badly as he did.

I’m pulling for Tom Watson to return to Pebble in thirteen years. He’ll only be 73. And if he plays old man golf and hits fairways, he might just win.

Tiger looked terrible. Or at least, terrible for Tiger. He did manage to eke out a +4 for the day.

In fact, among the top 15, only Matt Kuchar and Ben Curtis finished under par in the final round. Both were -3.

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11 thoughts on “2010 US Open Final Thoughts”

  1. Can’t agree with you this time. GMAC is force is Europe and just won last week at Celtic Manor. It was survival at Pebble Beach and the best players on this particular weekend did survive McDowell, Havret, and Els – not Woods, Mickelson, or Johnson. All kudos to McDowell for being the US Open Champion – he is a true Champion after the rounds of golf he played all week. Not a default winner as many would have us believe.

  2. I stand by my previous comment from Friday: Phil Mickelson will NEVER win a US Open.  Good.  He doesn’t deserve it.  FIGJAM will have to wait for some other lifetime.

  3. Clarification- McDowell had a 74 (+3) for the final round.  Ernie and Phil both had better scores, but as we watched, I don’t think either had a better round than McDowell.

    I really have to hand it to McDowell to be able to be in the pairing with Meltdown McJohnson and be able to focus.  It would be one thing if the melting came late in the day, but he saw that debacle and had to wait on lost balls and extra shots and such from the very start.  He knew that Ernie and Phil and Tiger were just ahead and maintained his focus and his cool.

    And then, please Phil, I think you are learning, but watch McDowell play the 18th hole, watch it every day,  and then watch it before bed.  McDowell was aware of the leaderboard, he watched Havret miss birdie and he knew exactly what that meant.  I may just have to save that recording and watch that 18th during future tournaments instead of the stupidity that the final round leaders too often show. 

    Lastly- Tiger’s criticism of the greens.  Saw where the USGA president sort of dug at Tiger on this.  I think I might have to (gulp) agree with Tiger on this.  Supposedly the splotchy look of the greens is not an indicator of the condition.  But on some of the closeups from green level, that ball seemed to be bouncing a fair bit.  I am not so sure I saw too much effect from the top view, but there had to be some.  Overall it looked like a lot of poor putting – much of the missing wasn’t close.  Perhaps the USGA should just consider laying down linoleum floors for the greens, they will roll a bit smoother, and probably would slow the putts to be at least fair. wink

  4. not a word about the french guy?

    from tee to green he was the best. he lost because his mid distance putting was terrible (2 to 5 meters), on everything else he gave Tiger a golf-course management lesson.

  5. I think that most of us want to forget about Havret after seeing that video of him and his buddy qualifying with that uncomfortable French jumping hug and embrace. 

    I can only imagine that if someone tried that in my golf group, not only would the jumpee be crushed during the catch, but most likely the jumper would be ejected from the group.

  6. That is sort of what I was going for in my comment.  Maybe silly more than stupid is what I meant, so my comment must have been extra dumb.

  7. These pro golfers make great money to play the game. I would just as soon not see a player in a tournament like the U.S. Open rather than hear them criticize the USGA for their set up of a course. This is our national open and the conditions should be tougher—much tougher—than the regular tour stops. I am reminded of a past USGA President’s response to a player accusing the USGA of trying to embarrass the best golfers in the world. “We’re not trying to embarrass the best golfers in the world,” was his reply. “We’re merely trying to identify them.”

  8. I love that quote.

    The other thing is that it doesn’t really matter what the condition or the difficulty level of the course is.  Even if the greens are bad or bouncy or soft or whatever, the player who played the strongest for four days wins.  Everyone of the golfers played the same course, the same greens, the same rough.  Graeme may have had a little more luck, but he also strategized the best, kept his head the best, and played the strongest.  Luck, skill, and head are all contributing factors in who was the best for the tournament, whatever the tournament is.


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