Another U.S. Open has wrapped up and it was a pretty exciting one. One of the top stories from the Thursday and Friday rounds are the big names that didn’t make the cut. Both the current Masters champion (Bubba Watson) and defending U.S. Open champion (Rory McIlroy) spent the weekend watching from home and having to suffer through Johnny Miller’s “a groove too low” commentary with the rest of us. Other top ranked players who did not play the weekend at Olympic Club are Luke Donald, Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen. Olympic Club played very tough and it definitely took its toll on these guys who couldn’t make the cut. Bubba even said at one point that the course was “too hard”. It’s tough to play well with that kind of thinking rattling around in your head.
At the end of play on Friday while many of the top players were licking their wounds and packing their bags Tiger Woods was licking his chops. After posting scores of 69 and 70 on Thursday and Friday he went into the weekend -1 and a clear favorite for eventually winning the championship. Unfortunately for Tiger, he came unglued on Saturday with a 75 and again on Sunday with a 73 that had him finishing T21. Nicklaus’ 18 majors looks as far away for him now as it ever has.
My personal favorite story to come out of the U.S. Open at Olympic has to be Beau Hossler, the 17 year old amateur from Southern California. Hossler qualified his way into the championship and played beautifully. Not only did he make the cut, but he held the LEAD on Friday afternoon. A great round on Saturday had him in contention to win, but the Cinderella Story was not to be as he stumbled a bit on Sunday and eventually finished T29. He made a great run though and it was really fun to think a teenage amateur might have a chance to win. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of Beau Hossler in the future.
The weekend at The Olympic Club was pretty exciting with a lot of different guys in the hunt for the win. Past U.S. Open champions Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell all were lurking around the top spots on the leaderboard, but in the end Webb Simpson made a charge and continued what is now a five time tradition of come from behind winners at Olympic. At one point Simpson had fallen 6 shots behind the leader but rallied with a string of four birdies and a tough par save at 18 to post the clubhouse lead at +1. The leaders were leaking oil coming down the stretch and Simpson’s +1 ended up being enough to close the deal. Congrats to Webb on 4 days of well played golf!!! By the way, I love seeing Jack Fleck, the original Olympic Club underdog, in the back ground of the photo below.
I’m already counting the days down until the 2013 U.S. Open at one of my all time favorite places, Merion Golf Club’s East Course!!