Kiwi Campbell Captures the U.S. Open

Michael Campbell, who once held the 54-hole lead at a British Open, out-dueled Tiger Woods and a flailing Retief Goosen to capture the 105th U.S. Open.

Michael CampbellMany said it was Retief Goosen’s U.S. Open to lose, and lose it he did. Opening the day with a three-shot lead, the unassuming South African made one birdie and limped home to a final-round 81. His playing companion, fan favorite Jason Gore, fared no better, carding a +14 84, finishing T49. Olin Browne, who like Gore began the day at even par, carded an 80 to finish T23.

The winner? Little-known New Zealander Michael Campbell. Campbell holed a bunker shot on the difficult 17th hole yesterday to get into the next-to-last pairing at even par and made the most of it today, firing a one-under 69 on a day that yielded only four sub-par rounds.

Lorena Ochoa Shows Greatness at Wegmans

Mexico’s sweetheart Lorena Ochoa sweeps past the competition to victory at the Wegmans Rochester LPGA Tournament.

lorena_ochoa_black.jpgLocust Hill Country Club’s greens were an easy read for Mexican Lorena Ochoa today. With five consecutive birdies on the back nine, Ochoa charged past rookie Paula Creamer to finally win her first title of 2005 by four strokes with a 7-under 65.

Creamer started the day with a two-stroke lead over Ochoa but a rimmed one-foot putt for an opening bogey placed her easily within Ochoa’s grasp.

Lorena has been close to a victory three times this season and today walks away with the trophy and a $225,000 share of the $1.5 million purse. As with most great rounds Ochoa’s putting helped her to win the final round of the Wegmans. “I made that birdie on twelve and that was the beginning of all my birdies,” a happy Ochoa said. “That gave me good momentum and you know it is all about having confidence out there.”

Goosen Inches Ahead In Round Three of U.S. Open

Retief Goosen claims the outright lead after a precarious third round at the 105th U.S. Open.

Retief GoosenThe U.S. Open is, without a doubt, the most difficult golf of the year. The USGA holds close to it’s heart the ideal that a course should be well defended against advances in both equipment and talent. Birdies should be a luxury, not an guarantee. It is certain that USGA officials will be smiling as they smoke their post-third-round cigars tonight because only one player is below par: Retief Goosen. The USGA can safely say that Pinehurst No. 2 has teeth and is defending itself against the best in the world.

Retief Goosen, Pinehurst’s second round co-leader, is this year’s U.S. Open “ice-man” keeping a cool head through three rounds with course conditions that can easily rattle the very best in the world. Goosen has long been misunderstood because of his retiring and quiet nature, but what he make lack in personal flair he makes up for in grit and determination.

On Location at the 2005 U.S. Open – Saturday’s Third Round

One advantage of getting swallowed in the crowds following Tiger Woods: you don’t have to listen to Johnny Miller.

PinehurstThis report comes to us from Pinehurst #2 courtesty of Dave Koster, scratch golfer, North Carolina resident, and friend of The Sand Trap.

Moving day. The day where players try and set themselves apart from the rest of the field. As most of you saw on TV, not many players wanted to do that. This was a day that the players just wanted to get through 18 and hide in the clubhouse. Word of the day: survive.

Three-Way Tie for the Lead at the Halfway Point at Pinehurst

Retief Goosen, Olin Browne, and Jason Gore find themselves in a tie for the lead after the second round at the 105th U.S. Open.

Retief GoosenThe defending U.S. Open champion sits atop the leaderboard at Pinehurst with his sights set on a third victory in this prestigious tournament. That isn’t the surprise at the halfway point. Retief Goosen finds himself in a tie for the lead with Olin Browne and Jason Gore. Browne, who had to shoot a 59 in qualifying to even make it this far, shot a steady 71 on Friday to maintain a shot at winning the 105th U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Gore, on the other hand, has had mild success on the Nationwide Tour (three wins) but has never been in a situation quite like this.

On Location at the 2005 U.S. Open – Thursday’s Opening Round

The word of the day: people. Tiger Woods’ group was huge. The other word of the day: money. Guess why.

PinehurstPinehurst is still a special place. That didn’t change since yesterday, but there is a new word of the day: people. There were people everywhere. The 20,000 spaces in the stands filled up before 10:00 and most of the other people on foot were following Tiger.

As soon as we walked through the gate, Tiger’s throng was amassing around the 11th hole. As my friend and I walked over that way, we got to watch the Els group hit their tee shots down the 12th fairway. After that, it was a blur. We went over to 11 to watch Tiger, back to 12 to see his tee shot, over to 13 again to stay ahead of him, then to 14 green to watch Els’ approach shot. We stayed there to wait for Tiger (who hit a monster drive on 14 by the way), and catch our breath.

Olin and Rocco Share Lead after First Round of the 105th U.S. Open

Olin Browne and Rocco Mediate show the young guys how things get done when conditions are tough.

Rocco Mediate Talks with his CaddieThere is a lesson to be learned here kids. Never quit when you’re down because some of the best things are yet to come. The best example of this lesson comes from two guys whom have a couple of things in common. These two men are Olin Browne and Rocco Mediate. First and most importantly, they share the lead at the 105th U.S. Open Tournament. Also, they are over 40 years of age (Browne 46, Mediate 42), both have aches and pains, and both have kept going even when they faced failure.

Olin Browne, ranked 300th on the world golf rankings, qualified the old fashioned way for the U.S. Open by going through sectional qualifying. During the first round of the qualifying tournament, Olin finished with a score of 73 which left him disappointed. The next day, he searched for a tournament official hoping to withdraw from the tournament but was unsuccessful. He decided to tee off and what a decision that was. Browne finished his second round with a 59 which was enough for him to find his way to the main event.

Becky Morgan Captures the First Round Lead at Wegmans-Rochester

Becky Morgan grabs the solo lead in round one of the Wegman’s Rochester LPGA Tournament.

becky_morgan.jpgWith the U.S. Open as the main focus of the week less attention is being paid to this week’s Wegman’s Rochester LPGA event. That’s too bad because the stellar round that Becky Morgan played today was worthy of praise and adulation.

Two-time runner-up Morgan may have finished with a 3-stroke lead over Lorena Ochoa but it was the exciting way in which she did it that deserves a second look. With strings of birdies from the tenth through the thirteenth and then again from the third through the seventh holes Morgan charged past the competition with ease even though the weather was unagreeably rainy and chillier than expected for the middle of June.

Morgan has not had a victory nor a top-ten finish at all this year, resides at 108th on the ADT Official Money List, has a paltry $27,000 in earnings for the season and missed the cut in five out of the ten tournaments she has entered but feels that her game is finally coming around.

Pinehurst Pity Party Planned for Vijay

Vijay Singh is one of the best in the world, but does he really believe that nobody else could break 100 on a U.S. Open course?

Pinehurst US OpenAs the world’s best golfers tee off at Pinehurst No. 2 this morning, I’m still chuckling about a wayward shot world No. 2 Vijay Singh fired off in the media tent yesterday. Vijay obviously doesn’t practice humility or common sense as much as he does his golf game.

So Vijay rolls into the media tent. No one ever expects him to have much of interest to say, and he obliges with all the boilerplate comments about the great shape Pinehurst No. 2 is in, etc.