And so it is that we find ourselves with yet another thrilling Monday finish in the U.S. Open. Last year the force of nature known as Tiger Woods pushed play to Monday with a 12 foot putt nobody will forget. This year, the force of nature responsible for Monday’s play is Mother Nature and the torrential rains that have soaked Bethpage Black, resulting in low scores and more than the occasional delay.
The leaderboard at the start of today’s play looks like this:
Pos Player Total Thru --- ------ ----- ---- T1 Glover -7 1 T1 Barnes -7 1 T3 Mickelson -2 2 T3 Mahan -2 2 T3 Duval -2 2 T3 Fisher -2 1 7 Weir -1 3 T8 Woods E 7
Can Tiger Woods post a score of -4 or so? He’d need to go -4 on his last 11 holes. He’d be there now were it not for his double-bogey-par-bogey finish to his first round. Will Phil Mickelson’s aggressive play nab him his first U.S. Open? Thus far his many birdies have been offset by bogeys and doubles. What about David Duval? Unless he shoots a final-round 85, you’ve got to consider this his coming back party regardless of where he finishes.
And finally, will either the untested Lucas Glover or Ricky Barnes manage to hold on? Stay with us as we live blog the final round of the 2009 U.S. Open from Bethpage Black.
08:56:11: Golf Channel voters give Barnes a 5% chance to win, Glover 28%, Phil 31%, and Tiger Woods 17%. I’m thinking that 17% is about 10% too high – at a minimum.
09:02:22: Phil hits the green on the par-three third. Ricky Barnes is still in the rough at the second. The overhead camera shows us the long wet skid mark down the middle of the fairway. Barnes has 139 yards and appears to be going at it.
09:03:26: Barnes pulls it off, somehow, putting it on the middle of the green.
09:06:19: The green has not yet cleared at the eighth and Tiger is waiting to hit. But first we see Peter Hanson nearly hole out at the fifth to go to E. Then back to Barnes. Phil’s birdie putt misses. Barnes again and his somewhat shaky putting stroke. Greens are running low to mid 13s. Barnes putts… and misses short.
09:09:31: Tiger at the eighth. First swing of the day. Finally a back pin position but Tiger comes up short and catches the ridge, and it rolls back into the fringe. FAIL. Glover misses his birdie opportunity at the second, but rolls in the three-footer for par.
09:14:43: Phil misses the fifth left. Duval is buried under the lip at the third – this could almost end his chances. He aims at the flag and the ball trickles backwards into the bunker. Tiger’s birdie putt, as Johnny predicted, comes up short.
09:17:34: Duval will double or triple bogey the third. Mahan hits it into the bunker well short of the fourth. NBC deems it necessary to show Tiger tapping in for par instead of the many other shots they could show. Barnes and Glover wait at the tee.
09:19:00: Mickelson stares at the ball in the bunker 60 yards short of the fourth. He apparently hit it there. Duval misses his double-bogey putt at the third. He triples. Does his day end as he falls to +1?
09:20:47: Phil goes bunker to bunker to bunker, leaving his third short and plugged in the greenside bunker. Glover tugs one way left at the third. Left and long – he might have a good angle for his pitch. First bad swing of the day for Glover. Mahan pops it out of the bunker and nearly holes it for eagle at the fourth. He’ll get to -3 and be in third alone.
09:22:41: Barnes hits into the right-hand bunker. “Tough pars for these guys at three” says Gary Koch. Can someone with such a swing reliant on timing win the U.S. Open? Phil splashes out and has a chance to save par. Peter Hanson at the sixth buries it to get to -1. Back to back birdies to start the day.
09:23:39: Bubba Watson at the fifth, from the fescue, nearly holes out. Par. Phil, for par at the fifth, eight feet. Makes, but that’s one of the two par fives Phil probably expects to birdie. Mahan closes out his birdie putt and moves to -3.
09:25:48: Tiger’s in the fairway (NBC didn’t show his drive). Barnes from the bunker at three, plays well, should par. Four feet. Glover from the rough, “it’s being supported by a bunch of grass behind it” says Koch. He splashes out, barely gets the ball onto the green, and faces 25 feet for par. Tiger is “baffled by the wind” according to Dottie Pepper. Is there anyone in the game who cares more about a 1.5 MPH wind than Tiger Woods? Yawn. Stevie and Tiger debate a 9I and Stevie really doesn’t like it. Tiger thinks it’s downwind, and Stevie says it’s across. Tiger goes with the 8I because Stevie doesn’t think a 9 will get there. Tiger hits the 8. It hits in the rougha nd jumps forward, probably a bad break, but the right club. 20 feet for birdie.
09:28:41: Glover’s par putt comes up wide right. He’ll fall to -6. Phil at the fifth, driver, in the fairway. Barnes, from four feet, barely sneaks it in the left side of the cup. He leads by one. Ross Fisher hits the green at the fourth.
09:32:35: Barnes stripes one at the fourth. Tiger’s birdie putt misses right and rolls well by. Glover slips off the tee and the ball winds up way left in the fairway bunker. His foot slipped 12 to 16 inches, easily. Ross Fisher’s eagle putt goes way left. He should birdie. Mahan hangs the ball way, way right on the fifth.
09:34:36: Phil from 205. Stares it down. Creeps onto the front of the green with a 3I. Duval, for birdie at the fourth, makes to get back to even. He’s in better position than Tiger, but how many U.S. Open champs overcome a triple in the final round to win when they trail by four or five shots?
09:35:39: Tiger lines up his par putt. NBC talks about all the children that seem to be born at this time of the year (do the nine-month math, guys… just sayin’). Tiger converts, but duh. Tiger makes the turn seven back of Barnes and T10. Glover lays up to the upper fairway.
09:37:06: Barnes is playing a 265 shot. He talks about “erring” to the grandstand to the right. He hits a huge snap hook. He gets a good break as the ball rolls through the back of the green but nearly at the flag. It settles into an old divot or something.
09:38:29: Bubba at the sixth nearly holes out. He’ll birdie to get to T6, -1. Mahan’s third at the fifth, 20 feet for par. Tiger at the 10th. He blocks it out to the right. Intermediate cut just off the fairway, a long way back. 10 will play long today.
09:39:21: Bones complains about the cameras as Phil lines up a long birdie putt. Up the hill, 40 feet. Someone rudely shouts for Rory. Phil leaves it short and left. Hicks: “New York is in full throat this Monday morning.”
09:41:00: Commercial. I hate the ESPN animation of the driver swinging. Who clips the grass like that when they hit a driver? The shot’s nearly a pop-up, too.
09:43:09: Barnes’ ball is not in a divot but it’s in a tiny hole of some sort. It’s on a downslope too. He semi-chunks it but it gets out okay. Ten feet for birdie. Tiger from 220, comes up 30 yards short in grass. Horrible. Dottie said the ball was sitting down. 10’s gonna play tough today if Tiger has 220 in and can’t get there.
09:44:05: Mahan fails to save his par. Glover fails to birdie at four. Ross Fisher at the fifth, punching out from under the trees back to the fairway. Mickelson at the sixth, a par four they’ve moved up, and yet both he and Tiger – who need to make runs – hitting an iron. He hit driver the other day when the tees were back. 370 yard hole, and Phil hits the ball so far left he’s in the huge thick gunk. Johnny points out that he hit it exactly where he was aimed. “That was something I’d see on a Wednesday pro-am.” Hicks doesn’t think it’ll even be playable.
09:46:50: Tiger on the upslope, pitching to an upslope, comes up 20 feet short. Bogey and back to +1, even for the day? This might end Tiger’s day. Barnes runs his birdie putt three feet by and left, fast walk. Fisher at the fifth, scrambling, hits a wedge that sucks back to 30 feet – not a great effort. Barnes taps in for par at the fifth.
09:48:44: Barnes finds the fairway nicely at the fifth. Playing back into the wind, Koch tells us. “He’s looking for better traction on this tee shot.” Har har. 😛 Glover hits it well to the right and the ball sits in the intermediate rough, barely kicking out of the thick stuff above the bunker. Tiger from 20 feet, misses right. Johnny points out the number of putts he’s missed right this week.
09:50:21: “Mickelson is going to have to take an unplayable lie” says Rolfing. Mahan hits it to six feet. Phil gets to drop above the bunker in a matted down area. He’ll be hitting three. He drops as David Fay tells us he chose one of three options. Fisher falls back to -2 after missing his par putt. Duval converts his par to stay at E.
09:52:33: Tiger at 11, 410, up 25. Tiger slips but still finds the fairway. He needs to go at least -4 from here, doesn’t he? With an eagle at the 13th? Phil hits from the matted down area where the spotters were standing, 130 yards, 25 feet for par. Johnny: “A guy like Glover or Barnes could shoot 75 or 76 and still win” because of the wind.
09:54:08: Barnes at five duck-hooks one way left on his approach. He hits it into the trees and it pops out into the long thick stuff like he saw on the second. He motions the wind, but all of his horrible shots have been huge duck hooks. Glover from 205, “perfect lie,” finds the front bunker.
09:55:37: Bubba Watson makes a long par putt at the seventh to stay at -1. Rory has a birdie putt at the fourth to get to +1. Phil misses his par putt right and rolls it three feet by. He’ll fall back to -1.
09:57:07: First reference to Johnny’s 63 at Oakmont. Yawn. 175 yards to a front right pin for Tiger. He comes up just shy on the front fringe. Mahan gets to -3 at the sixth. Solo third, four off Barnes’ lead as Barnes hits from the hay one hole back.
09:58:31: 65 yards for Barnes. “Good lie.” Barnes hits it short and in the long rough between the bunker and the green. Commercial break.
10:01:28: Glover has a buried lie under the lip of the bunker. He takes an unplayable lie. Miller: “They could come out of this with two sixes, and that would completely change the championship.” But Glover hits it to three feet. Weir at the seventh – holes out from the bunker to get to -2. First time we’ve seen Weir today, despite his several-shot advantage over Tiger.
10:02:45: Speak of the guy, with a putter, “very slow.” Leaves it short and dead on line. Barnes chips from the rough where he had a good lie to tap-in range. Bogey bogey for Glover and Barnes, -5 and -6 respectively. Fisher chunks one at the sixth. Board bunches up a bit.
10:04:41: Mahan with a hybrid from 232 at the seventh hits it to about 20 feet. Mickelson hooks one long and left at the seventh. 60 feet away.
10:05:29: Barnes hits one into the super-thick crap way left on the sixth with his 5W. Ross Fisher makes a four-footer to stay at -2.
10:11:41: Glover pops the ball out on the green, ten feet shy. “That’s his first good bounce,” says Johnny. Phil chips at seven but leaves it ten feet short. Mahan’s birdie bid misses low. Barnes debates and we go to Tiger at 12, from 185. 6I. Tiger just carries a ridge but has 25 feet for birdie. He hasn’t made those all week. Mickelson’s par bid slides by right. Back to back bogeys.
10:13:19: Barnes debates with his caddie. “I’d rather go with the steeper club” he’s heard to say. 101 yards. The grass grabs the hosel and sends the ball left into “even deeper stuff.” “It’s like a catcher’s mitt over there” says Johnny.
10:16:50: Barnes from the rough, puts it onto the green “somehow” to 15 feet. Mahan at the eighth comes up well short. Mike Weir is shown missing a par putt to fall back to -1. Tiger at the 12th from 20 feet or so. Murph: “they’re missing it left.” Tiger misses it left. Johnny: “He’s doing things the other guys are doing. He’s made his whole career doing things nobody else can do.” He’s +1 right now and basically needs eagle at the 13th.
10:18:19: Duval puts a “skanky looking swing” on the ball and sends it WAY left. Barnes makes five, and Dan Hicks says he’s “still Houdini.” Phil’s well short at eight. Glover misses his birdie putt.
10:19:50: Glover and Barnes are tied at -5. Mahan is -3, Fisher is -2, and Hanson and Weir are at -1. Mickelson, Ames, Duval, and Watson are at even. Tiger and Rory and countless others are at +1.
10:20:58: Duval plays his third and hits “half a blader.” Johnny says Duval isn’t getting any luck at all. Glover hits a good tee shot that goes into the left rough. Phil’s long birdie putt comes up well short, right to Phil’s “misses far too frequently” range. Barnes hits a good straight ball.
10:22:43: Mahan’s birdie putt getst o the hole and then rolls ten feet by. Tiger at 13, hits a “good drive” according to Stevie. Left center of the fairway. The hole’s only 550 today and downwind. Fisher fails to save par, falling back to -1. “We’re losing some red numbers on this board in a hurry.”
10:24:20: Mahan three putts. Mickelson is not yet in for par. He falls back to -2. And we go to commercial again. I guess we’ll assume Phil makes his putt? He must, as the usopen.com leaderboard updates his standing: T7, even par, through 8. Tiger is T9 at +1 through 12.
10:26:55: “While we were away” Glover hits a shot from that left rough, great shot to 15 feet at the seventh. Barnes from 231, walks as he hits it, kicks into the bunker. We see video of Phil making his par putt.
10:27:56: Duval, from 226, hits 6I well short where everyone else is today at the eighth. Fisher hits it where Duval did, “one club short” Johnny tells us.
10:29:10: Tiger has a 3I in his hands, from 243, to a left side pin. “Sets up so nice for a big high draw” Dottie says. Tiger swings, center of the green, 25 feet or so for eagle. He needs to make it to have any chance of doing anything. That or he needs an ace at the next hole.
10:30:17: Barnes hits his bunker shot chunky and has 12 feet for par. FAIL. Murphy: “I think he just barely hit it on the clubface.” Johnny Miller thinks Tiger’s still in it. “3 under could be in a playoff.”
10:31:48: Murphy says the audio guys said Barnes shanked it. Glover’s birdie putt misses.
10:32:40: Duval makes the long birdie putt at the eighth! He’s back to even par. True to the way he’s played the rest of the week, he’s bouncing back. Barnes tapped in for bogey. He’s -4, with Glover at -5 through seven. Tiger knows he’s got to make his eagle. Everyone else on the leaderboard has enough holes that they can just play steady golf.
10:34:31: Phil from 139 at the ninth nearly holes it! Three feet for a sure birdie to get back to -1 for the tournament. Hicks: “That wakes up the crowd, who has been behind him all week.”
10:36:38: Tiger’s eagle putt. He misses low, never high enough. Murphy thinks it “lacked an ounce of speed.” The tap-in par will get him back to even. Glover finds the popular spot at the eighth. Mahan from the bunker at the ninth saves par. Phil taps in to get to -1, T4. Tiger’s T7. Glover 1, Barnes 2, Mahan 3. Others at T4 are Hanson, Weir, and Fisher. Others at T7 are Watson and Duval.
10:39:02: Barnes from 226, with a 3I, walks quickly again after hitting it. He hits the tree and finds himself in the deep rough front right of the green. Barnes is collapsing, slowly but surely.
10:39:40: “The hitting area at 14 is like one of those little swimming pools you buy at a hardware store” says Johnny Miller. There’s a small backstop behind it, but you need some juicy spin to pull it back. It’ll swing big time if you leave it behind the pin. Tiger’s gotta fire at it. Only 127 yards today. Tiger 8 of 11, 8 of 13, and 21 putts today. Wind a little downwind. Shot is away, ball pulls back to six feet short of the pin after landing six or eight feet past the hole. Could get him to -1 before he hits up the dangerous 15-18th.
10:41:47: Barnes from the long rough short of the eighth under the gree, flops it to the back fringe. Blarg. Likely a bogey to drop him back to -3.
10:42:29: Ross Fisher at the ninth, -1, from the fairway. Puts it inside of Phil’s shot. He’ll get to -2 at the turn. Ross Fisher could win the U.S. Open? Blah. Hate me for it all you want, but Ross Fisher doesn’t play on the PGA Tour. Same with Lee Westwood. Same with Angel Cabrera for the most part – I like guys who we see on the PGA Tour rather frequently to win majors – not people we only hear from two or three times a year. Duval hits it to 12 feet at the ninth.
10:44:12: Glover’s long birdie putt from Duval range, with the flag in, comes up six feet short. “Not the leave you want” says Johnny. Weir at the 10th from 220+, with his hybrid, bounces it right onto the green and nearly jars it! It rolls out 12 feet by the cup.
10:45:29: Barnes is +4 through 7 holes and is just about to go to +5 through eight. He pulls his putt and taps in for bogey. He’ll fall back to -3. Lucas Glover has six feet for a two-shot lead. Phil hits a good drive at the tenth, way back in the fairway. Mini-popup Mark Rolfing believes. Rolfing then talks about Mahan’s “perfect personality for a U.S. Open.”
10:46:53: OK, Glover’s par putt was only five feet. He makes it. Mahan at the tenth carries Phil’s by only 10 or 15 yards – both are well back. Tough hole.
10:47:39: Tiger sizes up his six footer for par. Hicks: “He has not been under par at any point of the championship. Has a chance to do it here.” Johnny talks about his pushing putts all week and that this is a flat putt. “He and Stevie looked at it from both sides, and not just once” says Dottie. It’s in. Tiger is -1 in the final round of the U.S. Open and -2 for the day, but I have the feeling he’s really going to rue his finish in round one and the many, many missed putts this week.
10:49:09: Duval misses a birdie putt. Fisher makes. Glover’s drive runs through the fairway into the super long stuff just off the fairway at the ninth. Barnes takes the tee, two back. Hicks talks about Tiger never coming back to win a major. Barnes hits a good tee shot that draws into the hill right of the fairway bunker at the ninth.
10:50:37: Glover -5, Barnes -3, Mahan and Fisher -2, Woods, Hanson, Weir, and Mickelson at -1. Duval is alone at E.
10:52:50: Weir catches the lip at the tenth, just, and stays out. A good par. 251 for Phil Mickelson at the tenth, with a hybrid, a “very bad shot” says Rolfing. He’s in the hay well left of the green. Johnny tells us it’s the “seventh time he’s entered the final nine of the U.S. Open and he’s never broken par.”
10:53:38: Tiger stripes a drive at the 15th up the left side, fairway. Mahan from 235 (toldja it was 15 yards) finds the front corner of the green. 4.67 stroke average at the tenth.
10:54:36: Glover from the gunk right of nine. He has a go at it but he runs through the end of the fairway. “What was he trying to do there?” asks Johnny Miller. Why try to hit it that far? The pin’s up front. I can’t imagine he wouldn’t have been better off laying up to a spinnable yardage in the fairway. Barnes has a stock 8I from the upslope. Ball starts right, but he plays a draw. Ball right at the flag, bounces, but stays right in the rough just short of the green.
10:56:15: Henrik Stenson at 18, with the hole up front, makes a birdie to finish at +1. He posts +1. That has almost no chance to win unless a tornado touches down and they don’t suspend play, but he’s the leader in the clubhouse.
10:56:57: “This is one of the best breaks I’ve ever seen in a U.S. Open.” He’s on a flattened out path in the hay. Wow. It even helps that he’s left-handed as he’s on the far left side of the path.
10:57:38: The pin is right at the 15th. Couldn’t they put it in the bowl? It seems like we’ve had the same pin position at 15 in each of the four rounds. The holes must be within 10 feet of each other. Tiger hits, takes his sideways step, and goes long, over the back of the green. Johnny says it was “one club too many.”
10:58:32: Mickelson hits it to two feet. He’ll save par. The golf gods may want Phil Mickelson to win his first U.S. Open with that lucky break.
10:59:20: Glover’s third rolls out to 40 feet or so – he couldn’t get any spin on it. Duh. Mental mistake there I think. Barnes does a good job to put his third to four feet for par. Mahan’s long birdie putt comes up short, outside of Phil’s fortunate third.
11:00:50: “Lie is better than average” Dottie tells us. A bogey ends his chances, slim as they already are. We see a lot of the ball. Johnny talks about the deep soling. Tiger again chunks it out, eight feet short. “It’s the good lies that get you because it’s sitting up two inches.” Mahan’s par putt lips out. He’ll fall to T5. Mickelson taps in and stays at -1. Mahan’s back to -1.
11:02:50: Leaderboard says -5, -3, -2, and then a bunch at -1. But Glover misses for par and rolls it eight feet by. He makes the come-backer to get to -4. Duval at the tenth, balk, runners advance.
11:03:37: Seven players within 3 of the lead. Dival over-cuts his second, short and right in the bunker. Barnes holes his par putt with his shaky putting stroke.
11:04:15: Tiger with a putt that would be “a real energy vacuum if he didn’t make” says Dottie. Breaks right all the way. Tiger is lined up left. Will he push it again? Ten feet. He misses the putt by a foot! What a horrible, horrible putt. The putt snapped left – not sure what Dottie and Johnny were talking about.
11:05:21: Phil at 11, fairway metal, splits the fairway. Barnes at the difficult 10th duck hooks another one like yesterday. This time he’s in the primary rough. Guess what folks: the U.S. Open has returned. The guys are being beat up. Barnes shot 40 on the front nine; Glover shot 38. Glover finds the fairway but will still have 230 or so left. No birdies in the final round for the last pairing.
11:09:24: Mickelson from 173. Downwind still. Left, front of the green, front right hole. “Big clump of mud on the front-right part of the ball.” Ross Fisher at ten with a long birdie putt. Nearly in, easy par. Johnny: “You talk about under the radar. World rank is 29th.”
11:10:35: Mahan hits to ten feet. Chance to get to -2. Tiger at the 16th, doesn’t watch it, good swing. Center cut. Koch: “He’s gotta birdie two of the last three to have any chance.” That’d get him to -2. I still think it’s going to take at least -3.
11:11:40: Barnes has 234 to the green. He takes the aggressive route again, Koch points out. The ball comes out high. The ball rolls through the back of the green, but it was a tremendous shot to get it to the green. Koch talks about the chipping area but he’d rather be there than just about anywhere else.
11:12:33: Glover has 231 to the hole. Miller points out that Glover is -6 on the back nine this week. With a 4I, front of the green, 40 feet for birdie. Phil’s 30 footer for birdie slides by left, tap in par to stay at -1, T4. Mike Weir at 12 with a hybrid, hole playing to 4.3, finds the green 40 feet right of the hole.
11:14:06: Tiger at 16, wind pushing right and helping, with an 8I, and not a full one. Tiger stares it down, it takes a big hop, but stops quickly and 15 feet short of the cup.
11:14:40: Mahan to get to -2 from 12 feet, BANG. In. As usual, we go to commercial just as something exciting happens. Some guy’s going for the fat of the green and then dances. Do people buy still buy Top Flites? And if so, do these commercials help? (I guess it got them a mention here, so it must help a little.)
11:17:23: Barnes chips to five feet. Hunter Mahan at the 12th, crushes one right over the bunker. Tiger takes his practice strokes halfway, eyes it up from behind the hole, and Dottie tells us the putt goes right. Glover for birdie from long range, slides by right, tap-in par and a good start on the back nine.
11:18:28: Tiger still eyeing up his putt. Stevie didn’t help with this read. “Tendency has been to miss left and over-read the break” says Koch. Tiger’s putt… is rammed by six feet long and left. Over-read, over-stroked.
11:19:21: Fisher doesn’t get a bounce at 11 and finds the front rough just in front of the pin. Phil’s lengthy birdie putt misses, pars. Tiger’s par putt from six feet finds the bottom of the cup. Two to play, -1 on the day and E in the tournament. Needs a pair of birdies at the least.
11:20:35: Duval finds the green hole high 15 feet right at 11. Barnes converts his par at the tenth. Mahan is in a good pairing with Phil Mickelson at the 12th. Phil’s 30 yards past Hunter. Mahan’s caddie says “a big full five. The four, if it catches a gust, is way too much.” 223 yards. “Mudball” says Mahan. The ball hops out into the fringe, somehow.
11:22:21: Fisher saves par nicely. That ball really popped up in the air. 194 for Phil, 7I or so, doesn’t carry the ridge. “May have hit the eight” says Rolfing. Barnes hits into the heavy, heavy gunk well to the right at 11. Johnny: “That could be unplayable with the wind blowing against him.”
11:23:27: Pin middle of the green at the 17th. Tiger, 211, 4I. “Clever hole location” says Johnny. Wind slightly in and to the left. He stares at it. Dead on line, right at the hole, eight feet short. Right up the hill.
11:24:21: Glover finds the fairway. Duval’s birdie putt from 15 feet just slides by left. He’ll stay at even par. Duval will not shoot 85, he will not disappear, and this should serve as his coming back party. My how quickly that happens.
11:25:33: A five-minute gap before we switch to NBC? What’s up with that? We’re going to miss some crucial stuff – birdie putts (Tiger, Phil), Barnes’ lie at 11… way to go, ESPN and NBC. Then I remember to fire up usopen.com. They’re showing a scenic shot of the fifth hole. Great. Then they show a test pattern. Then the fifth hole again. Great.
11:29:04: Video comes back on usopen.com with Bob Costas planning things, like “after Phil go to the leaderboard, right?” Tiger only managed to par the 17th, though, the leaderboard tells us. FAIL.
11:30:40: The TV coverage begins but he pushed it right. Phil’s birdie putt at the 12th goes in and Phil gets to -2 where he started the day. I’m already thinking back to the great break Phil got at the 10th. Phil, who is on a reachable par five, is T3 with Mahan and Fisher. Weir is alone in sixth. Tiger and a few others are at T7.
11:33:39: “Not even a prayer for that putt” says Johnny as Glover’s birdie putt strays right. Tiger with a driver at the 18th, the hole is up 57 yards, and he finds the right intermediate cut just against the collar. “Maybe he’ll hole it” says Johnny Miller.
11:34:49: Barnes misses a putt, “that was a bit yippy there” says Maltby. Weir finds the green with his third the 13th. Glover -4, Barnes -3, Phil, Mahan, and Fisher at -2, Weir at -1, and Woods, Ames, Watson, and Duval at E. Tiger has the least amount of holes to play (half) in that bunch.
11:36:48: Duval pitches out of a bunker and nearly holes it. Glover at the 12th, long and straight. Weir misses his birdie putt at 13. Barnes finds the fairway at 12, right of the bunker. Fisher from the back of the green for birdie, just misses right. “He’s not going away, Bob” says Johnny.
11:38:16: Tiger with a pitch shot at the 18th. Large tuft of grass right behind the ball. Tiger puts it to 15 feet. “He’ll have a birdie look, but the 15th hole cost him this week” says Hicks.
11:38:48: Mahan hits it over the pin and into a thick lie at the 13th. He could get up and down for birdie. Phil’s even closer. Ross Fisher lips out an 18-inch putt for par! Phil’s iron from 229 gets to near tap-in range for eagle. Phil Mickelson, 2009 U.S. Open Champ?!?! I’d call it an 85% possibility at this point.
11:40:16: Afterthought Tiger at 18: misses just right. He’ll close out the week at even par. “Leader in the clubhouse,” but forget it. No chance. 74 69 68 69. Weak. Johnny: “It was all chipping and putting this week. The rest of the game was good.”
11:42:35: Glover -4, Phil, Mahan, Barnes -2 (with the near tap-in for Phil at 13), Weir and Fisher at -1, and Woods, Watson, and Duval at E.
11:43:36: Mahan with the super flop – that took balls – to five feet at the 13th. Barnes at the 12th, going left, into the heavy junk. Glover from 203, hits and steps back, back fringe and rolls onto the green. Mahan’s putt doesn’t even touch the hole. He’ll par and that may make Phil doubt his line.
11:45:01: Weir to six feet beyond the flag at the 14th. We go back to Phil’s short eagle putt – three or four feet? – at 13. Inside right the announcers agree. To tie for the lead and… it’s in! He’s -4. Murphy says “Happy Father’s Day.” That was yesterday, Bob.
11:48:22: Lucas Glover’s birdie putt is always left at the 12th. He still has a reachable par five to play, and Phil’s going to play the tiny 14th. Weir’s putt at that hole slides by high. Par, T5, -4.
11:49:26: Phil’s approach, right over the hole, long and coming back. 12 feet for birdie. Mahan finds the junk just short and right of the hole.
11:53:22: Mahan plays a great shot from the rough at 14. He’ll save par. We’re “treated” to NBC’s lame “Pin Point” technology. It can’t hold a candle to Golf Channel’s AimPoint. Phil’s putt never has a chance, and he taps in for par. The overhead view tells us his putt was more like 20 feet.
11:56:12: Glover pulls it into the rough on the 13th. Fisher knocks in his short eagle putt at the 13th to get to -3, one shot back. We didn’t see his approach, which was better than Phil’s. Johnny: “You’re going to be more famous than Susan Boyle if you win.” I google “Susan Boyle.”
11:58:09: Glover hacks out of the rough. That’s got to hurt on this hole. Weir from the rough at 15, with the hybrid again, almost finds the putting surface. Barnes goes for the green at the 13th. He doesn’t like it. He finds the center of the green, it funnels to the back, 25 feet for eagle. He’s -1.
11:59:47: Phil driving at the 15th, stares and leans, into the thick stuff left. But the ball is sitting up. Mark Rolfing calls it prematurely a “good shot.” Is there anyone in the game who mis-calls things as often as Mark Rolfing? That ball’s 15 yards outside the fairway.
12:00:29: Fisher to 30 feet at the 14th. Mahan at the 15th, quick tee pick-up, and also well left. The wind is pushing balls left there. David Duval with a sand wedge at the 14th. Dottie has fallen back to this group. Duval nearly flies it in the cup and stays above the hole. Big breaker but only six feet or so for David Duval.
12:01:53: “Glover will have two wedges in a row, and he could take it away from Mickelson if he’s successful” says Johnny. His approach is pin high in the fringe, 12 feet from birdie.
12:04:07: Shankopotamus commercial. “So I don’t have to subsidize your lack of golfing skills.”
12:05:53: Fisher nearly ties for the lead at 14. Weir’s putt at 15 moves by. Glover, for birdie, at 13. He leaves it short. Ouch, Lucas Glover. Seriously, ouch. What are you thinking?
12:06:42: David Duval, birdie at 14, -1. Only three back. Weir taps in for bogey at 15. +2 in the final round. Barnes makes a birdie at the 13th to get to -2 – the first birdie in that twosome all day.
12:07:55: Rolfing says it’s not a great lie. He has a hybrid or fairway wood from 201. Ball finds the back fringe, a “beauty for Mickelson” says Hicks. Great lie again for missing the fairway.
12:08:50: Mahan from 179, a better lie than even Phil’s, two back at -2. He finds the left side of the green and then the ball rolls back into the bowl and nearly off the front of the green.
12:10:56: Barnes at the 14th, a wedge, really long over the top of the flag. Johnny wonders why the ball isn’t spinning. They’re 3/4 shots – why would they spin? Fisher at the 15th, wind pushes it well left, into the long stuff. He’s -3 but may not stay there for long.
12:12:35: Lucas Glover takes his time at the 14th. He tugs it past Barnes’ ball and it sits in the fringe. Mahan from the bowl, comes up just short, a good putt. Tiger three-putted that one, after all. 😛
12:13:22: Phil aims 45° right of the hole. He taps it. The ball immediately moves left. He gets it to near tap-in range – there was a little bit of mud on his ball. He’s still above the hole with a delicate putt to save par, three feet. Rolfing talks about the pace. Hicks says “he has missed his share of putts of this distance in the majors.”
12:14:57: Phil Mickelson misses! He has just as long coming back for bogey. Dan Hicks shrinks. His bogey putt, up the hill, goes in. He’s -3 now.
12:16:26: Glover handles the tricky putt at 14 well and should tap in for par. Ross Fisher, from the hay at 15, has a decent lie. “He can advance it but no chance to get on the putting green” says Dottie. He hacks it up the fairway. Duval from the same spot as Phil, 5I, catches the slope and gets the hard kick to the right. He’ll have a 15 footer for birdie at the 15th, across the side slope.
12:18:07: Barnes’ birdie putt at 14 slides by high. Lucas Glover taps in for par. He leads the U.S. Open with four to play.
12:21:14: Mike Weir re-tees hitting three from the 16th as we see him walking out of the trees. His U.S. Open is over. Oh, and Tiger’s still the leader in the clubhouse, but that’s still got no chance of holding up. Not without a Winged Foot finish by about six or seven players.
12:22:00: Glover’s tee shot at 15 finds the rough right at 15. The 2½” rough. His ball appears to be sitting up as well. Phil is forced to wait at 16 for Mike Weir – this could have an impact on the outcome. Glover may have to wait as well.
12:22:42: Ross Fisher for par at 15, from a long ways back, his ball hits Duval’s coin and comes up six feet short. It bounced twice – once before the coin and once when he hit the coin. Duval didn’t learn much from that given how short Fisher left the putt.
12:23:50: Duval’s putt to get to -2. BAM! Duval goes to -2, two back of Glover and one back of Phil Mickelson!
12:24:30: Mahan off 16, a good drive, left side of the fairway. Hunter is -2. Phil, with a driver, picks up his tee. Ball is right next to Hunter’s in the fairway. BTW, Soren Hansen finished up at some point at even par to tie Tiger in the clubhouse. Officially, Henrik Stenson won’t win the 2009 U.S. Open.
12:26:15: Barnes has 206 from the left intermediate cut. He’s at -2, T3. Phil looks at the guys playing 15. He gives some thumbs-up to fans as he strolls down in his chocolate marshmallow outfit.
12:28:04: Barnes hits right at it, bounces by the stick, rolls into the fringe. Weir, we’re told, made double. He can chip in, Johnny says. Glover next to play, a “really good lie,” 194 yards. He’s aimed right, plays a big draw, urges it to go with a big swing, but he’s in the lower tier He has to putt across that bowl as the ball stays to the left.
12:29:24: Mahan from 170, 8I downwind, clanks off the flagstick and nearly moves all the way back to the front right bunker! Horrible break. Phil leaves it well short, 30 feet. Terrible break at the worst time for Mahan, -2.
12:32:52: Barnes gives his chip a good chance but it stays out. Duval drives off 16 and the marshal signals a straight ball. Well down the center of the fairway.
12:33:24: Roger Maltby explains flag tending courtesy as Glover putts from well outside where Barnes was. Glover has a long putt. He gives it a rap, it rolls well, well past the hole. He basically has the same putt that Tiger missed, the duck-hook putt.
12:34:18: Phil at the 16th, never had a chance, and rolls it well past the hole, six or seven feet. Mahan, on tape delay, nearly holed his chip but it races 10 feet by the cup. Four shots in a row all speeding by.
12:35:24: Glover misses low – better than Tiger, but still low – and three-putts the 15th. He falls to -3. Tiger’s still the leader in the clubhouse (sarcasm, guys). Mahan misses his par putt and it rolls by three feet. Barnes knocks in his par putt and sits one back at -2. With Duval and Fisher.
12:36:33: Mickelson has eight feet for par. He knocks it in. Maybe that’s a better strategy for Phil: hit every putt six or eight feet by. He seems to make those more often than he makes them from three or four feet.
12:38:02: Ross Fisher, still just one back, hits it inside of Phil’s shot at the 16th. Duval, from a yardage they don’t bother to tell us with an 8I, stares it down, tongue out, to ten feet left of the flag! Birdie gets him to -3.
12:39:13: Phil at his favorite hole on the course, perhaps, the 17th. Two birdies and a near miss birdie in round three. He birdied it in ’02 too. 5I. Stares at it, but it goes left, and comes up well short in the rough on the side of the bunker slope.
12:39:57: Barnes on 16, ball moving right, fairway pretty easily. Better swings. Mahan, -1, 4I at 17. Ball gets a forward kick but it also goes down the ridge to the right, a long ways away now as the ball collects towards one of the earlier pin positions in the right portion of the green. Glover finds the fairway off the tee at 16, just past Barnes.
12:42:09: Phil and Glover, -3. Duval, Fisher, Barnes -2. Mahan -1. Fisher’s birdie putt doesn’t break right enough, but he taps in to stay one back. Duval’s birdie putt upcoming. If he makes it I think he wins the U.S. Open. Johnny points out that he’s #1 in putts for the week.
12:43:24: Duval’s putt… IS IN!!!!! David Duval is tied for the lead at the U.S. Open with two holes to play! Three birdies in a row for Duval. It dripped in – beautiful.
12:43:58: Phil’s chip comes out, rolls out six feet short of the cup. Another short pressure putt for Phil.
12:45:46: Mahan’s birdie putt well past the hole. Barnes at 16, staring at it, well short and 30 feet away, short right. Wind didn’t help him enough I guess. Glover, 175, 8I the popular choice today. “Green light” says Johnny. Staring and leaning, nearly flies in the hole, six feet for birdie! Lucas Glover, your 2009 U.S. Open winner?
12:46:47: Mahan from outside of Phil’s par putt, hard break right, misses high. Not a great visual for Phil. Mahan has had six three-putt greens and falls back to even par. Phil’s putt… never had a chance. Bogey. -2, perhaps two shots behind Lucas Glover in a few minutes. Phil’s short putting may have just cost him another major championship. He missed several in earlier rounds, too, not just today.
12:48:44: Duval with a 4I at 17. Good strike. Staring it down, licking. Nearly in the same spot as Phil’s, but on a more level lie and closer to the green. Johnny talks about the “taser shock” that Duval must be feeling tied for the lead. Fisher, -2, also a 4I. Doesn’t like it. Misses right of the slope near Mahan’s spot, but the ball doesn’t roll away as far.
12:50:05: Phil at 18, with a driver, up 57 yards. Lashes at it. Picks up his tee. Right up the center, a chip shot remaining.
12:50:28: Barnes putts and just misses his birdie putt at the 16th. He taps in to stay at -2. Tiger’s still the leader in the clubhouse. 😉 He’s been done playing for a long time. Tiger and Hansen are the only guys on the leaderboard under par today.
12:51:57: Glover’s putt is in. He’s back to -4, leading the U.S. Open with two to play. Tricky 17th and the “gettable” 18th left to play.
12:53:43: I’m rooting against a playoff. I’ve been on the couch entirely too much this weekend. We’ve had coverage from early in the morning until dark three days in a row now.
12:54:14: Duval at the 17th, jumps firm, nearly goes in, rolls three feet past the cup. He should save par. Fisher’s birdie putt, like Mahan’s, rolls six feet by.
12:55:41: Mahan goes long at 18 from near Phil’s ball. Phil faces a second shot and he needs birdie. He nips it, deep, and it barely spins back. Not the effort Phil needed, and not a great effort at all for one of the more acclaimed short game experts. Fisher misses for par.
12:56:25: Duval, four feet for par. It lips out, firmly rejected by the hole. Ouch. Glover leads by two over Phil, David, and Barnes. Fisher is still -1. Tiger’s T6 with Hansen and Mahan. 🙂
12:57:56: Glover at 17. Two shot lead in the U.S. Open. Two to play, and the last a fairly safe par. Stares it down. Solid contact. Finds the green, left side, 25 feet from the cup. Lucas Glover is your 2009 U.S. Open Champion.
12:59:13: Barnes hits just barely inside of Glover’s ball. Phil at 18, birdie putt on its way, misses right. He’ll tap in for par and replace Tiger as the leader in the clubhouse at -2. Bogeys at 15 and 17 will cost Phil Mickelson this U.S. Open. It’s over. Phil taps in for par. We might not see Phil until the PGA (or the week before). Mahan finishes at even par.
13:00:48: Duval with a fairway wood at the 18th. Left intermediate cut. Johnny thinks that’s an advantage, “cushion under the ball.” Glover’s best finish in the majors: T20th at The Masters. First time in a U.S. Open he’s made the cut. Got in as a sectional qualifier. Got in at Columbus after The Memorial. Most recent qualifier to win was Michael Campbell.
13:02:26: Johnny: “Tiger is watching this thing thinking ‘I could have won this thing half blindfolded. What did I do?'”
13:02:49: Glover at the 17th, 25 feet from the cup, left side of the green (from the tee). Putt on its way, just barely inside the throw-up zone, three or four feet. He’ll knock it in – he’s a gamer.
13:03:42: Barnes got a read. He’s still at -2, could get to -3 with this one. Putt dies short and right – lame effort when you trail by two at the U.S. Open. But even Johnny “is nervous.”
13:04:26: Duval’s caddie says “good thoughts.” He backs away. He says “knock it right in the hole.” 60 to the front, 65 total. -2, two back. We go back to Glover.
13:04:56: Glover’s par putt at the 17th. Backs off with a big breeze. Crowd oooohs. Back to Duval.
13:05:13: Up the hill, long, deep, no spin back. Johnny: “Genius hole location, with U.S. Open pressure, guys can not dial down enough.”
13:05:24: Glover. In. Two shot lead with one to play. There’s your winner.
13:06:32: 354 yard hole today. Does he hit two seven irons to avoid any and all trouble? He has a two-shot lead. Duval’s not making his birdie putt (though, for the sake of interest, I wish he would).
13:08:04: Duval’s putt slides by right. Two shot lead, Lucas Glover, 72nd hole of the U.S. Open. The top five finishers all had the “good side of the draw,” I’ll point out.
13:08:57: Glover with a 6I. Johnny: “Just the opposite of Van de Velde. This has some intelligence in it.” Glover finds the fairway to the right side. Johnny: “A very intelligent shot.”
13:10:11: Tiger’s quote should be “Doesn’t even par always win the U.S. Open?” Duval finishes out his par, T2, -2. Barnes hits a driver. Maltby calls it a “bullet” but it’s about 30 yards short of where Phil’s ball ended up.
13:12:57: Lucas Glover is going to shoot 73 or 74 and win the U.S. Open. 9I to the deep left fringe. Three putts wins him the U.S. Open.
13:15:38: Barnes almost “dialed it down enough” and has 20 feet for birdie.
13:17:43: Glover’s birdie putt creeps to three feet.
13:19:53: Barnes nearly holes his birdie putt. Just misses left, may have caught the edge slightly. Glover can now two-putt to win. Stage is all his. Three or four feet.
13:20:22: Lucas Glover makes the putt, finishes at -4, and is the 2009 U.S. Open Champion.
Pos Player Total --- ------ ----- 1 Glover -4 T2 Barnes -2 T2 Mickelson -2 T2 Duval -2 5 Fisher -1 T6 Woods E T6 Hansen E T6 Mahan E