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U.S. Open Won by Angel Cabrera

Angel Cabrera wins the US Open holding off Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk by a single stroke. Cabrera shot a final round 69, his second of the eight under par rounds all week. Several players made runs at the top, including Steve Stricker, who led at the turn but doubled both 10 and 11 enroute to a tie for 13th with 3rd round leader Aaron Baddeley. Baddeley shot a 80 beginning with a 3 putt triple bogey from 8 feet on the first hole. Woods and Furyk had chances but couldn’t get it done while Cabrera did and that in the end was the difference.

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Angel Cabrera closed with a one under 69 to hold off Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk be a stroke in winning the 107th US Open at Oakmont.  Cabrera was the only golfer in the field to shoot two rounds under par, and the second  Argentinian to win a major title.  He was the golfer hitting the best shots for the entire round.

Aaron Baddeley started the day with a two stroke lead which he promptly gave away with a three putt triple bogey, from eight feet, on the first hole.  Things went downhill for the young Australian from there as he finished with a round of 80 tied for thirteenth.  Steve Stricker had a share of the lead at the turn but double bogeyed both the tenth and eleventh holes enroute to a 76 and a tie with Mr. Baddeley.  Steven Ames who was in the hunt early also faded to a 76 and a tie for tenth with Paul Casey and Justin Rose, both of whom also shot 76.

Mr. Cabrera finished before Mr. Woods and Mr. Furyk and watched on television as first Mr. Furyk gave back a stroke on the seventeenth hole when he hit driver too far and made bogey. Said Mr. Furyk, "I had a lot of opportunities,it just didn’t work out." Mr. Woods had his chances but didn’t make a birdie over his last 32 holes.  Unlike Mr. Cabrera he couldn’t make the shots when he needed them. "He put a lot of pressure on Jim and I, and we didn’t get it done," said Woods who for the second major in a row started in the last group and couldn’t finish on top. 

Mr. Cabrera may not have been on anyone’s list of potential winners when the week started, or even when he was the leader after round two, but he played like a champion on a course that required exactly that kind of play.  Last month at the European Tours’ BMW Championship he blew a chance to win on the back nine by topping a tee shot.  Today he make a birdie two at the 300 yard par 3 eighth and a birdie 3 at the 499 yard par 4 with an iron shot who’s quality appeared to surprise even him.  Even though he three putted the sixteenth for a bogey and bogeyed the seventeenth on the eighteenth he hit a perfect tee shot followed by a marvelous iron and two good putts to par the toughest hole on the course.  "He just kept himself calm," caddie Eddie Gardino said. "He might go and win the British Open, because he knows he can do it."

What fun it was to watch the best players in the world play golf the way I do, having chances at birdie and missing, saving pars, or not and thus score bogey, and get into such bizarre places that a double bogey or worse is the outcome.  This is the only tournament where I can truly relate to the game they are playing. The difficulty of the game is equalized by the brutality of the course.  Good stuff! As Johnny Miller said during the telecast, "It’s really tough to win a US Open!"  Amen to that sir.

Congratulations to Mr. Cabrera!  For the first time since Roberto de Vincenzo won the British Open in 1967 the Argentinian people have a Major Champion to celebrate.  What a worthy winner is he. 

 

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  1. slider

    Dec 16, 2015 at 10:03 am

    the good old days

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5 Things We Learned: Thursday at the U.S. Open

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I’ve posted on social media that I’m not convinced that the viewing public is ready for three U.S. Open tournaments at Pinehurst #2, over a twelve-year span. I like the course and I love the sandhills, but the deuce is not a visually-stunning course. The topography, with the exception of holes four and five, is flattish. Flattish not in an Old Course way. Flattish in a where’s-the-movement way. I have erred in judgment, and it is possible that the television audiences will take to Donald Ross’ masterpiece in a manner that I did not anticipate.

This much I do know: many players took to the course with great affection on Thursday, aka Day One. Scores got as low as 65, and twenty golfers finished day one under par. This was not an easy day for scoring, either. With the exception of holes nine and ten, no other hole location could be labeled center of green. Competitors were forced to play to safe sides of putting surfaces, and encourage the putter to make a statement. Certainly, the USGA could make the targets even more precise, but chances are, they won’t.

What to expect? Hard to say, but five things that we do know, are elaborated below. Welcome to mid-June, and another US Open championship at Pinehurst. Welcome to five things we learned on day one of the 2024 US Open.

1. Is Patty Ice chillin’ again?

It’s hard to fathom that Patrick Cantlay has not won since August of 2022. In 2023, his performance for Team USA’s Ryder Cup side was decent, but not glowing nor glorious. With the rise of new talents, Captain America 2.0 has been relegated to an afterthought. It used to be When will he win a major and now it’s Will he win again. This week at Pinehurst, Cantlay might answer both questions with vigorous affirmation.

Cantlay was nearly flawless across the gem of Moore county. His 7:40 tee time was a boon, as the course was soft, windless, and untrampled. His only bogey came at the 15th hole, where his tee ball found sand and he was unable to get up and down for the sandy. His six birdies came at the first and last holes of the day, along with the fifth, sixth, eighth, and eleventh holes.

Solid Quote:  “I got the ball up and down on 7, made a bunch of putts inside, eight feet. I think around this golf course, you’re going to leave yourself putts inside eight feet. That four- to eight-foot range. It important that you hole out. I did that well today.”

2. The Oh-Bear stakes his claim

After we all mispronounced his name for the first six months of his professional career, we go to know the Oh-Bear when he won on tour and then earned statement victories at the 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy. On Thursday at number two, Ludvig Aberg signed for a 66 and reminded us all that he is a strengthening force in the world of golf. Aberg won last September on the DP World Tour, then again in November on the PGA Tour. In April, the Swedish lad posted a brilliant, runner-up finish at Augusta National, in the year’s first major championship.

Thursday saw a sextet of birdies wander onto Ludvig’s symphony. Like Cantlay, he made birdie at the first and the last. Holes five, nine, eleven, and twelve also surrendered stroke-savers. His hiccoughs came on the par-three sixth and the par-four fourteenth, where he made bogey. Aberg never appears to lose control nor confidence, and that system will serve him well over the next three days. Like Cantlay, Aberg will tee off in the afternoon wave on Friday. Both will see different course conditions, and their ability to adapt will serve them quite well.

Solid Quote: “Yeah, I think staying very disciplined is important. There’s a lot of pins where you don’t really think about going for. So me and Joe, my caddie, we have a lot of good conversations about certain areas that you try to hit it on.”

3. Peacock rides two eagles to three-under 67

Matthieu Pavon’s last name might translate as peacock from French, but eagles were his bird of choice on day one at Pinehurst. The first-time winner on the PGA Tour made but one birdie on the day, on the par-four eighth hole. He had twice as many bogeys, but that’s not his story. His day was made on the 5th and 10th holes, the two long holes at Pinehurst number two.

In his words, Pavon made his four best swings on the par five holes. He converted both eagle putts to save four more strokes, and ended his day at three-under par. Pavon transitioned from the courses of Europe to the layouts of the USA this season, and his learning curve has softened with each week. Pinehurst will provide as much challenge as any peacock needs, but this bird is already playing with house money.

Solid Quote: “It’s more about seeing breaks because when it’s slower, when you have less break, the ball doesn’t move as much as here. Here it’s really — it’s steep, it’s fast, it’s grainy, so the ball moves quite a lot. You have a lot of curves on the green.”

4. Rory roars to top

Can you say Clean card? Rory McIlroy went 18 holes at Pinehurst #2 without a bogey. He drove the ball supremely well, and putted with surgical precision. We all know the good news that came out of his personal world this week, so we can put Rory the person on the back burner, and focus entirely on Rory the golfer.

McIlroy was in the featured, afternoon triumvirate, with the two most recent major champions. Do you think he had something to prove? Aye. While the Masters champion managed a 71, and the PGA champion posted 70, Rory was the class of the 1:14 tee time. His birdies at four and five gave him early confidence, and his work on the inward half boosted him into his tie at the top. A birdie at ten restarted the momentum, and the Northern Irishman closed with two more birdies over the final three holes.

Solid Quote: “You’ve got to get lucky. I had a lot of really good numbers today where I could just go ahead and hit full shots. Whenever you’re hitting full shots into these greens, the ball is going to stop a little quicker than if you have to take something off or hit little three-quarter shots.”

5. Bryson stays the course and stays top five

The 2020 US Open champion, despite a well-publicized defection to a rival league, has been the most successful, non-PGA Tour golfer of late in majors. DeChambeau has done everything but win, finding top-seven finishes in each of this season’s grand slam events.

DeChambeau began his day on the second nine, where five of the top seven golfers opened their round. Birdies at 13 and 18 brought him through the turn at minus-two. Two more stroke-savers at three and five elevated him to within a shot of the lead. Even though he stumbled with bogey five at the seventh, DeChambeau finished the day at minus-three. Bryson will tee off at 7:40 on Friday, and much like Rory, will have a chance to post a number early and position himself for a weekend charge.

Solid Quote: “That putt on 6 today was crucial from 80 feet. I could have easily putted off the green as well as No. 9. Really making sure my speed control is good, starting lines are good. I did accomplish for the most part what I was trying to do today besides 7.”

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Morning 9: Tiger gets Bob Jones Award | Record U.S. Open purse | PGA Tour-PIF announcement next week?

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Thursday morning, golf fans, as day one of the U.S. Open gets underway!

1. Tiger accepts USGA’s Bob Jones Award

Ron Driscoll for the USGA…”Tiger Woods began competing in USGA championships at age 14, which is the same age that Bob Jones was when he competed in his first U.S. Amateur. It’s far from the only characteristic that Woods shares with the namesake of the USGA’s highest honor, which Woods received on Tuesday evening before the 2024 U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club…”

  • “…In accepting the award, Woods called Jones “the greatest amateur who ever lived. All the attributes that we all try to aspire to in this great game of golf, that is what Bob Jones exuded.”
  • “Woods went on to honor his mother, Kultida, but not before joking that the first USGA event she attended was his final U.S. Amateur in 1996. Having won five straight USGA events, he said the pressure was enormous. “There she was in a Stanford sweatshirt; imagine if I had lost? But who did I hug first after I won, right, Mommy?”
  • “My mom doesn’t get enough credit,” Woods said. “It was Dad and I on the road, but my mom has been there my entire life, has always been there through thick and thin. I accept this award with humbleness and in unbelievable regard for the past recipients, but I also accept it for my mom, too. She allowed me to get here, to do these things, to chase my dreams, with support and love. I didn’t do this alone, I had the greatest rock that any child could possibly have. Thank you, Mommy.”
Full piece.

2. U.S. Open purse now stands at $21.5 million

Golf Channel staff…”This week’s U.S. Open offers a $21.5 million purse with the winner earning $4.3 million. That’s up from $20 million ($4 million to winner) a year ago.”

  • “It’s the largest purse among the four men’s majors, with The Players Championship paying $25 million.”
Full piece.

3. Pathway for top LIV players into future U.S. Opens?

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”For three years, the major championship bodies – Augusta National, USGA, PGA of America and R&A – have been reluctant to give players who joined LIV Golf a pathway into their events. But on Wednesday at Pinehurst, USGA CEO Mike Whan offered those players hope.”

  • “We’re going to talk about it this offseason, whether or not there needs to be a path to somebody or somebodies that are performing really well on LIV that can get a chance to play in that way,” Whan said. “I think we are serious about that. Exactly what that looks like and how that’ll curtail, I’m not just being coy, we haven’t done that yet.”
Full piece.

4. USGA looking at drivers?

Mike Stachura for Golf Digest…??”When the USGA and R&A announced in December that there would be a change in the way golf balls were tested that would make most models nonconforming, resulting in an estimated distance loss of as much as 15 yards at the elite level, it was seen as a way to penalize the fastest swingers in all of golf (top men professionals) while offering lesser and potentially inconsequential penalties at the recreational golfer level. While a similar rollback for the driver was contemplated in the early days of the ruling bodies’ research, that interest eventually waned, said Mike Whan, USGA CEO.”

  • “Yet during his U.S. Open-week press conference on Wednesday at Pinehurst No. 2, Whan talked about the distance deliberations and conversations with R&A CEO Martin Slumbers and indicated that the driver is still in the rollback crosshairs.”
  • “I would say comfortably speaking for both Martin and I, we had and have a real interest in figuring out a way to provide a difference as it relates to the driver, as well,” Whan said. “To date, we didn’t really come up with something that wouldn’t have a much more negative effect on the recreational game. What we did on the golf ball is going to have much more of an impact at [the elite] level than at the average level. When we started talking about changes in the driver or driving equipment, it was just the opposite. Much more significant impact across the board than just at the elite level.”
Full piece.

5. Last chance for Olympic spots

Nick Zaccardi for NBC Sports…”The U.S. Open is also a scramble for the last Olympic men’s golf spots in Paris.”

  • “After Sunday’s final round, the 60-player Olympic men’s field will be determined based on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). The women’s field will be drawn from the Rolex Rankings after the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week.
  • “A nation can qualify up to four golfers per gender if they are all ranked in the top 15 in the world. A nation can qualify up to two golfers if any are ranked outside the top 15.
Full Piece.

6. Nelly’s proudest moment of 2024

Beth Ann Nichols for Golfweek…”Nelly Korda, a six-time winner on tour this season, says she was never more proud of herself this season than the U.S. Women’s Open. That might sound strange, given that she made a 10 on a par 3 and didn’t play the weekend.”

  • “But Korda is wise enough to see past the score.
  • “I’m not going to say that I was happy with the way I played,” she said. “I was happy with the way I fought. I fought really, really, hard to make the cut.”
Full Piece.

7. Bettors loving Scheffler

Doug Greenberg for ESPN…”The central betting story going into the U.S. Open is the same as it was before the Masters and the PGA Championship: Scottie Scheffler is an overwhelming favorite and is seeing some of the shortest odds for a major since prime Tiger Woods.

  • “The 27-year-old opened the week at +300 at ESPN BET and has been bet down to +290; across the marketplace, he’s as short as +250. It’s the shortest odds for any golfer to win the U.S. Open since Woods in 2007 (+250).”
  • “Despite the extremely short odds, Scheffler is still attracting a very healthy number of tickets and even more handle.”
Full Piece.

8. PGA Tour-PIF announcement next week?

9. U.S. Open photos

  • Check out all of our galleries from this week’s major event!
Full Piece.
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Equipment

Spotted: Phil Mickelson testing Callaway’s mini driver

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There is some serious equipment testing going on at Pinehurst’s legendary No. 2 course before the 2024 U.S. Open starts! We spotted renowned club tinkerer Phil Mickelson on the range with a new setup. He was testing out the new Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver with a new Mitsubishi Diamana BB (Blue Board) shaft.

Phil has long been a mini driver/2-wood/strong 3-wood guy, as he was the inspiration for the Callaway “Phranken Wood” about 10 years ago. For many pros, adding a strong 3-wood or mini driver allows them to turn it over easier and add a more consistent draw to their bag off the tee without losing too much distance.

Mitsubishi’s Diamana BB is the newest mid-launch shaft in the Diamana line. The “BB” on the shaft of course references the iconic Blue Board shafts from 20 years ago and this model will have a similar smooth feel.

 

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