Yesterday was a huge day for many golfers around the country, as the sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open took place in 11 locations around the USA. Here’s a list of who made it by sectional. I’ll post a few big names who did not make it as well. An (a) in front of the player’s name denotes that the player is an amateur.
Ball Ground, GA
(a) Brett Patterson
(a) Russell Henley
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WE’VE HAD SOME TIME TO LET THINGS MARINATE FOR A BIT: WHAT ARE THE IMPRESSIONS FROM THE US OPEN THAT YOU THINK WILL STAY WITH YOU THE LONGEST?
Stefan – Pebble continues to be one of the most beautiful places in all of golf. Great win for McDowell. I’ve liked him since watching him with Rory in the World Cup last year. I go back and forth on that 14:th hole, whether it’s fair or if now and then professional golfers can just stop the whining and play the thing. Tom Watson walking up 18 was very memorable. I still maintain Tiger is not far away from being his usual world-beating self.
Jack – I thought it was a pretty memorable US Open. I love Pebble to death and, no matter how much players whinge about it, I still feel the same: you just can’t beat that place as a Major Championship venue. Woods is not himself, but I love the fact that he still has the ability to put the spark and electricity back into a tournament and its galleries with one round. Anyway, this one was all about McDowell for me. He left himself enough breathing room to make a few mistakes on Sunday, and walked away the worthy winner.
Jeff – I think this year’s US Open was great. You can’t get a better venue than Pebble Beach, and having Tom Watson there made it that much more memorable. It was great to see him not only be there because of his history at Pebble/US Open, but because he deserved to be and played quite well, all things considered.
That 14th hole is insane and I’m up in the air if it’s fair or not. I’ve heard fom Tour players that they say while it’s unbelievably difficult, it’s also very fair. But maybe it’s those guys just not wanting to make waves! I also thought the little 7th hole added some excitement. Nowhere else in the world do you see a 100 yard par 3 give the best players in the world such a headache. It was great to see Graeme McDowell play well and hold off the big guns of Woods, Mickelson, and Els. He’s been knocking on the door for a while and it was nice to see him break through. Hopefully the 2010 Open will be remembered more for his steady play under pressure, than Dustin Johnson’s complete meltdown.
Tony – I thought it was a good open but not a great one. I loved how the USGA had Pebble prepared, with the long grass around the bunkers and the difficulty level of the greens. The cool thing about this course’s length and setup was that it brought the whole field into play, not just the bombers. That being said a bomber (Dustin Johnson) was on the brink of winning the thing until he realized he was leading the US OPEN on Sunday and completely lost it. When he hit that shank/flop on #2 I knew he was toast. I almost fell out of my chair.
Regarding 14, I’m of the belief that it was fine. If all the players play the same hole in the same conditions that is fair. I personally like US OPEN golf and seeing the big boys struggle. It makes me feel like they’re actually human. I wonder how much easier 14 would have been if the players could have played it with square grooved wedges?
What I thought was most notable on Sunday was that everyone at the top of the leaderboard, including McDowell, gagged. Nobody within reach made a run at it. It was just that McDowell gagged the least and calmed himself down enough to pull it off on the back nine. Tiger, Phil and especially Ernie all had good chances to win the thing but they all made mistakes. Both Tiger and Phil had terrible putting days. It sounds like a broken record, but Tiger’s putting was “not Tiger like.” Phil has been hot and cold in US OPEN with his putting historically so it wasn’t as big of a surprise to me.
The one person who didn’t gag and was very impressive was Gregory Havret, who shot the best final round of those on page one of the leaderboard. His swing looked as good as any I’ve seen. I wonder if that was a flash in the pan or if we’ll see more of him.
I love Tom Watson. I followed Tom around on Tuesday at this year’s Masters practice round. He was so cool and nice. I think it is amazing that he made the cut in a US OPEN at that age and it shows how much of a stud he is.
WHERE DO YOU THINK TIGER’S GAME IS AT THIS TIME, AND HOW DO YOU THINK HE’LL DO THIS YEAR AND IN THE FUTURE?
Graeme McDowell is the 2010 US OPEN champ
A few thoughts before I hit the hay from a long weekend of golf, Father’s Day and the US OPEN.
Nobody seemed to want to win this thing. Everyone melted down. It seemed that the person who wanted to lose this thing the least won.
Gregory Havret was impressive and didn’t melt like I thought. He logged a solid 2nd place finish and could have sent the thing into a playoff if he could have birdied the final hole rather than parring it.
Graeme Mcdowell didn’t gag either. At least he gagged less than the rest of the field. Keeping his lunch down better than everyone else got him a US OPEN win.
Phil Mickelson lost two shots to par today, and lost considerable ground. He and Ernie Els sit seven shots from Dustin Johnson’s lead of -6. Tiger Woods fired a 66 to put himself in the 3rd spot on the leaderboard, five shots back. In solo second is Graeme McDowell, three shots back.
Tiger Woods is five back. Does he have enough game right now to make up the lead? Typically leaders don’t run away and hide on Sunday at a US OPEN.
Graeme McDowell is three back and will be playing in the final group. I don’t expect him to win, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him shoot a round in the high 70’s under the pressure of the situation.
Phil Micelson and Ernie Els have a remote chance if they go low and Dustin Johnson gags.
Mike Weir had a ton of media coverage on Thursday after shooting a round of 71. Since then he’s followed it up with rounds of 79 and 83.
Tom Watson must have found the golf fountain of youth. He’s T16 going into Sunday. Very cool.
Leader Dustin Johnson knows how to do one thing: win at Pebble Beach. He’s leading the field in driving distance at over 325 and also in greens in regulation. The difference is that this is a major championship. Typically players who haven’t been in this position before melt down. Will DJ melt and gain “experience” for next time or can he hold on to his three shot lead? Tomorrow will be interesting.
Every US OPEN there is whining about holes being unfair. Puhlease… the test is the same for all players.
Lucas Glover proved today that he has the biggest kahunas in golf by winning the US OPEN. Glover was very smart in playing conservatively on the last hole to protect his lead.
HOG congratulates you Lucas. Your life will never be the same.
David Duval quote of the day
David Duval had a hell of a showing and realistically could have won, despite having a triple bogey on his first hole.
In the post round interview when asked what his performance meant to him he said, “maybe people will stop asking me if I’m playing well.”