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Michael Thompson walks off the 18th green on Sunday at The Olympic Club. He finished in a tie for 2nd with Graeme McDowell.
Typically, guys like John Peterson—ranked in the high 800s in the world according to the NBC Sunday broadcast—don't contend for that long at a major championship.
Same goes for guys like Michael Thompson, who himself came into the tournament totally under the radar.
On Sunday, these two little-known pros who had to weather a local qualifier to get to San Francisco were threatening to make a big major statement.
Peterson was particularly improbable, especially coming off of a tie for 61st at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. It was quite the quick turnaround from that event, to qualifying, to Olympic.
Anyway, Peterson was a short birdie miss on par-three 15th and an edge-burner for eagle on 17 away from a playoff with Webb Simpson.
Not to mention, Peterson suffered through five three-putts on Saturday.
Despite no major experience and bad form with the most important club in the bag when contending for a U.S. Open, Peterson hung tough all day.
Thompson put together the two best individual rounds of the Open. He played the best of anyone in the field on Sunday and posted a two-over in the clubhouse after a three-under 67.
Until Webb Simpson came in, it looked like Thompson's score might hold up. He blasted a short birdie putt past the hole on 17 for birdie that wound up sealing his fate.
It seemed the essence of the truly "open" nature of the tournament was captured more this week than in recent memory.
The fact that these two heavy underdogs even played in the 2012 Open was a long shot in and of itself.
The fact that both had a legitimate chance to win further highlighted a wonderful aspect to the championship itself.