With a little luck, Tiger Woods’ sizzling 66 on Saturday could have given him a legitimate chance to win his fourth U.S. Open title. All he needed were a few birdies early in Sunday’s final round to pressure relative wannabees Graeme McDowell and Dustin Johnson.
Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els were also in the mix, but Mickelson has never won the Open, and Els hasn’t won it since Congressional in 1997.
McDowell’s resume is relatively thin in “major” competition. He finished 10th in the 2009 PGA Championship, and has just five European Tour titles in his eight-year career.
Johnson, who led by three over McDonnell as Sunday’s round began, has won three PGA Tour events, the last two at Pebble, and the 2008 Turning Stone Resort Championship.
France’s Greg Havret, who’s playing his first U.S. Open, has surprisingly stayed in contention all day.
It was Woods who could have coasted to the title, especially since the contenders left the door open with spotty play.
Johnson was finished after a seven-over par front nine and everyone else, with the exception of McDowell and Havret, was over par as the tournament came down the stretch.
But Tiger started off with a bogey at one, then added bogeys at four, six, eight, ten, and twelve. Tiger was finished for the day, left to ponder his inconsistent golf swing and balky putter. However, most golf fans are confident he will correct both by next month’s British Open.
McDowell parred the final hole to win the Open by one over Havret, despite a final round of 74.