The 108th United States Open Championships got to be one of the most exciting tournaments I have ever seen in my years as a dedicated golf fan.
The Course standing host for this venue was Torrey Pines (south course) San Diego, California.
A course where Tiger Woods feel like home, he has played this course many times and he has won on it. 4 consecutive victories in the Buick Invitational, that every year is played at Torrey Pines must make Tiger even more of a favourite to win when the U.S Open arrives here for the first time?
All though Tiger has been away from play for a while due to a knee operation, and we did see this effect his game in this first tournament after the procedure.
Thursday and Friday at the Pines:
The first two days many players switched places, many fell down the leaderboard and many climbed it.
You also think while watching you can decide which players will remain up and who will drop down, but looks can be decieving.
Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Adam Scott, Ernie Else. All known players still in contention after 36 holes. Players you’re sure of will stay up the leaderboard till Sunday afternoon and be in the rally to become the champion. Phil and Adam dropped down big time on Saturday, Davis and Ernie dropped out later, middle of Sunday’s round. But other players proved them selves instead, names like Rocco Mediate, Lee Westwood, D.J Trahan, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Robert Karlsson took a place at the top instead making Tigers life misserable.
This is what I wrote infor and during the 3rd round:
Wow I say!
Robert Karlsson is getting teamed up with the world number 1 Tiger Woods. Andb eing teamed up with Tiger will definitely mean that there will be a lot of audience following around the course, since Tiger Woods probably is the main attraction!
This is an unusual situation for the 39 year old Swede, you would think he has been through most things possible on a golfcourse, but he has never been this high up the field in an American major.
There will be a lot of screaming and howling on Torry Pines all from the afternoon till the evening when the players are closing in on the clubhouse.
Hopefully Robert will stand up for the pressure of being one of the top players in this weeks venue.
One would think that with his long experience there is nothing that can get him off balance, but this is not a normal situation, no way near it!
Teaming up with a Tiger that has been injured lately, a Tiger full of revench and a Tiger longing for his next major victory!
But on the other hand Robert has come so far in to his career as a golfer that he has got nothing left to prove, at least not in my opinion.
And if you take in to concederation the last few weeks Robert has played on the European tour it looks pretty good!
His streak the 4 weeks he played before the U.S Open was 3, T3, T3 and 2nd. No wonder he needed a week off before this great battle. And lets not forget that Robert ended in 8th place in the U.S Masters at Augusta National earlier this year. Impressively enough he is maintaining his form even this week and looks to be a contender for a top spot at this venue aswell!
The coming up Ryder cup in september is also a tournament where Robert will appear, and so he shall. 28th on the world ranking and 2nd place on the order of merit speak for them selves, Robert Karlssons progress this season is not luck, it’s experience, consistensy and a lot of hard work that is behind his success.
One of the goals he must have set up for him self now must be to end up on the top spot on the order of merit. And a top position in the U.S Open will definetly bring him 1 step closer.
For you who wonder why I speak so much about Robert Karlsson, I am a member in the same golfclub as he is, we are born and raised in the same city and of course his success is a joy for me!
Robert Karlsson did a fantastic job this week as well and his phenomenal streak continues. It is now 3rd, Tied for 3rd, Tied for 3rd and 2nd, add to that a 4th place here att the Open and not to forget the 8th place at the U.S Masters in April. Very well done Robert who has a chance of winning the order of merit on the european tour this season.
Going to be interesting to see if Robert can continue his streak and maintain his form even after this event. Next time he’ll be up against this many Americans will be in the Ryder Cup later on this year.
Of course Robert was 1 of the main contenders after 54 holes, but he was not the only one. Names like Ernie Else, Geoff Ogilvy, Rocco Mediate, Lee Westwood and Davis Love III amongst others where not far behind Tiger determened to chase him down to the limit!
A few of the mentioned players followed the leading group hole by hole, but one and one they dropped off. Rocco Mediate went to an early 4th round lead due to Tigers really bad start. Most of the last round Rocco and Englishman Lee Westwood was the top duo. Allthough Lee dropped off leaving Rocco as an alone leader all the way to where this championship most often is decided.
Rocco Mediate missing a lot of putts on Sunday that he has pottet most of during the week, and Tiger struggeling more than usual on his aproach shots, it came to be a dicisive last hole. Tiger and Lee Westwood teeing off knowing they have to make birdie to force a play off at Monday.
Both players driving to each side fairway bunker.
Tiger not hitting a very good shot from the bunker, angry throwing his club. Lee laying up perfectly for his 3rd.
Tigers ball laying badly in the rough, making his brillant shot even more impressive. 10-12 feet downhill lie. Lee ends up further away from Tiger but still in with a chance aswell.
Lee first to putt, fast putt with a swing at the end left to right. But he doesn’t hit it enough and it slides by.
Tiger and Mediate playoff or Mediate winner? World number 1 is making that decision. You can feel the tension around the 18th green as Tiger takes his stance. He hits it, good speed moving from the right and dropping at right center of the hole for the needed birdie. Tiger does not make his normal fistpump, he makes a double fistpump screaming out of happiness. He just forced a playoff against Rocco Mediate, the 45 year old 158th world ranked player. Rocco standing in the clubhouse watching Tiger’s final putt, and as it rolls in he says, I knew he’d make it, not with the happiest face I’v seen.
After 91 holes the championship ended, Tiger was 3 strokes ahead of Rocco after 10 holes, but as Tiger put it “3 strokes is not a lot on this course”. And Rocco did make 3 birdies in a row starting at 13. Rocco went 1 better on Tiger at 15th and stayed 1 better “almost” all the way. Tiger hit the green on 2 at the 18th which gave him the advantage. Tiger missed his eagle putt leaving Rocco with a putt for the championship, he missed it and the players had left them selves putts you do not want in a decisive situation. Both player nailed their putts, Tiger for birdie and Rocco for par at the last.
The 91st hole. They went back to nr 7, a par 4 on which Tiger made birdie earlier. Tiger puts some preasure on Rocco by laying up nicely on the right hand side of the fairway, Rocco drives his ball into the bunker. There was a distant chance left for Rocco to share the 91st as Tiger left his birdie just half a roll short. But Rocco missed his par putt and the champions name is again Tiger Woods.
Rocco Mediate climbed 111 places on the world ranking to 47th spot.
This was the 3rd time ever a sudden death was needed to determine the winner in the U.S Open history.
Tiger’s 7th win on the Torrey Pines golf course!
Tiger’s has 14 out of 14 possible major victories starting as a leader on the last round.
Tiger made 4 double bogeys, most ever for him in a single tournament.
Tiger Woods just recently had a 3rd knee operation, and Thursdays round was his first 18 hole round in a couple of months. And he was in great pain.
How does he do it?
How good is this guy?