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THE FINAL ROUND began with Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson within striking distance of the lead. When frontrunner Dustin Johnson stumbled mightily out of the gates giving back six shots in the fi rst four holes, the door was kicked wide open for the 1st, 2nd and 6th ranked players in the world. With 21 major victories under their belts the fi nal round seemed destined to be a fi nish for the ages. Mickelson birdied the fi rst

but was unable to fi nd a con- sistent putting stroke or notch another birdie to make up more ground. Missed birdie chances from inside 12 feet on the second and third holes followed by a 15-foot eagle opportunity that two putts later turned into a defl ating par cost the lefthander a real chance at his fi rst U.S. Open title. The crowd favorite still made the turn at one-under for the day but three bogeys on the back nine resulted in a fourth-place fi nish. “It was frustrating because I had opportunities. All I had to do was shoot even par on the back, and I’m in a playoff,” he said. A fl awless second-round 66 was the high- light of the week characterized by missed putts. Woods entered the fi nal

round with momentum from a scorching back-nine 31 Saturday to get himself into contention. The capacity crowd expected fi st pumps and elec- tricity but the energy evaporat- ed with sloppy bogeys on Nos. 1, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 leading to a four-over par 75. The world’s number 1 cited mental errors as the downfall for his struggles. The only thing reminiscent of his astounding 15-stroke victory at Pebble Beach 10 years ago was Steve Williams on the bag and the red Nike shirt. Els came the closest of the



big three to capturing the title. With birdies on three of his fi rst six the two-time Open winner found himself tied for the lead. A par-save from above the hole on the treacherous eighth seemed like a major-winning putt but the South African

28 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2010

came undone with pushed tee shots on Nos. 9 and 10 with the Pacifi c looming. Els played holes 9-11 in four-over and missed a four-footer on 16 to squander his chances and settle for third place alone. While inconsistent ball strik-

ing and balky putters let down the three world beaters, it was Gregory Havret (ranked 391st) who displayed fi nal-round precision and calm en route to

$ 1,338,293 WAITING ON THE BUS

While almost all tournament operations went smoothly, spectators attending Thurs- day’s fi rst round experienced delays exceeding three hours in some cases while waiting for a shuttle bus to return to their cars parked at the tournament lot at CSU Monterey Bay. A reported 70-80 buses

were in service, well below what was necessary at the peak time of 6:00-8:00 p.m. Because of a prohibition on outside food and water as well as cell phones, attendees were left cold, hungry and without a means of communication. Pebble Beach and USGA

offi cials increased the number of buses to 160 on Friday and for the rest of the event, fi xing the issue. “We apolo- gize. We messed up and we’re up here trying to make amends,” Pebble Beach Senior Vice President for Golf RJ Harper told the Monterey Herald. “We took action immediately to make sure the situation didn’t happen again.”



a second-place fi nish. The missed opportunities by Els, Woods and Mickelson (they combined for a +9 fi nal-round total) possibly helped eventual Open winner McDowell breathe easier down the stretch: “No disrespect to Gregory, he’s a great player. But when you’ve got Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els up there, you’re not expect- ing Gregory Havret to be the guy you’ve got to fend off.”



NOTHING AT PEBBLE BEACH is ever cheap, but somewhat surprisingly U.S. Open food was priced similar to what one would fi nd at other professional sporting events. Of course there was a Pebble Beach fl air, as nothing in the Del Monte Forest is ever average. The U.S. Open added variety to a normal concession menu by includ- ing wine, lattes, smoothies and crepes to name a few. Even a run-of-the-mill hot dog was nothing standard. Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs from Coney Island, NY, were quite popular among spectators as well as the offi cial tournament brownie of the PGA Tour for the past 25 years, Loralie’s Brownies from Ohio. A sample of prices: • Italian Sausage with onions & peppers: $


• Pulled Pork Sandwich: $ • Cheeseburger: $


• Chicken, ham, mushroom cheese crepe: $


• Latte (Mocha, Caramel or Regular) or Cappuccino: $

• Budweiser/Bud Light/ Heineken: $

• Wildberry or Mango Fruit Smoothie: $

7 6

• Wine by the glass: $ 9 5 8

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