Monday, June 18, 2007

US Open At Oakmont Gives Amateur Golfers Hope

The US Open Golf Championship is the one time we amateur golfers get to watch professional golfers struggle to play and score well. I think as an amateur we get some sadistic pleasure out watching these guys hit shots that look like a 30-handicapper would hit.

You watch these professional golfers hitting out of the rough and they're only able to advance it 30 yards sometimes. I think watching these tour pros fluff a 10-yard pitch shot back into the rough makes all of us amateur golfers feel a little better about all the times we've done the same at our local golf course.

Sunday's round was hard to watch at times because you had to feel bad for some of those players... especially Aaron Baddeley. He's got a great game and he seems to be a really great person. Watching him make triple-bogey on the first hole of Sunday's round was tough to watch. He wasn't able to recover from that and ended up carding a 10-over 80 finishing at 12-over par for the championship.

You have to give Angel Cabrera a lot of credit for playing the way he did. He hit some incredible golf shots down the stretch with several of his iron shots finishing only a few feet from the hole for tap in birdies.

Tiger Woods had some many chances to tie and even take the lead during his round on Sunday. We've all become accustomed to seeing Tiger pull of the impossible and we all kept waiting for him to make his move on Sunday, but he just wasn't able to do it. His putter pretty much failed him this weekend especially during Saturday's round. I think he could have put the tournament out of reach on Saturday if he had been putting like he usually does. He hit 17 out of 18 greens and made only 2 birdies (1 birdie was a 2-putt on a par 5) and one bogey to finish with a 1-under 69. He could have easily shot 65 or 64 and put a huge amount of pressure on the rest of the field, but it wasn't meant to be.

Furyk made a late run during Sunday's round by birdieing 14, 15, and 16 to get himself within 1 stroke of the lead. I think he lost the tournament by hitting driver on 17 when he should have hit a lay up iron. Furyk ended up bogeying 17 and his chance for a second US Open was gone. Other players who had a chance on Sunday were Paul Casey, Stephen Ames, Steve Stricker, David Toms, Justin Rose, and a few others. At one point each of these players were only a few strokes out of the lead, but at the end of the day Oakmont Country Club prevailed.

Angel Cabrera's final round 69 was enough to give him a 1-stroke victory over Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk. He become the only Argentinian in golf history to win the US Open Golf Championship. Congratulations Angel... you were the better golfer this weekend.

As an amateur golfer, we should all feel a little better about our own golf game knowing that even a professional golfer can shoot in the 80's and at times look like a high-handicapper.

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