Golf Buzz

June 21, 2015 - 10:48pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Dustin Johnson
USA Today Sports Images
You hate to see anyone lose like this... Dustin Johnson missed a short birdie putt that would have forced an 18-hole Monday playoff for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay on Sunday.

For the first time since 2002, a player has won the first two majors of the season.

Tiger Woods turned the trick 13 years ago and, after his win in April at the Masters and his win on Sunday in the U.S. Open, Jordan Spieth has a chance to make it three majors in a row at the Open Championship in a few weeks at St. Andrews.

A win is a win, but surely Spieth didn't want to win like this.

RELATED: Spieth wins 2015 U.S. Open | Final U.S. Open leaderboard | Kirk's rant

Dustin Johnson smoked a 350-yard drive on the par-5 18th hole right down the middle. He needed a birdie to force an 18-hole Monday playoff and an eagle for the outright win.

With his second shot from 247 yards away, Johnson ripped a 5-iron to within 10 feet for what would have been a winning eagle putt.

Johnson sent the eagle try a few feet past the hole and was left with a knee-knocker for birdie.

Here's what happened:

You hate to see a player lose a tournament like that.

June 21, 2015 - 10:18pm
Posted by:
Doug Ferguson
tj.auclair's picture
Jordan Spieth
USA Today Sports Images
With his victory in the U.S. Open on Sunday, his second major in a row, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth became the youngest winner of the national championship since Bobby Jones in 1923.
Watch: Interview with U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth at bottom of this page
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) – Another major for Jordan Spieth. Another stunning loss for Dustin Johnson.
Chambers Bay delivered heart-stopping drama Sunday in the U.S. Open when Spieth birdied his final hole to become only the sixth player to win the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year. The real surprise was not that he won, but how he won.
Johnson had a 12-foot eagle putt for the victory. Two putts would force an 18-hole playoff Monday. Less than a minute later, Spieth was shocked to be the youngest U.S. Open champion since 1923.
Johnson's eagle putt ran by the cup and stopped just over 3 feet away. With his future father-in-law Wayne Gretzky watching, Johnson's short birdie putt rolled by the left edge.
"I'm still amazed that I won, let alone that we weren't playing tomorrow," Spieth said. "So for that turnaround right there, to watch that happen, I feel for Dustin, but I haven't been able to put anything in perspective yet."
Lost in Johnson's blunder was the clutch play of the Masters champion. Having lost control of the tournament with a double bogey on the 17th hole, Spieth drilled his tee shot and hit a 3-wood that caught the back bank and rolled below the cup. His eagle putt was wide left, giving him a 1-under 69.
He walked off the green at 5-under 275 and worried about golf's biggest hitter playing the par-5 behind.
"I didn't think it was good enough," Spieth said. "But man, I couldn't be more happy right now."
Spieth becomes the first player since Bobby Jones to make birdie on the 72nd hole to win the U.S. Open by one shot, all because of Johnson's three-putt. The 21-year-old Texan heads to St. Andrews next month in pursuit of golf's holy grail – the Grand Slam.
Tiger Woods in 2002 was the last player to get the first two legs of the slam. In 1960, Arnold Palmer went to St. Andrews for a chance at three in a row.
For all the criticism of the unique course at Chambers Bay, this was the theater at its finest.
But there will be lingering questions about the condition of the greens, so bumpy that they were referred to as broccoli and Billy Horschel said he lost respect for the USGA. This championship ended with a short miss, the target of complaints all week.
The final hour was so wild that four players could have won over the last two holes.
Tied for the lead with Branden Grace of South Africa, Spieth looked like he wrapped this up with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole. He turned toward Puget Sound, pumped his fist and yelled, "YEAH!"
That gave him a three-shot lead because Grace hit his tee shot onto the railroad tracks out-of-bounds and made double bogey.
And then his lead was gone.
Spieth hit into the fescue-covered mounds right of the 17th and made double bogey.
Louis Oosthuizen made one last birdie – his sixth over the last seven holes – for a 67 to post at 4-under 276. Johnson, who had a two-shot lead at the turn until missing so many putts on the back nine, was forgotten until he stuffed his tee shot on the par-3 17th to 4 feet for birdie.
Spieth, a wire-to-wire winner at Augusta National, showed he can be clutch with his 3-wood into the 18th. And then came Johnson in the final group, blasting his tee shot so far that he only needed a 5-iron, and he put that to 12 feet.
Make it and win. Two putts and he still gets a playoff.
He made par.
Johnson said he might have hit it even farther past the hole if he had not seen the speed of Jason Day's putt.
"I did everything I was supposed to do," he said. "I hit the ball really well. I'm proud of the way I handled myself and the way I played today. I just really struggled getting it in the hole today. I didn't think I was hitting bad putts. I thought I was hitting them pretty good they just weren't going in."
It was the fourth heartache for Johnson in the majors, and this was the worst. He didn't shoot 82 in the final round like he did at Pebble Beach in the 2010 U.S. Open. He didn't ground his club in a bunker that cost him a spot in the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straights. He didn't hit a shot out-of-bounds like he did in the 2011 British Open.
Twelve feet from a win. Three putts and he lost.
"Just missed it left," Johnson said.
Jason Day, who collapsed on Friday with vertigo only to rally for a share of the 54-hole lead, fell back with missed putt and was never in the hunt on the back nine. He closed with a 74 to finish five shots behind.
Grace never recovered from that double bogey on No. 16 and shot 71 to tie for fourth with Adam Scott (64) and Cameron Smith (68).
It was a homecoming of sorts for Spieth – and his caddie, Michael Greller.
Greller was a sixth-grade math teacher who caddied in the summer at Chambers Bay when he hooked up with a young Texan who needed a caddie at Gold Mountain, where Spieth won the U.S. Junior Amateur. Greller knew this course better than any caddie. And he had the right horse who's on the ride of his life.
Spieth is the youngest player to win two majors since Gene Sarazen in 1922.
Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
June 21, 2015 - 6:42pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
USGA Twitter
Rory McIlroy needed to go low -- really low -- at Chambers Bay on Sunday to have any chance at winning the U.S. Open. So far, he's doing just that.

The world's No. 1-ranked player entered the final round of the U.S. Open with nothing to lose, really. At 4 over, he was eight shots out of the lead.

Anything can happen in a U.S. Open, but, let's be honest -- low numbers aren't easy to come by.

Evidently, Rory McIlroy never got that memo.

RELATED: U.S. Open leadeboard | Horschel snaps after missed putt | Kirk makes a 10

McIlroy was 6 under through his first 13 holes with six birdies, including this bomb on No. 13 from 72 feet:


For the record, Johnny Miller has the lowest final round in U.S. Open history -- an 8-under 63 at Oakmont in 1973. Miller won that year by one shot over John Schlee.

June 21, 2015 - 5:58pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Chris Kirk
Chris Kirk tried and tried, but couldn't get a pitch shot to hold the green on the first hole until his sixth attempt and wound up with a 10.

In case you missed it earlier today, Chris Kirk made a sextuple-bogey (is that even a thing?) 10 on the par-4 first hole at Chambers Bay in the final round of the U.S. Open.

Try as he might, Kirk just couldn't get his pitch shot from just off the green up to the hole.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Four tied after 54 holes at US Open | Spieth confident

Click here to watch the video. Six shots before Kirk got the ball to stay on the green.

Kirk wound up shooting an 8-over 78, which is pretty good considering he was 6 over after one hole.

Needless to say, he wasn't pleased and let his feelings be known on Twitter following the round.


June 21, 2015 - 4:59pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
mark.aumann's picture
Keegan Bradley
USGA Twitter
Keegan Bradley watches the flight of his tee shot on the 12th hole Sunday.

The 12th hole at Chambers Bay is playing as a 270-yard, par-4 today.

As you can imagine, most of the field is going for it off the tee.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Four tied after 54 holes at US Open | Spieth confident

What's hard to imagine, however, is anyone hitting a better tee shot than Keegan Bradley did not long ago:



How about that? Nothing better than a kick-in eagle, right? 



June 21, 2015 - 4:44pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ernie Els
USGA on Twitter
Ernie Els hit a highlight-reel shot on the par-4 16th Sunday at Chambers Bay with this bunker-shot hole-out for eagle.

No matter how you feel about Chambers Bay as a golf course, you've got to admit -- it has produced some awesome looking golf shots.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Four tied after 54 holes at US Open | Spieth confident

The latest was this eagle hole-out at the par-4 16th hole by Ernie Els:


That was a special shot -- love how it takes the break on the green and just trickles into the hole.

Els signed for a 3-over 73 on Sunday and finished the U.S. Open at 11-over 291.