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PGA:  The US Open      Share

21 June 2010

The US Open is one of golf’s four “majors.”  The other three are the British Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters.  Europeans have struggled with the US Open.  Rightfully so, we’ve made a tradition out of beating them since the 1770’s.  A European had not won the US Open in 40 years.  Many believed that this may be the year and all eyes were on Lee Westwood, a Brit who had consistently played well this year.  It was the toughest course the players had seen all year. 

As the tournament was coming to an end, the leaderboard was filled with big names (Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, South African Ernie Els), but the two unlikely names at the top were Graeme McDowell from Northern Ireland and Gregory Havret from France.  Havret was ranked about #400 in the world and McDowell barely qualified for the tournament.    I got the sense that everyone was waiting for Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson to make a charge, but it never happened.  In fact, no one played well on Sunday, to include the winner, Graeme McDowell.  McDowell was 3 over par for the day and finished to tournament even par.  The unlikely winner received his biggest ovation during the post-tournament interview when he talked about drinking celebratory Guinness.  I wouldn’t expect any less from an Irishman named Graeme McDowell.

One Liner: “$495?  I wouldn’t pay $4.95 to play on those crappy greens.”  The normal rate to play Pebble Beach is $495.  Tiger Woods commented on the condition of the greens.  They are “poa annua” greens which is a type of grass that appears blotchy, almost like they have a fungus.  This set off a firestorm with PGA officials who were quick to defend the groundskeepers saying that that is how they are supposed to look and that they were smoother than previous tournaments had won.  The truth lies somewhere in the middle.  I think they could have been in better shape, but the bottom line is that every player had to put on the same greens.  Blaming the greens for missed puts is very convenient…I wonder if he’ll blame the Pacific Ocean for the shots he hit in the water?

 Send comments to: Lee@notasportsguy.com

The Basics:

-Graeme (pronounced “Graham”) McDowell from Northern Ireland won the 2010 US Open played at Pebble Beach in California.

 -All of the hype was surrounding Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Englishman Lee Westwood.-It was the first time a European has won the tournament since 1970.

Terminology:

Majors: US Open, the Masters, PGA Championship, British Open.

Par: The amount of shots that the hole/course should take to complete.  Pebble Beach is a par 71 course.