By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO – Jim Furyk didn’t make a birdie on Sunday but he did manage to hold onto the lead for most of the day. Graeme McDowell struggled to find a fairway, but he did manage to keep his hopes alive.
In the end, neither past winner of the U.S. Open could get the job done.
A disappointing day for both players, who entered the final round with a share of a two-shot lead.
“There’s a mixture of emotions inside me right now,” McDowell said. “Obviously disappointment, deflation, pride. But mostly just frustration, just because I hit three fairways today.
“That’s the U.S. Open. You’re not supposed to do that. You’re supposed to hit it in some fairways.”
“I was tied for the lead, sitting on the 16th tee, with wedges basically if I hit good shots,” Furyk said. “I got wedges in my hand or reachable par-5s in my hand on the way in and one birdie wins the golf tournament. I’m definitely frustrated….
“I know I let one slide today and slip.”
Said McDowell: “I’m disappointed right now. But the way Jim did it, to play as well as he did and then just to kind of not get the job done coming in, that’s more disappointing for him. I guess that the way I did it – I got off to a slow start and kind of battled back – I guess I feel a little better.”
SAN FRANCISCO – Jim Furyk just came up with a miracle par at the 12th hole to retain sole possession of the lead at the U.S. Open.
Furyk hit his tee shot on the par 4 in the left rough and then short-sided himself in the short right greenside bunker. He blasted out to 30 feet but drained the putt for the improbable par that left him at even par.
Furyk is one stroke ahead of his playing partner, Graeme McDowell, who followed suit and made a 25-footer for birdie on the 12th hole, and Webb Simpson. As Furyk was gutting out that par, Simpson actually had a 6-footer for birdie at No. 15 but couldn’t convert.
Padraig Harrington had a chance to post 2 over and join Michael Thompson waiting in the clubhouse. But the three-time major champion buried his second shot in the left greenside bunker and blasted out to the rough on the other side of the green. He nearly holed his chip but it stopped 6 inches short and he finished at 3 over.
Tiger Woods, bidding for his fourth U.S. Open title, has finished off a 73 and ended up 7 over for the tournament. He held a share of the lead at 1 under after 36 holes.
Both have won U.S. Opens, both are tied for the lead entering the final round at The Olympic Club. Here’s a closer look at Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk:
-- McDowell has had one previous lead heading into the final round on the PGA TOUR, leading the 2011 PLAYERS Championship before a disastrous 7-over 79 in the final round to tumble to 33rd.
-- McDowell has never missed a cut in seven starts at the U.S. Open, with top-20 finishes in his previous three starts -- a tie for 18th in 2009, his win at Pebble Beach in 2010 and a tie for 14th last year.
-- McDowell entered the final round of the 2010 U.S. Open trailing Dustin Johnson by three strokes before a final-round 74 led to his one-stroke win over Gregory Havret.
-- McDowell’s week at a glance: 32 of 54 greens in regulation, 3 of 7 on sand saves, 28 of 42 fairways in regulation, 82 putts.
-- Momentum apparently means nothing. McDowell missed the cut in his last two starts on TOUR prior to this week.
-- Furyk’s even-par 70 on Saturday was his 26 th round at par-or-better in 67 career rounds at the U.S. Open.
-- Furyk’s week at a glance: 37 of 54 greens in regulation, 6 of 7 on sand saves, 20 of 42 fairways in regulation, 90 putts.
-- Furyk hopes history repeats itself this week. He has just two missed cuts in 18 U.S. Open starts. He followed up a missed cut in 2002 with a win in 2003. His only other miss came at last year’s U.S. Open.
-- Furyk has made 12 cuts in 13 starts on TOUR in 2012, with a runner-up finish at the Transitions Championship the best of his three top-10 finishes.
-- In his last 17 events entering the final round with at least a share of the lead, Furyk has won 10 times and has never finished worse than second.
SAN FRANCISCO – Graeme McDowell knows how to win U.S. Opens in Northern California. He put on a clinic in Saturday’s third round.
McDowell shot a 2-under 68 and ended his round with a birdie at the par-4 18 when he knocked his approach to inside 10 feet. That birdie gave him the temporary lead at 1 under for the tournament as he walked to the scorer’s area. Jim Furyk later joined him at 1 under after a birdie at the par-5 17th.
McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champ at Pebble Beach, opened his third round with eight consecutive pars. He stumbled at the par-4 ninth, but once he made the turn, he was flawless. He birdied the 10th, 13th and 18th holes and avoided bogeys on the others.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO -- Graeme McDowell was asked Friday what kind of message he would send to USGA Executive Director Mike Davis in terms of the weekend course setup at the Olympic Club.
G-Mac's response? "Be nice to us."
But McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, was quick to point out that everything else was fair, that Davis sets up "a great golf course" and that the Lake Course is simply a stern test of golf that offers little fun.
"There's a fine line between 68 and 78, there really is," McDowell said. "And it's just missing a fairway there and missing the green the wrong side here and just sort of not holing out well enough. I mean honestly, 72 can easily escalate into 78 in a heartbeat.
"So it's a fine line. Obviously it gives you less chances than a regular TOUR course gives you and it frustrates you quicker and in many ways. You just got to be so much more patient and respect the word par. You really got to give par a huge amount of respect out there and it's tough. It's a tough mindset to get into, but it's a mindset you have to get into."
Both are 1 under for the day through 14 holes as they tackle the difficult opening six holes. McDowell is 2 under for the tournament and two strokes behind Michael Thompson, who tees off at 3:52 p.m. ET, while Furyk is another stroke behind.
The third member of their group, Sergio Garcia, is hanging tough, as well. He’s even for the day and 3 over for the tournament, which puts him in a tie for 27th right now.
Meanwhile, Blake Adams has birdied four of his last five holes to mover to 2 under for the day and even par for the tournament. He is playing in his first U.S. Open.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO -- Several hours before his tee time in the first round of the U.S. Open, Graeme McDowell told his friends on Twitter that he was watching the TV broadcast to get a feel for the competition and the course.
"Looks tough but good golf gets rewarded," he tweeted.
McDowell was particularly interested in the way Tiger Woods was making his way around The Olympic Club on the way to a 69. The Northern Irishman was similarly steady on Thursday afternoon, making birdie on his last two holes to join Woods in a tie for second, three strokes off the lead.
"I saw the way Tiger kind of played this golf course, and he played it very I think workman-like would be the way I would describe his round,' McDowell said. "He just did what this golf course asks you to do. ... You just got play very disciplined golf and I did that well today."
McDowell knows U.S. Open golf, too. He won the 2010 national championship when it was played at Pebble Beach, about two hours south of San Francisco. He likes courses like The Olympic Club that demand a player use his head as well as his clubs.
"There's not often you play a golf course like this and there aren't really many options, you just got to stand there and hit certain shots at the right times and some pins out there today you could go at and some pins that you couldn't go at," McDowell said. "The greens are just rock hard. You really got to respect the first bounce on these greens. And there's just places on these greens you just can't miss the ball."
McDowell, who hit 10 fairways and 12 greens, actually had four good looks at birdie in his final holes. He missed birdie putts of 8 and 12 feet at Nos. 15 and 16, then got up and down from a greenside bunker at the par-5 17th and make his 29th putt of the day count at the last as the 15-footer dropped into the hole.
"I felt like I squeezed as much as I could out of that round," McDowell said. "... It's a tough test out there. But, yeah, just I hung in well with the putter. It's funny, I left a few birdie chances out there, on 15, 16, but a couple of key par saves. So no, I'll take my 1 under and run.
McDowell played well early in the year, finishing second to Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, and just last month he was runner-up at the Volvo World Match Play. But McDowell, who missed his last two cuts on the PGA TOUR, hasn't won on either side of the Atlantic since 2010 so he hopes to build on Friday’s solid play.
"I've been hitting the ball pretty quell well and not scoring well and today it was today was a lot more disciplined golf and a lot more focused golf and probably the best tee to green I've hit it in a few months," McDowell said. "... My caddie said if you can't draw some confidence out of this round today, there's something wrong with you. So I think I know what he was getting at -- take the positives and try to feed that back into the game again."
"So that was good today."
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the FedEx St. Jude Classic below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
|Rory McIlroy vs. Graeme McDowell||These two friends have won the last two U.S. Opens|
|David Toms vs. Justin Leonard||Both have two wins each in this event|
|Harrison Frazar vs. Robert Karlsson||Can Karlsson enact revenge from his loss in 2011?|
|Davis Love III vs. Zach Johnson||Both veterans in good form ahead of TPC Southwind|
|Dustin Johnson vs. J.B. Holmes||Short hitters do well here. They must dial back.|
As part of Zurich Insurance's celebration of serving America for 100 years, several PGA TOUR players turned out at TPC Louisiana on Tuesday to play three holes with hickory-shafted clubs -- while wearing 1912-style clothes. The PGA TOUR's Stan Badz was there to photograph the festivities.
A couple of observations: Justin Rose's plus-fours made him looks even taller ... and Rickie Fowler (of course) was given an orange tie.
To see Badz' collection of photos from the day, click here .
Who wore it best? Leave your thoughts in the space below.