U.S. Open parting shots

mulligan, 26 June 2005, Comments Off on U.S. Open parting shots
Categories: Uncategorized

Wow, what a wild day at Cherry Hills. The way things were heading, we were close to getting a playoff at +5 – yes, plus 5 was about to be the winning score of the U.S. Open – with 2 teenage phenoms and a 23-year old South Korean who’s only made 10 cuts in 34 starts. Instead, we got a miraculous and memorable sand shot that probably saved the tournament from mediocrity (see U.S. Open: Birdie time). Here are a few random parting shots.

1. Cherry Hills. The second winner of the U.S. Open was Cherry Hills, the longest course in U.S. Open history. I thought it was a great, traditional track — deep rough, narrow greens and fairways, visually impressive. Final hole wreaked havoc on the nerves and produced one of the most memorable sand shots in recent history. There’s no question that Cherry Hills provided a stiff test. In the final round, only 1 golfer Lorie Kane broke 70 (69); only 2 golfers shot even par 71 — Brittany Lang and Natalie Gulbis. Winner Birdie Kim shot 72.

2. Wither Annika? Annika finished at +12, tied for 23rd with Michelle Wie and others. The finish is surprising. Annika’s accuracy and distance should’ve suited Cherry Hills well. If Annika had been anywhere near the leaderboard in the final round, the tournament would’ve been far more exciting.

3. Michelle Wie’s 82. Guess if it can happen to Retief and Ernie in the final round of a U.S. Open, it can happen to the Big Wiesy. Michelle should be commended for showing considerable composure throughout her difficult round. And she showed true class when she hugged Birdie Kim in congratulations after Birdie pitched in on the last hole. Pic here.

4. Morgan’s emotions. Morgan played beautifully for most of the round. Watching Birdie pitch in from the sand (a 1 in 100 shot, at least) must have been hard to stomache. But probably would’ve been better for Morgan to take the Tiger approach and try to keep her emotions in check and focus on her next shot. Morgan seemed so rattled that you kind of got the sense that she didn’t have a prayer of making birdie or par. Pic here.

5. Lorena Ochoa’s quadruple on 18. Jason reported it here. Had Lorena parred 18 (easier said than done), she would have hit a 68 and tied for the lead at +3. Hard to believe Lorena would duck hook it into the water, esp. after showing she can close tournaments last week.

6. Go Dottie! Last week, NBC golf analyst Dottie Pepper called Michael Campbell’s birdie on the 12th hole (see here). Today, she almost called Birdie’s sand shot. When Johnny Miller said that Birdie wants to change her name to “Par Kim” before her sand shot, Dottie Pepper replied, “No, she wants to be Birdie Kim right now.”


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