June 18, 2006

Geoff Ogilvy Wins 106th U.S. Open!: Unreal ending. I'm not going to say Phil choked because he was struggling with his driver all day. Wouldn't it have been smarter to play a 3 iron and play it safe?

posted by dbt302 to golf at 08:22 PM - 34 comments

The media wont say it because they are so far up Mickelfats ass, but what Phil did today was equal to what Jean VanDeValde did in the Open Championship years back. I'm guessing you didn't watch a second of the golf because the TV announcers were making the comparison to Mickelson/Van De Velde during the final hole. Tiger was laughing his ass off watching it in his living room! Yes, I'm sure he was enjoying missing the cut at the US Open.

posted by grum@work at 11:08 PM on June 18, 2006

Nice win by Ogilvy..tough loss for Mickelson..but too bad for Montgomerie. I hope Colin can win at least one major before his career's done.

posted by curtangle at 11:25 PM on June 18, 2006

Yikes, that was brutal to watch. I was hoping for a slam by Mickelson, but he had other ideas. I think I could have played 18 better, but then I'm used to being 30 yards off the fairway, behind trees, having to hit over two sand traps, that's how I play every hole!

posted by dviking at 01:55 AM on June 19, 2006

Why would anyone want a slam by Mickelson? The guy is the biggest tool since Carson Daly.

posted by forrestv at 02:21 AM on June 19, 2006

Tiger was laughing his ass off watching it in his living room! Yeah, considering his dad died a couple of weeks ago and he missed the cut at the U.S. Open, I'm sure he threw a big fucking party and everything. Looks like Phil Mickelson took your lunch money while grum held you down.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:08 AM on June 19, 2006

why not comment on your own rather than trying to bust balls? It was GREAT seeing Mickelfat spudder the brain farts! As usual, he let his gigantic ego get in his way. It wasnt enough for him to win, but he wanted to hear "did you see the shot Phil pulled off?"

posted by yerfatma at 06:05 AM on June 19, 2006

Quite a bit of the final day was hard to watch. Seeing guys coming in with chances to win a major plunking their tee shots off hospitality tents, horrible approach shots, many missed putts. I understand it was a tough course and I'm sure the players were physically and emotionally drained from the heat, etc. but this is kind of why viewer ratings, minus T.W., are the way they are. Nobody was stepping up and making big shots, rather they were smacking the ball all over, left and right, like weekend players. You just expect to see more from professionals.

posted by dyams at 06:50 AM on June 19, 2006

I agree, Dyams, you have to expect better golf. But it was great theater. Monty switches clubs at the last second and ends up buried. Mickelson's decision-making on the 18th. Not exactly Bobby Jones or Greg Norman -- the ugly underbelly perhaps, but it shows the other side of why golf is such a great game.

posted by SummersEve at 07:33 AM on June 19, 2006

Sorry, but Puil just did not deserve to win no matter who says what. When you only hit 2 of 18 fairways he was just lucky, skill or no skill, that he was not 15 over par....

posted by fieldman at 09:13 AM on June 19, 2006

Tiger has to take some satifaction in Philly Beef's bad decision. I can safely say that tiger would not have played the 18th hole that way. Stinger 2 iron, hit green and walk away with the title. Very simple. But no, let's keep using the driver even though the only thing he could hit was the side of a barn (vip tent). Painful to watch as an lefty fan.

posted by LSU618 at 09:24 AM on June 19, 2006

Stinger 2 iron, hit green and walk away with the title If only Phil had thought of that. Someone should tell all these choking golfers that the pressure they feel is some sort of mass delusion and they should just hit it up the middle like the rest of us can in our weekend fourball.

posted by JJ at 10:04 AM on June 19, 2006

JJ, you forgot the best part of the plan... Very simple.

posted by 86 at 10:29 AM on June 19, 2006

What I am saying is if it aint workin, stop doin it. Try a club that you have more of a chance to hit the fairway with. Even if he didn't, at least he would have a better chance to get par. After all, it's only the US Open at stake. Execution isn't simple, but that decision or choice should have been a no brainer. I blame bones. He should have grabbed the driver and broke it over his knee on the 8th hole. Phil wins by 3-4 strokes easy if he never drives the ball.

posted by LSU618 at 10:53 AM on June 19, 2006

Very simple, why just the other day i made a 30 footer in my living room. Alittle left to right breaker.And thats not easy with Berman babbling about something or other when i'm trying to focus.

posted by yankee0758 at 10:53 AM on June 19, 2006

i made a 30 footer in my living room. Alittle left to right breaker. Sounds like you'd better call a contractor. When you practice breaking putts in your living room, your floor has some problems. And while I detect the sarcasm in your comment, yankee, while it may not be "simple" for us, it should be simple course-management, high-percentage thinking and shotmaking a professional can hopefully pull off in a huge tournament. Phil didn't think OR produce when he needed to most.

posted by dyams at 11:08 AM on June 19, 2006

Thank you Dyams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well said.

posted by LSU618 at 11:17 AM on June 19, 2006

Grum, why not comment on your own rather than trying to bust balls? Do you have a mind of your own? Someone who makes comments like yours deserves to have their "balls busted". If you spout stupid shit, expect to get called on it. I'd expect the same from someone else if I was making comments like yours. Back to the US Open... If I had to guess, I think the mindset of Mickelson is probably one of "Okay, THIS time I can drive it down the middle. I can shake off all those previous mistakes." It's obvious to most that he's made good drives before, right? So maybe he thinks he "rights the ship" this time. I relate it to a basketball player who goes ice cold to start the game (0-for-6). He still wants the ball because he's positive that he can make the next one (as he's done throughout his career). But then he goes 0-for-5 more and lo and behold, his team is too far in the hole to recover. It might have been obvious to everyone else that he was laying bricks, but to the player, it was "just one more shot" before he gets back on track.

posted by grum@work at 11:18 AM on June 19, 2006

This isn't the first time, and probably not the last, that Mickelson has made a bonehead decision on a sunday afternoon. I don't begrudge him for hitting driver, it was the second bonehead shot that did him in.He could have still salvaged bogey, and lived to play another day. Still, no matter who you are, they were all pressure shots.

posted by yankee0758 at 12:45 PM on June 19, 2006

Oh, and by the way, if your floors are perfectly level, your house was built in the last year. they all settle

posted by yankee0758 at 12:49 PM on June 19, 2006

I play a course here in Pittsburgh that unless you can hit your driver straight every time, leave it in the bag. The fairways are narrow and the course is on the side of a hill. Out of 18 holes, you can actually use the drive 4 times at the most. I use my 4 iron just to have a chance at playing the next one on the short grass. If I can think of that approach, why didn't Phil?

posted by dbt302 at 01:09 PM on June 19, 2006

dyams Nobody was stepping up and making big shots Except Geoff Ogilvy! His chip-in at 17 and gritty par at 18 were pretty big. Give him credit, he stepped up at crunch time when everyone else was wilting, his 4-4-4-4 finish was good enough to win. As much as I like Phil, there is no way to explain this latest lapse other than poor course management. Phil should read up on a certain Mr. Nicklaus' use of 3 woods on US Open courses. I found myself pulling for Monty the last few holes, as did the New York crowd that has caused him so much grief over the years, but, Johnny Miller nailed it when he said his change of clubs at the last second was not a good sign, after a 10 minute wait, surely Tiger or Jack would have been committed to their club selection by then, considering that the wind was not gusting or swirling. I fear Monty may have blown his last chance to validate his otherwise great career. Jim Furyk and Padraig Harrington both let a golden opportunity slip away as well, but, hopefully, it will be a learning experience for all of them, they are all in their own right excellent golfers, and good for the game. Thanks to the resident enforcers for sparing me the embarassment of making an ass of myself responding to Mr. FtheRedSux's brilliant remarks. Vijay played the last 5 holes 3 over to miss a playoff, FthRedSux.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:06 PM on June 19, 2006

That may be, F er, er FtheRedSux, and coming from a complete and total ass such as yourself, I take it as a compliment.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:51 PM on June 19, 2006

Now Grum is a Sports Psychologist! So now you know whats going on in an athletes mind? How can you comment on something you've never done? Have you ever played sports before? No, I'm not a sports psychologist. That's why I said "If I had to guess". Yes, I've played sports before (hockey, soccer, baseball), and I've even done so professionally. And by that, I mean, someone provided compensation for me to play in a game (it was dinner, and it was for a softball team short of a player). I suspect your time on this site is coming to a close, FtRS, so I hope you enjoyed your juvenile comments. You'll be quickly forgotten.

posted by grum@work at 04:31 PM on June 19, 2006

It's hard to know where to start, or even whether it's worth bothering, but what the hell, I'll just dive right in: I blame bones. He should have grabbed the driver and broke it over his knee on the 8th hole. That would have been a good way to show faith in your player and make him feel good about the rest of the round. Grum summed it up perfectly with the basketball analogy. Great players realise that there is no such thing as a slump, especially in golf. A slump is how you chose to define a sequence of poor shots, but those poor shots bear no relation to what will come next in the mind of a decent golfer. There is no cumulative probability making it more likely that you will hit it into the hospitality tent. Phil should read up on a certain Mr. Nicklaus' use of 3 woods on US Open courses. He wasn't carrying a three-wood and isn't comfortable hitting a fade with his four-wood. That leaves him a 3-iron off the final tee (I'm assuming that if he's carrying a 4-wood, there isn't a 2-iron in the bag). I haven't played the course, so I've no idea, but working on the assumption that Monty hit a solid drive down the last and was between 7 and 8, I'd guess that a 3-iron off the tee wouldn't be far from leaving you the same again into the green, assuming you hit the fairway. If you don't hit the fairway with your 3-iron, you are suddenly running the risk of not being able to advance the ball far enough up the fairway to have a shortish club into the green. The mistake Mickelson made wasn't hitting driver off the tee - if he'd hit it well, the tournament was over and the Mickelslam was still on - it was (as yankee pointed out) not taking his punishment when he hit a bad shot. He has a great short game and should have backed himself to get up and down from 100 yards after hacking out. Unfortunately for him, 2002 Phil re-emerged and demanded an attacking, Hollywood ending. Even then, his choice of shot wasn't a complete disaster from the trees - the disaster was caused by not making absolutely sure to miss the tree. If he'd done that, and even if he had gotten no cut on the ball, he is at least in the vicinity of the green needing to get up and down to win or in three to force a playoff. Until you're standing there with thousands of people watching you and the notion in the back of your mind that millions more are at home watching on TV, you can't know how nerve-wracking it is. The amazing thing is not that so many of them choked, it's that it doesn't happen more often. I don't accept that Ogilvy stepped up - he did what Ben Curtis did to win an Open Championship and clung on as everyone else fell. It's impossible to prove, but I'm guessing his final four holes might have been a little different if he'd been leading the tournament. I'm not begrudging him his win - he hit fewer shots than everyone else over four days, and that's the only stat the game boils down to, so he deserved to win, but he didn't get asked the same questions as some of the others. For my money, Mickelson (and Van de Velde) made all the right decisions, but failed in the execution - and that's something none of us can fault them for. I love sport, and I love golf in particular, and the reason I love them is that days like Sunday happen. Without days like that, the spectacular conclusions we occasionally see wouldn't be anywhere near as exciting.

posted by JJ at 06:35 AM on June 20, 2006

I did not know that Phil wasn't carrying a 3 wood, but what I meant was that for many US Opens, Jack opted to hit 3 wood on most par 4's, saving the driver for 2,3,or 4 holes at most, deciding in advance during practice rounds which holes he would play with which club. I agree, Ogilvy did not have the added pressure of hanging on to a lead over the final holes, but anyone who is within a shot or two of the lead with 4 holes left has to know they have a chance, especially in this tournament, which has a long history of people falling apart like a K-Mart suit over the last few holes, and his even par last 4 hole finish was better than the others managed. His chip-in at 17 did not seem like much at the time, but, in retrospect, was huge, and then, he took his medicine on 18 after his perfect drive found a divot, and made a tough par anyway. Then again, Phil may have just been trying to get the Barkie and Sandy extras on the hole, who knows?

posted by mjkredliner at 09:08 AM on June 20, 2006

Yeah, but there's a big difference between knowing you're in with a shout and having it in the palm of your hand. Put it this way - had Ogilvy doubled the last, no one would be calling him a choker. Monty choked. Phil choked. Furyk and Singh (to a lesser extent) choked. In a way, Ferrie choked too - he got very down on himself very early in the round before he was really out of contention.

posted by JJ at 09:38 AM on June 20, 2006

You, and this writer left out Harrington. Call it what you will, but some one, Dave Hill, I believe, said "You don't win the Open, it wins you." I don't use the word choker, I think it oversimplifys what actually occurs under pressure, and I have never felt the pressure of being in contention for a Major Championship win, so I can not say if they choked, or simply failed to execute.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:22 AM on June 20, 2006

Course you can - that's your right as a sportsfan! Choking to me is used as the analogy because it implies restriced bloodflow to the brain. Harrington didn't choke, he hit some bad shots - likewise Singh. Furyk (as the article you linked nicely pointed out) choked in that he changed his routine over that last putt. Mongomerie choked several times (over his second shot, over his first putt, and, I reckon, over his final putt, which he hit even more quickly than he usually does), as did Busty Brenda Mickelson - he had innumerate opportunities to right his mental ship but ignored them all. I reckon most people who have played any competitive golf at all know the difference - sometimes you fail because you just aren't good enough; sometimes you fail because you just aren't capable of showing how good you are. It's why Niclaus just kept on winning "I was able to play my normal game long after everyone else had stopped playing theirs." - in other words, while everyone else was choking. I think another thing that was highlighted was the fallacy of Monty's notion that he doesn't need to practice - in the sense that he argues it, he is right - his best is good enough - but what he fails to appreciate is that your best needs to be good enough AND you need to be able to produce it when it matters. To that end, practice can make it, if not automatic, then certainly closer to automatic than someone like Monty can ever produce. Under that strain, your decision-making goes to hell and time seems to speed up impossibly. If you have a cast-iron routine (which can only be forged through practice) you stand a better chance.

posted by JJ at 11:03 AM on June 20, 2006

I agree. Do you play automatic one downs? :)

posted by mjkredliner at 11:14 AM on June 20, 2006

I don't know what that is.

posted by JJ at 11:39 AM on June 20, 2006

Where a press bet is automatically started as soon as one person goes one down on the most recent press started, with no chance to propose or deny the press, leading to, oh never mind, just thought I'd ask...

posted by mjkredliner at 01:25 PM on June 20, 2006

Ahhhh - automatic presses *nod* We play it when you go two down.

posted by JJ at 04:42 PM on June 20, 2006

Hindsight is 20/20 but Phil could have reached the green safetly with 3 8 irons I would imagine. Great theatre would have been to easedrop on the conversation Phil had with his wife Amy after he mucked the tournament. Amy loves her face time on the 18th green and the money that comes with winning. She might have been more disappointed than Phil. Anyone catch the comment Phil made in an interview when asked about Tiger not making the cut? The reply was "First of all, I am not going to lose any sleep over it." I'm guessing Tiger can same the same about Muckelson's blunder on the 18th. One final thought...Years from now, we mostly remember who won the tourney, not how they won. However, Phil will now always be remembered for how he lost the US Open.

posted by panteeze at 09:39 AM on June 21, 2006

After the first shot that hit the tree. Mickleson should have snaped his fingers at bones, and held out his hand for another ball, aka Roy McElvoy in Tin Cup....now that would have been priceless! The result would have been about the same anyway.

posted by yankee0758 at 10:04 AM on June 21, 2006

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