Tiger Woods tumbles to finish at U.S. Open
SAN FRANCISCO — Tiger Woods birdied the eighth hole Sunday but motioned dismissively with his right hand, as if to say: You can keep it. Woods already had given up six shots to par in his final round.
It marked an incredible tumble for Woods, considering he was tied for the U.S. Open lead Saturday morning. His 75-73 finish extended his majors drought to four years.
“The first six [holes, which he played in six over], I just didn’t play well at all,” Woods said. “I just could never get anything going positively and I missed the ball on the wrong side a couple times. That’s all it takes.”
Woods will rest this week rather than compete in the Travelers Championship outside Hartford, Conn., which has a field featuring Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Padraig Harrington, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter and Webb Simpson.
Woods is slated to play the following two weeks — at the AT&T National at Congressional, which supports his foundation, and the Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
Two weeks later comes the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
Lee Westwood ran into a serious problem on the fifth hole. A tree outside the right rough swallowed his tee shot.
Westwood used binoculars to try to identify his ball by its markings. That would have allowed him to take an unplayable lie and drop the ball along the line of the entry point with a one-shot penalty. But he couldn’t find it, had to declare it a lost ball and return to the tee and made a par with his second ball — for double bogey.
That dropped him five shots off the lead, and Westwood never recovered.
Father’s Day gift
Making the walk to the 18th tee, Bradley gave caddie Steve Hale the rest of the day off.
The PGA Championship titleholder already had a replacement lined up: his father.
“It was the highlight of my life,” Mark Bradley said, despite his son’s closing bogey that finished a seven-over 77. “It was really a wonderful experience to be walking the fairway with my son. It was certainly one of the highlights of my career in golf.”
Mark Bradley is head professional at Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Golf & Tennis Club, having raised his son in their native Vermont. Before Sunday, their only personal memories of the U.S. Open would be when Keegan would call after missing the cut in qualifying.
Michael Allen mock-staggered his way to Olympic’s 15th tee, then leaned over as though gasping for air.
On the final day of a U.S. Open at his home course, the Champions Tour pro was determined to enjoy his tour around Olympic’s fairways with friends and well-wishers tagging along.
“I just came out to see if I could put up a good score,” Allen said after a 73. “I was trying to have a fun day out here and let everybody know I appreciate all the support I’ve gotten.”
Final tally for Olympic’s daunting first six holes: 1,110 strokes above par. That translates to a per-player average of 2.43 over per round. … Phil Mickelson staggered to a closing 78, finishing seven spots from the bottom at 16 over. In the Hall of Famer’s 21 previous U.S. Open appearances, he had only one worse final-round score — a 79 at Oakmont in 1994.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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