Monday, June 22, 2015

Spieth wins US Open as Dustin Johnson

 suffers another agonising near-miss 


Dustin Johnson refused to be too hard on himself as he reflected on another major near-miss at the US Open.
Johnson held a two-shot lead after birdies on the fourth and eighth in the final round, but he suddenly slipped down the leaderboard after the turn as he frittered away three shots in four holes.
He trailed Jordan Spieth by three with two holes to play, but a dramatic tournament turned on its head at the 17th when Spieth ran up a double-bogey before Johnson birdied moments later.

Spieth then set the target at five under with a birdie at the last, and Johnson earned himself a putt to win the title after knocking a superb second to 12 feet.
But his eagle attempt ran four feet past the cup, and the return putt to force an 18-hole play-off on Monday missed on the left to leave Spieth celebrating a second consecutive major victory.
"Whatever the putt did on the last hole, I don't know," said Johnson, who took a three-shot lead into the final round at Pebble Beach in 2010 but collapsed to a closing 82, while a two-shot penalty for grounding his club in a bunker on the 72nd hole of the US PGA Championship two months later cost him a place in the play-off.
"I might have pulled it a little bit. But still to me it looked like it bounced left. It's tough. It's very difficult. I played really well. I didn't make any putts today, I really didn't. I had all the chances in the world.
"If any putts go in the hole, I win this thing by a few shots, it's not even close. Other than that I had a damn good week. I had a chance to win again a major on a Sunday. I thought I handled myself very well. 
"I hit the shots when I needed to. So I know what it takes to get it done, it's really simple. I need to get in the hole faster."
Branden Grace was tied for the lead with Spieth until he tumbled out of contention when he blocked his tee-shot out of bounds at the 16th, and the South African was left to reflect on what might have been.
"I gave myself the opportunity to actually have a chance to win it and just one bad swing cost me at the end," Grace said. "I was hitting my 3-wood great the whole day. It was a straightforward shot, just spun out of it and that's costly.
"This is definitely the most pressure I've had to deal with in my professional career so far. It's a pity it came down to this."
Jason Day, who collapsed due to vertigo in the second round and battled symptoms over the last 36 holes, struggled to a 74 to share ninth with Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry.
Day said: "I felt relatively good and felt strong after 12 holes. I'm guessing I'll take some time off and get a handle on this. I was taken by the fact that so many people supported me.
" I really made a lot of Jason Day fans out there this week, even though it didn't end up the way I wanted it to end up.
"I fought a good fight. And I think everybody that watched knows that I never gave up. It was a battle."
Day's fellow Australian Adam Scott shot the lowest round of the championship on Sunday as a six-under 64 left him just two strokes behind Spieth.
"I feel like I had nothing to lose today and everything to gain," said the 2013 US Masters champion.
"And I knew I was playing well and I just couldn't quite put it all together the first three days. It was a big effort for me today. To be honest, it's the kind of round I needed to get things going for me this year, hopefully.
"I've been working hard at it's been frustrating for sure. But this is the kind of event where you have to put all of that frustration aside and keep your patience, and I did that well this week.
"Every day I could have been a little upset with how things went, because I felt I played pretty good. Today I got all the reward."
Cameron Smith of Australia also shared fourth place on three under with Scott and Grace after closing with a 68.
"I'm speechless. I just want to sort of sit in the hotel room and let it all absorb," said the world No 167.
"I thought I was coming in playing pretty solid. I thought I could definitely compete and if I could get my way around the golf course pretty good I'd sort of have a shot.
"It wasn't to be, but I'm happy with where I finished, for sure." 

 Oosthuizen, back in 29, ties for 2nd place with Johnson ... despite opening round of 77

 Entering the final round of the U.S. Open, South African Louis Oosthuizen, a former Open champion, one of  many lurking at 1 under par, only three shots behind the leaders. He seemed to get lost in the shuffle of Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day, but the fact was, Ooshuizen had played the best golf of anyone over the previous two days.
After a terrible opening-round 77 while playing alongside struggling Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler, Oosthuizen shot consecutive 66s to vault up the leaderboard.
Oosthuizen bogeyed Nos. 2-4 on Sunday at Chambers Bay and was immediately an afterthought. He made par on the next seven holes, then rattled off five consecutive birdies on Nos. 12-16 to move near the top. A birdie on the last hole gave him 67 for the round, including 29 on the back nine. He tied for second place with Johnson, a shot behind Spieth.

The highlight of the round was a holed wedge shot for birdie from 135 yards on the par-4 14th. After struggling off the tee, Oosthuizen hacked out into the middle of the fairway and dunked the third shot.
“I pushed myself the last few holes to be more aggressive on putts, just to see if I can get to some sort of number,” Oosthuizen said. “I think after my start the first round, I’m very happy for where I am now.”
Oosthuizen’s performance immediately places him higher on a list of favorites for the Open Championship next month at St. Andrews. He won the Open at the Old Course in 2010 to capture the Claret Jug for his first and only major.



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