Mamaroneck, June 19 :
Phil Mickelsonâ€™s bid for a third consecutive major ended with a shocking collapse on Sunday when he bungled his way to a double bogey on the final hole, giving the US Open to Australian Geoff Ogilvy.
The winning shot in this test of survival at Winged Foot was Ogilvyâ€™s 6-foot par putt that he figured was only good for second place. The memory will be Mickelson on the 72nd hole, one minute on the verge of joining Tiger Woods as the
only players over the last 50 years with three straight majors, the next minute looking like the Mickelson of old with a reckless attempt to get out of trouble.
The celebration took place not on the 18th green, but in the clubhouse. Ogilvy, whose resiliency carried him to the Match Play Championship in February, closed with a 2-over 72 in the highest-scoring US Open since 1974 at Winged Foot. He became the first Australian to win the US Open since David Graham in 1981.
Battling to the very end, the 29-year-old Aussie holed an 18-foot chip to save par on the 17th hole, and then got a miserable break on the 18th hole when his tee shot landed in a divot. His approach lost power as it reached the green, tumbling down the slope. Unlike
two other players before him â€” Colin Montgomerie and Jim Furyk â€” Ogilvy made the putt.
Even so, this was Mickelsonâ€™s major to win, and the first one he threw away. Instead of being linked with Woods in the majors, the comparisons turned to Jean Van de Velde at Carnoustie in 1999, when the Frenchman took
triple bogey on the last hole of the British Open. But at least Van de Velde got a chance in a playoff.
Mickelson could only cup his hands over his cap and acknowledge a New York crowd that he disappointed again. And he had only himself to blame.
He had a two-shot lead with four holes to play, but the stubborn side of him continued to hit driver, and his miscues finally caught up with him. Mickelson hit only two fairways in the final round, none on the back nine. And while he found a way to escape most times, Winged Foot got its vengeance at the end.