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US Open 2006
Winged Foot, 15-18 June 2006




FINAL LEADERBOARD
Geoff Ogilvy
+5 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus)
+6 Jim Furyk (US), Colin Montgomerie (Sco), Phil Mickelson (US)
+7 Padraig Harrington (Ire)
+8 Nick O'Hern (Aus), Jeff Sluman (US), Mike Weir (Can), Steve Stricker (US), Vijay Singh (Fij), Kenneth Ferrie (Eng)
+9 Ryuji Imada (Jap), Luke Donald (Eng), Ian Poulter (Eng)
Last-hole collapses by Colin Montgomerie and Phil Mickelson handed the US Open to Australia's Geoff Ogilvy on a remarkable day at Winged Foot.

The 29-year-old chipped in at the 17th and holed a brave putt at the 18th to set the target at five over par.

He then watched as Mickelson, needing only a par to win, double-bogeyed 18 to fall into a three-way tie for second.

Minutes earlier, Montgomerie dropped two shots at the last when it seemed a first major title was in his grasp.

"I think I was the beneficiary of a little bit of charity," a modest and slightly shocked Ogilvy said afterwards.

"I feel for Phil. But he's won a few majors recently, so I can take one away."

Many will focus on the catastrophic finishes, but Ogilvy, the first Australian to win a major since Steve Elkington took the 1995 USPGA Championship, deserved his victory on what was one of the most exciting days at a major in memory.

The WGC-Match Play champion kept his cool on a sweltering day in New York and refused to let a punishing course bully him.

It's the first time I've really messed up

Colin Montgomerie
His two-over 72 on Sunday only tells a fraction of the story as this title was won and lost over the last four holes - he parred them while all the other contenders dropped shots.

One shot off the overnight lead and playing in the penultimate group with England's Ian Poulter, Ogilvy made a quiet start before back-to-back birdies at five and six saw him take the lead on one over for the first time.

But like every other player to hit the front this week Ogilvy promptly went into reverse, bogeying four of his next eight holes to fall back into the pack at five over.

England's Kenneth Ferrie, the joint overnight leader with Mickelson, fell out of contention with four bogeys in five holes from the seventh.

FIVE LIVE VIEW
MN

In the meantime, first Mickelson, who carded a 74, and then Montgomerie, a 71, seemed to get one hand on the trophy.

There were other challengers too - playing partners Jim Furyk, who bogeyed the last from 6ft, and Padraig Harrington also mounted serious bids - but as the 106th US Open came to a climax there were only three men still capable of winning.

Mickelson, the bookies' and crowd favourite, struggled from tee to green but repeatedly got out of trouble thanks to his remarkable shot-making skills and solid putting.

And when, at a few minutes after 1800 local time, he sunk a 12ft birdie putt at the 14th to open up the first two-shot lead of the day, it seemed the title was his.

Phil Mickelson
Mickelson needed a par to claim his fourth win in the last 10 majors
But the 36-year-old American could not keep relying on his powers of recovery.

Moments after Montgomerie had holed a monster putt at the 17th to return to four over, he bogeyed the 16th - having missed the fairway again - and it was all tied up once more.

The 42-year-old Scot, scenting a first major title at his 58th attempt, then smashed his drive up the middle of the 18th fairway.

Mickelson, meanwhile, pushed his drive at the 17th into the galleries. This time he got away with it and scrambled for a par.

But up ahead Montgomerie was in the process of throwing away perhaps his best, and maybe last, chance to rid himself of the "best player never to have won a major" tag.

He under-clubbed his approach and found a horrid, up-hill lie in thick rough. From there he could only hack to the back of the green.

Perhaps still fuming about his choice of club, he raced his par putt past the hole and the 10ft return just shaved the hole, as birdie putts had done on 15 and 16, to result in a double-bogey six.

This left the eight-time European number one in the clubhouse alongside Furyk on six over, one better than Harrington and two better than a raft of players on eight over that included his playing partner Vijay Singh.

"It's the first time I've really messed up. In my other chances (to win majors) other people have done well, this is the first time I've really messed up," said Montgomerie.

Watching Monty's meltdown from the fairway was Ogilvy.

The world number 17 had almost been forgotten following his mid-round funk, but with pars as good as birdies down the stretch he was now right back in it.

I still am in shock that I did that - I'm such an idiot

Phil Mickelson
Having chipped in from the fringe of the green for a four at 17 he then got up-and-down from just off the green at the 18th to set the clubhouse marker at five over.

He, like everybody else, then stood back as Mickelson, who hit only two fairways all day, did his best Jean Van de Velde impression to throw away a chance of joining Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods as the only players to win three straight majors.

"Lefty's" drive clattered into the hospitality tent. His wildly ambitious second smashed into a tree and ricocheted forward about 30 yards. And the world number two's third sailed into a plugged lie in the bunker to the left of the green. His fourth, a blast with a wedge, then rolled past the hole and into the rough on the other side of the green, before his fifth shot went 10ft past in the other direction.

"I still am in shock that I did that. I just can't believe that I did that," said a crest-fallen Mickelson afterwards. "I'm such an idiot."

That may be true but it was to his credit that he holed his sixth for a share of second with Montgomerie and Furyk.

What he and the rest of the field can reflect on is that they will not have to play a course as tough as Winged Foot again for quite some time.

Ogilvy's score was the highest by a winner at a US Open since 1974. The course that year? Winged Foot.



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