McDowell holds on, wins US Open(update2)


PEBBLE BEACH, California: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland closed with a 3-over 74 to become the first European in 40 years to capture the U.S. Open.

McDowell seized control after a shocking collapse by Dustin Johnson, then failed to get flustered with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els lined up behind him. McDowell's father was waiting to embrace him on the 18th green.

"You're something, kid," Kenny McDowell said.

McDowell, 30, wasn't perfect, but he was good enough to take the initiative and hold on for a one-shot victory over another surprise contender, Gregory Havret of France, who shot 72.

Johnson took a triple bogey on the second hole to lose all of his three-shot lead, and a double bogey on the next hole ended his hopes.

Three of the biggest stars of this generation were right there, ready to continue the lineage of great champions at Pebble Beach, only to play far below their expectations.

McDowell made only one birdie - an 8-foot birdie putt on the fifth hole - and his final round was the highest score by a U.S. Open champion since Andy North in 1985.

"I can't believe I'm standing with this right now," McDowell said, posing with silver trophy.

"It's a dream come true. I've been dreaming it all my life. Two putts to win the U.S. Open. Can't believe it happened."

Woods couldn't believe it, either.

Poised to end six months of bad publicity over a shattered personal life, he bogeyed five of his first 10 holes and took himself out of contention with a 75.

Els and Mickelson hung around a little longer, and both had their chances, but neither hit the kind of shots that win the U.S. Open.

Els had a brief share of the lead on the front nine but came undone along the coastal holes - including one stretch of bogey-double bogey-bogey - and never quite recovered.

His hopes ended when he missed his target with a sand wedge on the par-5 14th and took bogey, then missed a four-foot birdie putt on the 15th.

He closed with a 73 to finish alone in third.

Mickelson, with another great chance to end a career of disappointment at the U.S. Open, holed a birdie putt from just off the green on the first hole, then didn't made another birdie the rest of the day.

He also shot a 73 and tied for fourth with Woods, missing a chance to supplant Woods at No. 1 in the world.

Woods made only two birdies, but was more troubled by his mistakes.

"I made three mental mistakes," Woods said. "The only thing it cost us was a chance to win the U.S. Open."

Even so, nothing compares with what happened to Johnson.

The 25-year-old American looked so unflappable all week, and came apart so quickly.

On the final hole of a round he won't forget, Johnson missed a two-foot birdie putt and wound up with an 82.

It was the highest closing round by a 54-hole leader in the U.S. Open since Fred McLeod shot 83 in 1911.

McDowell finished at even-par 284 and ended 40 years of questions about when a European would capture America's national championship.

England's Tony Jacklin was the last one, in 1970 at Hazeltine.

McDowell had to work harder than he imagined.

Even under overcast skies and a stiff breeze, the course was firm and dangerous as ever.

Davis Love III, with a 71, was the only player among the final five groups who matched par.

"I can't believe how difficult this golf course was," McDowell said.

"No matter how good you play ... good golf got reward, and bad golf got punished really badly."

McDowell got into the U.S. Open by narrowly getting into the top 50 in the world at the deadline to avoid qualifying.

He wound up with his first victory in America to go along with five European Tour victories, most recently the Wales Open last month at the home course for the Ryder Cup in October.

He is sure to be part of the European team now, moving up to No. 13 in the world.

Only the best have won a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach - Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite and Woods in 2000 by a record 15 shots.

Lanny Wadkins won the only PGA Championship played on this fabled course by the sea.

McDowell might not have the pedigree, but he certainly had the game.

"To play steady and to withstand some tough holes the way Graeme did and to come out on top, he played some great golf," Mickelson said. "It was a wide-open tournament.

Many guys had a chance. And it made for kind of an exciting U.S. Open, I thought."

With so few birdies to cheer on a day that was more about survival, the gentle waves lapping the shore almost made more noise than the gallery.

McDowell had a three-shot lead as he walked down the 10th fairway, and from there it was a matter of hanging on. "You go chasing and you'll make bogeys," McDowell said.

Mickelson gave it one last try when he fired at a dangerous pin on the right side of the 16th green.

It came up just short and buried in the deep grass, and when the Masters champion heard the groan, he said to caddie Jim Mackay, "I took a chance, Bones. Didn't pay off."

Els played the par-3 17th in 5-over par for the week, including a bogey from the bunker on Sunday.

Needing an eagle on the 18th to have any chance, he came up woefully short and to the right in a bunker.

None of this would have been possible without Johnson's collapse, which was simply spectacular.

He had a three-shot lead and was in the middle of the fairway at No. 2 with a wedge in his hand after a 343-yard drive.

When he walked off the green at No. 4, he was three shots behind, a six-shot turnaround in three holes.

With 15 holes remaining in the final round, the U.S. Open was wide open, setting up perfectly for the three biggest names in golf - Woods, Mickelson and Els - to seize the moment.

To most everyone's surprise, none of them did. - AP

Par Out 444 435 344-35

Graeme McDowell 444 425 345-35

Gregory Havret 344 434 354-34

Ernie Els 434 334 345-33

Phil Mickelson 344 435 344-34

Tiger Woods 544 536 254-38

Par In 443 454 435-36_71_284

Graeme McDowell 543 464 445-39_74_284

Gregory Havret 543 454 445-38_72_285

Ernie Els 652 464 445-40_73_286

Phil Mickelson 543 464 535-39_73_287

Tiger Woods 544 444 435-37_75_287

- AP

Scores Sunday from the U.S. Open, played at the par-71, 7,040-yard Pebble Beach Golf Links: (a-amateur)

Final Round

Graeme McDowell, $1,350,000 71-68-71-74-284

Gregory Havret, $810,000 73-71-69-72-285

Ernie Els, $480,687 73-68-72-73-286

Phil Mickelson, $303,119 75-66-73-73-287

Tiger Woods, $303,119 74-72-66-75-287

Matt Kuchar, $228,255 74-72-74-68-288

Davis Love III, $228,255 75-74-68-71-288

Brandt Snedeker, $177,534 75-74-69-71-289

Martin Kaymer, $177,534 74-71-72-72-289

Alex Cejka, $177,534 70-72-74-73-289

Dustin Johnson, $177,534 71-70-66-82-289

Sean O'Hair, $143,714 76-71-70-73-290

Tim Clark, $143,714 72-72-72-74-290

Ben Curtis, $127,779 78-70-75-68-291

Justin Leonard, $127,779 72-73-73-73-291

Peter Hanson, $108,458 73-76-74-69-292

a-Scott Langley, $0 75-69-77-71-292

Lee Westwood, $108,458 74-71-76-71-292

Jim Furyk, $108,458 72-75-74-71-292

Charl Schwartzel, $108,458 74-71-74-73-292

a-Russell Henley, $0 73-74-72-73-292

Sergio Garcia, $83,634 73-76-73-71-293

Shaun Micheel, $83,634 69-77-75-72-293

Angel Cabrera, $83,634 75-72-74-72-293

Padraig Harrington, $83,634 73-73-74-73-293

John Mallinger, $83,634 77-72-70-74-293

Ricky Barnes, $67,195 72-76-74-72-294

Robert Karlsson, $67,195 75-72-74-73-294

Stuart Appleby, $54,871 73-76-76-70-295

Henrik Stenson, $54,871 77-70-74-74-295

Robert Allenby, $54,871 74-74-73-74-295

Tom Watson, $54,871 78-71-70-76-295

Jason Dufner, $44,472 72-73-79-72-296

Ryan Moore, $44,472 75-73-75-73-296

David Toms, $44,472 71-75-76-74-296

Kenny Perry, $44,472 72-77-73-74-296

Brendon de Jonge, $44,472 69-73-77-77-296

Soren Kjeldsen, $44,472 72-71-75-78-296

Ryo Ishikawa, $44,472 70-71-75-80-296

Bo Van Pelt, $34,722 72-75-82-68-297

Ross McGowan, $34,722 72-73-78-74-297

S.Y. Noh, $34,722 74-72-76-75-297

Vijay Singh, $34,722 74-72-75-76-297

Stewart Cink, $34,722 76-73-71-77-297

Bobby Gates, $34,722 75-74-71-77-297

Paul Casey, $34,722 69-73-77-78-297

Jim Herman, $23,385 76-73-81-68-298

Rafael Cabrera-Bello, $23,385 70-75-81-72- 298

Chris Stroud, $23,385 77-72-76-73-298

Thongchai Jaidee, $23,385 74-75-74-75-298

Jason Gore, $23,385 76-73-74-75-298

Jason Allred, $23,385 72-73-76-77-298

Scott Verplank, $23,385 72-74-75-77-298

K. J. Choi, $23,385 70-73-77-78-298

Ian Poulter, $23,385 70-73-77-78-298

Luke Donald, $23,385 71-75-74-78-298

Edoardo Molinari, $23,385 75-72-72-79-298

Steve Stricker, $18,368 75-74-77-73-299

Retief Goosen, $18,368 75-74-76-74-299

Lucas Glover, $18,368 73-73-77-76-299

Hiroyuki Fujita, $18,368 72-77-74-76-299

Yuta Ikeda, $18,368 77-72-73-77-299

Gareth Maybin, $16,672 74-75-76-75-300

Toru Taniguchi, $16,672 73-76-76-75-300

Steve Wheatcroft, $16,672 74-73-77-76-300

Jerry Kelly, $16,672 72-70-81-77-300

Eric Axley, $16,672 75-73-75-77-300

Steve Marino, $16,672 73-75-73-79-300

Erick Justesen, $15,651 74-74-80-73-301

Camilo Villegas, $14,921 78-69-79-76-302

Fred Funk, $14,921 74-72-77-79-302

Matt Bettencourt, $14,921 72-74-77-79-302

David Duval, $14,921 75-73-74-80-302

Rhys Davies, $14,045 78-70-79-76-303

Kent Jones, $14,045 73-76-78-76-303

Nick Watney, $13,608 76-71-77-81-305

Matthew Richardson, $13,023 73-75-80-78-306

Zach Johnson, $13,023 72-77-78-79-306

Craig Barlow, $13,023 73-75-77-81-306

Mike Weir, $12,293 70-79-83-75-307

Ty Tryon, $12,293 75-74-78-80-307

Pablo Martin, $11,707 73-76-83-79-311

Jason Preeo, $11,707 75-70-82-84-311 - AP

Earlier report

PEBBLE BEACH, California: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland closed with a 3-over 74 to become the first European in 40 years to capture the U.S. Open.

McDowell seized control after a shocking collapse by Dustin Johnson, then failed to get flustered with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els lined up behind him. McDowell's father was waiting to embrace him on the 18th green.

"You're something, kid," Kenny McDowell said.

McDowell, 30, wasn't perfect, but he was good enough to take the initiative and hold on for a one-shot victory over another surprise contender, Gregory Havret of France, who shot 72.

Johnson took a triple bogey on the second hole to lose all of his three-shot lead, and a double bogey on the next hole ended his hopes.

Three of the biggest stars of this generation were right there, ready to continue the lineage of great champions at Pebble Beach, only to play far below their expectations.

McDowell made only one birdie - an 8-foot birdie putt on the fifth hole - and his final round was the highest score by a U.S. Open champion since Andy North in 1985.

"I can't believe I'm standing with this right now," McDowell said, posing with silver trophy.

"It's a dream come true. I've been dreaming it all my life. Two putts to win the U.S. Open. Can't believe it happened."

Woods couldn't believe it, either.

Poised to end six months of bad publicity over a shattered personal life, he bogeyed five of his first 10 holes and took himself out of contention with a 75.

Els and Mickelson hung around a little longer, and both had their chances, but neither hit the kind of shots that win the U.S. Open. - AP

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