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We're witnessing a different era in golf and especially at the US Open. The 2010 US Open concluded without an American in the top-three, the first time such a feat had been accomplished in the tournament's history. The 2011 US Open nearly suffered the same fate before Robert Garrigus and Kevin Chappell -- two of the unlikeliest of names -- vaulted into the top-three with late charges up the leaderboard. The world has caught up, and a look at how the majors have played out over the last year shows as much.
An American hasn't won a major since Phil Mickelson took home the green jacket at the 2010 Masters, a five major streak that Rory McIlroy continued this week. The European contingent -- and the world, in fact -- is taking its turn as golf's dominating group, and with Tiger Woods sidelined and Phil Mickelson slumping, there's no telling how long it will last.
Look at the US Open for another prime example. Idaho-born Robert Garrigus, hardly a household name, was the top American entering the final round. He faltered early, bogeying three of the first nine holes to fall out of the top-15, and at one point it looked as though the US Open would finish without an American in the top-five for the first time.
Thanks to a back-nine 31 -- five birdies and one bogey -- Garrigus climbed back up to where he started, finishing in third at the US Open. He was joined by Kevin Chappell, whose final round 66 tied with Charl Schwartzel for the low round of the day.
The two were the only Americans in the top-10 in the 2011 US Open. The leaderboard was a who's who of international golf, including Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, whose week served more as a coronation. It's clear Europe and the world are alive and well in the world of golf, and have risen to the top of the pecking order in the rankings and majors.
Here's a look at the top-10.
Rory McIlroy was already a millionaire, but his work at the US Open earned him a significant financial windfall, to the tune of just under $1.5 million. For his record performance at Congressional Country Club, McIlroy pocketed $1,440,000, almost double that of the second-place competitor. Jason Day, who finished in second by a whopping eight strokes, earned a solid chunk of the US Open payout, picking up $865,000 for his week's work.
Robert Garrigus bounced-back on the back-nine on Sunday after a dismal first nine pushed him out of the top-10. Thanks to a hard charge coming back in, Garrigus tied for the low American score at the US Open, finishing in a four-way tie for third place. Garrigus took home $364,241 for his work at the US Open, as did Lee Westwood, Kevin Chappell and Y.E. Yang.
Yang is surely kicking himself on Monday morning after he came down with a case of the snap hooks down the stretch at the US Open. Yang bogeyed the 15th and 18th as he scrambled around the course, falling from second to third by the time his round was over. His missteps cost him just a hair under $500,000 -- a tough pill to swallow after a solid week.
Here's how the top-10 shook-out. The full list can be found here.
Rory McIlroy $1,440,000
Jason Day $865,000
Robert Garrigus $364,241
Kevin Chappell $364,241
Lee Westwood $364,241
Y.E. Yang $364,241
Peter Hanson $228,416
Sergio Garcia $228,416
Charl Schwartzel $192,962
Louis Oosthuizen $192,962
After a front-nine played at 3-over, Robert Garrigus made a comeback on the back-nine to climb back towards the top of the 2011 US Open leaderboard. While there was no catching Rory McIlroy, Garrigus put his head down and started grinding to close his US Open try, and did well for himself. Birdies on No. 10, 13, 15 and 16 were only interrupted by a bogey on No. 14 as Garrigus moved back to 5-under for the tournament and into a tie for seventh-place with two holes to go.
Garrigus added a birdie on No. 17 to get to 1-under for the day, 6-under for the tournament and into a tie for fourth-place heading into the always-difficult 18th hole. He rolled in a beautiful, curling par on 18 to remain at 6-under and in a tie for fourth as the low American at the US Open.
Meanwhile, McIlroy was still destroying Congressional Country Club and has yet to take his foot off the gas pedal. On No. 16, McIlroy put his shot above the hole, pulling the string and just missing an eagle from the fairway as it settled just a few feet from the cup. As long as McIlroy doesn't repeatedly pound balls into the water on the final hole, he'll easily take home the US Open title while smashing records along the way. His disastrous final round at Augusta is gone and this week served as a coronation.
For the day, McIlroy is at 16-under, nine shots clear of the field. Jason Day is in second at 8-under for the week. Y.E. Yang is third at 7-under, and along for the ride with McIlroy. Kevin Chappell finished at 6-under, in a tie for fourth with Lee Westwood and Garrigus. Sergio Garcia dropped a shot on 18 to finish at 5-under, in a tie for eighth with Peter Hanson.
It's all but over for McIlroy as he begins his stroll down 18 and into the record books at Congressional. But for Garrigus, it's hard to call this week anything but a success after a bounce-back final round and a top-five finish.
Robert Garrigus is grinding away in the final round of the 2011 US Open after recording four bogeys on the front-nine to fall back to 2-under for the tournament and into a tie for 17th. But Garrigus finally got one back on the 10th hole with a birdie on the difficult par three to get back to 3-under for the tournament. He followed it up with another birdie on the par three 13th, and now sits at 4-under and in eighth place on the US Open leaderboard. But his efforts won't get him anywhere near the top of the leaderboard, a spot Rory McIlroy has taken up residence in this US Open.
McIlroy is taking what amounts to a victory lap on Sunday at the US Open, and all that's left is history. His US Open is one for the record books, and a tournament scoring record is within his grasp. With a birdie on No. 10 after nearly holing his tee shot, McIlroy pushed his score to 17-under for the tournament, well clear of the field. He did give one back on the par four 12th, but still holds an eight shot lead with six to play.
Y.E. Yang, playing alongside McIlroy, is still in second at 8-under for the tournament, but is fighting a losing battle. It's a battle for second at Congressional Country Club, and Yang is winning the fight, though he's losing the war for first. Jason Day is in third at 7-under, with Peter Hanson, Kevin Chappell and Sergio Garcia at 6-under and in a tie for third. Lee Westwood is alone in seventh at 5-under for the day.
McIlroy is on his way on the back nine at Congressional and is still throwing darts, just like he has all week. With six holes to play, it's all but over, and McIlroy has nearly erased the demons of Augusta.
Robert Garrigus entered the final round of the 2011 US Open near the top of the leaderboard, but is in a free-fall early at Congressional Country Club. Garrigus began the final round in a tie for third at 5-under for the tournament, but hasn't fared well over the first seven holes, recording three bogeys to fall back into a tie for 17th. His three-over round has him at 2-under for the tournament, 14 shots back of Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy is cruising, and the memories of Augusta appear to be dead and gone. At 2-under for the day, and 16-under for the tournament, his lead stands at nine, and it will take a collapse of historic proportions for him to give the US Open away. At this point, it's a competition between McIlroy and history as he has a chance to rewrite the record books in the final round.
With a round of 72, McIlroy will break the US Open scoring record. Through six holes, he's on pace for a round of 69, which would be his third round in the 60s this week. Over the first three round, he recorded a 65, 66 and 68 while steamrolling the field at the 2011 US Open. And he's shown no signs of slowing down.
Y.E. Yang, McIlroy's playing partner again on Sunday, is in second by himself at 7-under. Frederik Jacobson and Jason Day are in a tie for third at 6-under on the day. Peter Hanson and Lee Westwood are at 5-under for the tournament and in a tie for fifth, 11 shots off the pace.
While Garrigus is out of contention, he can still earn a nice payday with a comeback over the final 11 holes. A top-five at the US Open is worth a significant financial windfall. But he has some work to do in order to get himself towards the top of the leaderboard after bogeys the first, fifth and sixth holes to open the final round.
Robert Garrigus had a rough start to his final round of the 2011 US Open, giving a shot back on the par four first. His bogey pushed him back into a tie for sixth on the US Open leaderboard, a whopping 11 shots off the lead. Coming into Sunday's round, Garrigus had been in a tie for third, behind Rory McIlroy and Y.E. Yang.
And then there's McIlroy, the man of the day and wee at the US Open. Through three rounds, McIlroy has rewritten the record books, recording three rounds in the 60s to get to 14-under for the tournament. His overall score and score to par through 54 holes were US Open records and if he shoots a 72 or better, he'll have the tournament scoring record.
McIlroy began his round with -- you guessed it -- a birdie on the first hole. At 1-under for his round, McIlroy is now at 15-under for the tournament, and widened his lead to nine strokes. With his final round Masters meltdown still fresh in his mind, getting off to a good start was key, and McIlroy did just that on Sunday at Congressional. Though there's still 17 holes to go, his final round already has the feel of a coronation.
Lee Westwood birdied the first hole to get to 6-under for the tournament and into a tie for second-place. Still, he's nine strokes back and has a long ways to go to get into contention. Yang recorded a par on the first hole and is also at 6-under for the day.
For Garrigus, the deficit is 11 strokes, a daunting task to makeup over 17 holes. It's going to take a miracle for he, or any other competitor, to catch McIlroy and Sunday may simply be a race for second at the US Open. Sergio Garcia, Steve Stricker and Louis Oosthuizen are also at 4-under for the tournament and in a tie for sixth.
Heading into Sunday's final round of the 2011 US Open, it's Rory McIlroy's tournament to lose at Congressional Country Club, where he sits atop the leaderboard by eight strokes. But as we learned at The Masters, where McIlroy also held the lead heading into the final 18 holes, anything can happen on the final day of a major, and no lead is safe. The young Irishmen also held a lead at The Masters, but unraveled on Sunday as Charl Schwartzel took home the green jacket.
This time around, there's a different feel to McIlroy. As the rest of the field stumbles and bumbles around the course, he's been adept at avoiding trouble while throwing darts at the flagsticks. McIlroy has only made bogey or worse twice -- the first of which, a double bogey, came on No. 18 at the end of his second round. As a result, he's 14-under for the tournament and recorded the best score to par ever in a US Open after 54 holes. In fact, as long as he shoots par or better on Sunday, he'll have the best score in the history of the tournament.
Idaho native and Portland resident Robert Garrigus is right in the thick of things, battling for second and hoping McIlroy slips up with the rest of the field. After three rounds, Garrigus is at 5-under, tied for third place with two others. Y.E. Yang is one shot in front of the group at 6-under and will pair with McIlroy again in the final round.
To get an idea of how far in front McIlroy, here's what the top of the leaderboard looks like heading into the final round.
|1||-||Rory McIlroy||-14||3:20 pm ET||-||65||66||68||-||199|
|2||-||Y.E. Yang||-6||3:20 pm ET||-||68||69||70||-||207|
|T3||-||Robert Garrigus||-5||3:00 pm ET||-||70||70||68||-||208|
|T3||-||Jason Day||-5||3:10 pm ET||-||71||72||65||-||208|
|T3||-||Lee Westwood||-5||3:10 pm ET||-||75||68||65||-||208|
|T6||-||Sergio Garcia||-4||2:50 pm ET||-||69||71||69||-||209|
|T6||-||Matt Kuchar||-4||2:50 pm ET||-||72||68||69||-||209|
|T6||-||Fredrik Jacobson||-4||3:00 pm ET||-||74||69||66||-||209|
At this point, even a meltdown may not knock him out of contention, thanks to the monstrous gap he's opened on the field.
The final group tees-off on Sunday at 3:20 p.m. Garrigus will be the third-to-last group, teeing-off at 3:00 p.m. with Frederik Jacobson. On Saturday, Jacobson flirted with a 63 before fading on the back nine to finish with a 66, putting him at 4-under for the tournament. Sunday's tee times can be found here.
The third round is in the books at the 2011 US Open and it's Rory McIlroy's tournament to lose. While the field did feature some outstanding performances on Saturday, McIlroy is still completely running away with the tournament. The young Irishman finds himself at the top of the leaderboard by a mile after carding a 68 in the third round to get to 14-under for the tournament, eight shots clear of the field. While his Masters meltdown remains at the front of our minds, McIlroy has been throwing darts, sinking putts and playing just about perfect -- save for a double-bogey on Friday at No. 18 -- thus far.
Robert Garrigus is in the hunt after a 68 third round to get to 5-under for the tournament. While his score would normally be good for first, or close to it, Garrigus finds himself a victim of bad timing in a US Open that McIlory is running away with. Even still, his week has been outstanding thus far as he puts on an impressive display with long drives and solid all-around play. It just looks like he'll be battling it out with the field for second, barring a collapse of historic proportions.
Y.E. Yang got a front row seat to McIlroy's third round, and still remains his closest competitor, which isn't saying a ton at this point. Yang stands a whopping eight shots back after three rounds, and has to be hoping for a miracle on Sunday. His third round 70 has him alone in second-place at 6-under for the tournament.
Lee Westwood and Jason Day entered the clubhouse early at 5-under for the tournament after carding 65s on the day. Their scores are good enough for a tie for third, nine shots behind McIlroy. Frederik Jacobson carded a 66 to get to 4-under and in a tie for sixth with Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar. Kyung-Tae Kim is just behind the group at 2-under for the tournament.
After three rounds, Garrigus is battling and McIlroy is riding his steamroller into the sunset after a historic 54 holes at Congressional Country Club in the 2011 US Open.
Robert Garrigus is still hanging around near the top of the leaderboard, but it may not matter if Rory McIlroy keeps playing the way he is. For the day, Garrigus is 2-under, pushing his score to 4-under for the tournament. Garrigus sits in a tie for fourth-place, but is an astonishing nine shots behind McIlroy, who is still holding a firm grip on the top of the leaderboard.
Three players are in the clubhouse ahead of Garrigus, and all three carded superb scores in the 60s on Saturday. Jason Day and Lee Westwood are tied for second after carding 65s in the third round to get to 5-under for the tournament. Frederik Jacobson is tied with Garrigus at the moment after firing a 66 to get to 4-under for the tournament. At one point, Jacobson was threatening 63 for the day, but faded on the back nine.
And then there is Rory McIlroy. Right now, nobody is playing better, and nobody in the field has a chance to touch him if he keeps this up. Birdies on No. 5 and No. 9 got him to 13-under for the tournament before he gave one back with a bogey on No. 10 after hitting into the bunker behind the green. But McIlroy bounced back just moments ago on No. 11, carding a birdie three to get back to 13-under. At this point, he's threatening Tiger Woods' incredible US Open, and may rewrite the history books before he's done.
It's a battle for second on Saturday and Garrigus is still hanging around, bombing drives out past 300 yards and playing some good golf. Unfortunately, where 4-under would typically good for a lead at the US Open, it's all for naught at this point with McIlroy gunning at Congressional Country Club.
There are scores to be had in the third round of the 2011 US Open. Rain on Friday softened the course again, allowing players to take dead-aim at the pins. Rounds in the 60s are out there, and at least one player -- Frederik Jacobson -- is threatening 63, sitting at 6-under through 11 holes. The leaders just teed-off, and the US Open leaderboard may suddenly get tight with the conditions at Congressional Country Club on Saturday.
Robert Garrigus is through just a few holes in his third round, but is hanging around early. He's 1-under for the day through four holes after a solid birdie on No. 1. That score is good for a tie for fifth as of now, though he currently sits eight shots back of the lead. Garrigus is certainly a player to watch -- he drives the ball over 300 yards and uses a 28-inch putter, making for a hilarious sight on the greens.
McIlroy's ball-striking is hit and miss thus far, leaving the door wide-open for the field to make a move. He's been scrambling early, and sits at even-par for the day, but 11-under for the tournament. He still sits at the top of the leaderboard by a mile, and holds a six-shot lead on Jacobson, who sits in second by his lonesome.
Just one shot ahead of Garrigus is Y.E. Yang and Russel Henley, the low amateur in the US Open. Henley and Yang are both at 4-under -- Yang through two holes and Henley through 11. Even still, it's amazing to realize the two are seven shots back of McIlroy on Saturday.
It's early in the second round on moving day and the field is ever-changing. Coverage of the US Open can be found on NBC from now until the end of the round, which is scheduled to conclude sometime around 4 of 5 p.m. PDT this evening.
At the 2011 US Open, it's Rory McIlroy vs. himself at this point. Over the first two rounds, McIlroy has opened a six shot lead over the next closest competitor, and is well clear of the rest of the pack on the US Open leaderboard. Among that pack is Robert Garrigus, an Idaho-born relative unknown who's made waves at the US Open this year. Through two rounds, Garrigus sits in a tie for third, but is so far behind McIlroy it may take a miracle, or another Masters-like collapse, for him to have a chance.
Garrigus is tied with four others for third on the leaderboard after back-to-back rounds of 1-under 70 brought him to 2-under for the tournament. His company in third-place, however, is familiar, and includes former Masters champion Zach Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar. But while they're toiling around par, McIlroy is running away with the tournament, and only Y.E. Yang sits within striking distance through two rounds.
Ryan Moore didn't fare as well after rounds of 73 and 77 eliminated him from contention over the first two days. Moore is on his way home after missing the cut, which currently stands at 4-over. The cut may move early in the morning as the final groups from Friday finish their rounds following a weather delay which forced play to be suspended due to darkness.
Olympia native Andres Gonzales is also out of the US Open, doomed by an opening round 79. He bounced back in a big way on Friday, firing a 1-under 70 to get to 7-over for the tournament, but will miss the cut this year. But Gonzales' loss is our gain: He can go back to tweeting at Tiger Woods and being a social butterfly on Twitter as he heads home. Read more about Gonzales and his fun exploits here.
The third round of play gets started on Saturday morning after the second round concludes. With only 18 players left on the course, Saturday's round shouldn't be delayed too long, though it will be later than scheduled. McIlroy and Yang will tee-off last, and Garrigus will be in one of the final few groups. Coverage of the third round begins at 11 a.m. PDT on NBC.
Andres Gonzales' 2011 US Open try got off to a rocky start on Thursday, leaving him nowhere near the top of the leaderboard as the second round began. Gonzales, who has become our favorite golfer due to his engaging personality and love for Tiger Woods, fared much better on Friday, but even an under-par round was not enough to save him from the dreaded US Open cut. With scores well-above par at Congressional Country Club, it's been tough sledding for the whole field, and especially for our local golfers.
Ryan Moore joined Gonzales on the plane back home after a horrific second round put him near the bottom of the leaderboard. Moore was in decent shape after the first round, carding a 2-over 73 to open the tournament. While over-par seems like a poor score, and is in most tournament, the US Open is a different beast. Par is highly sought-after and those who are able to break par are typically sitting in good shape.
At 8-over for the tournament, Moore won't be playing on the weekend in the 2011 US Open. Gonzales is right there with him after an 8-over first round left him well off the pace. But if there was a positive for the Kenny Powers lookalike, it's that he shot a 1-under 70 on Friday, leaving him at 7-over for the tournament.
Nampa, Idaho native Robert Garrigus is sitting pretty heading into the weekend, and is currently in a tie on the leaderboard at 2-under for the tournament. Garrigus has been consistent with 1-under 70s on each of the first two days. And while third-place may sound like a good position to be in, it's important to note that Rory McIlroy is so far ahead of the field that it may take a disaster for Garrigus or the rest of the top-competitors to catch him.
McIlroy currently sits at 11-under after a first round 65 and second round 66 to begin the US Open. The young Irishman has bounced back well after his meltdown at The Masters, and is poised to run away with the US Open title. Currently, he sits seven shots clear of Y.E. Yang, whose 4-under is good for second place on the leaderboard.
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