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.