U.S. Open gets golden Goosen

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 21, 2004

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. - Retief Goosen didn't get the cheers, just the U.S. Open trophy.

In a sterling display of clutch putting and great escapes, Goosen captured his second U.S. Open in four years Sunday at Shinnecock Hills by one-putting the final six greens and letting Phil Mickelson self-destruct.

In the toughest final round at the U.S. Open in 32 years, Goosen closed with a 1-over 71 for a two-shot victory made possible when Mickelson three-putted from 5 feet on the 17th just as the raucous New York gallery was ready to send him off in pursuit of the Grand Slam.

Email newsletter signup

Instead, it was Goosen who picked up his second major, along with validation as a tough customer under the most stifling pressure.

Mickelson, who won the Masters for his first major by shooting 31 on the back nine at Augusta National, looked like he might even bring Shinnecock to its knees with awesome control and three birdies over a four-hole stretch that gave him his first lead of the day.

''I fought hard all day,'' Mickelson said. ''I played some of the best golf I ever played.''

But he looked like the Mickelson of old when the U.S. Open was on the line.

From the left bunker on the par-3 17th, Mickelson blasted out to 5 feet, straight down the hill, the wind at his back making the crucial putt feel even faster.

It missed left and kept going, almost as far away on the other side. He missed that one, too, a double bogey that left him two shots behind with one hole to play.

Goosen also found the bunker, but he knocked it out to 3 feet and slipped it in the left corner for par.

When Mickelson failed to birdie the final hole, Goosen needed three putts from just on the fringe to win.

''I just didn't want to three-putt the 18th again, that's all,'' Goosen said.

He rolled in a 4-foot par putt, removed his cap and shook it at the hole.

Three years ago, Goosen had the U.S. Open at Southern Hills all wrapped up - until he three-putted from 12 feet on the final hole and fell into a playoff.

He won handily the next day, showing then to be unflappable.

He was just as steady Sunday on a crusty, wind-blown afternoon in which he escaped from trouble time and again.

U.S. Open scores

Retief Goosen, $1,125,00070-66-69-71-276

Phil Mickelson, $675,00068-66-73-71-278

Jeff Maggert, $424,60468-67-74-72-281

Mike Weir, $267,75669-70-71-74-284

Shigeki Maruyama, $267,75666-68-74-76-284

Fred Funk, $212,44470-66-72-77-285

Robert Allenby, $183,82870-72-74-70-286

Steve Flesch, $183,82868-74-70-74-286

Jay Haas, $145,28266-74-76-71-287

Stephen Ames, $145,28274-66-73-74-287

Chris DiMarco, $145,28271-71-70-75-287

Ernie Els, $145,28270-67-70-80-287

Tim Herron, $119,77075-66-73-74-288

a-Spencer Levin69-73-71-75-288

Timothy Clark, $119,77073-70-66-79-288

Angel Cabrera, $109,41066-71-77-75-289

Skip Kendall, $98,47768-75-74-73-290

Tiger Woods, $98,47772-69-73-76-290

Corey Pavin, $98,47767-71-73-79-290

Mark Calcavecchia, $80,64471-71-74-75-291

David Toms, $80,64473-72-70-76-291

Kirk Triplett, $80,64471-70-73-77-291

Sergio Garcia, $80,64472-68-71-80-291

Daniel Chopra, $63,32873-68-76-75-292

Tim Petrovic, $63,32869-75-72-76-292

Nick Price, $63,32873-70-72-77-292

Lee Janzen, $63,32872-70-71-79-292