Thomas Hunter at the Crikey sports desk writes:

Golf is that rarest of sports in which winning a major championship can be a simple as sitting in the clubhouse watching your competitors self-destruct as they try to win it for themselves.

Australian Geoff Ogilvy this morning watched on as he won the US Open by one stroke from Phil Mickelson, Colin Montgomery and Jim Furyk. Ogilvy, who shot a final 72 to be five over after 72 holes (71, 70, 72, 72), tapped a putt in for par on the last hole, believing it would only be good enough for second place.

The 29-year-old was followed by Phil Mickelson, who was gunning for his third straight major, a feat only one other golfer – Tiger Woods – has achieved in the last 50 years. But as Ogilvy watched from the sidelines, it all went wrong for Mickelson on the final hole. He sent his tee shot into a hospitality tent, hit a tree with his second shot, leaving himself with a bunker shot for his third, and eventually carded a double-bogey. In the final three holes, Mickelson squandered a two shot lead, and by the time he tapped in on the 18th, he was even for the day but six over for the tournament, where he was joined by Colin Montgomery and Jim Furyk in equal second place.

Meanwhile, with his clubs packed away, Ogilvy watched as the tournament slipped from Mickelson’s grasp into his own. But that isn’t to say Ogilvy didn’t earn it. As the US Open website says this morning: “Of the five US Opens played at Winged Foot, Ogilvy’s winning score was behind only Hale Irwin’s seven-over finish in 1974 and Bob Jones’s six-over total in 1929.”

It’s the second big win for Ogilvy this year after his surprise World Match play Championship win in February, and the first time an Australian has won the US Open since David Graham in 1981. For his trouble, Ogilvy pockets $US1,225,000.

Of the other Australians, Nick O’Hern finished in equal sixth, Robert Allenby in equal 16th, Adam Scott in equal 21st, with Rod Pampling and Scott Hend further back in equal 32nd.

Peter Fray

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