Australian golfer Jeff Ogilvy has emerged the winner of the 106th U.S. Open after stunning final hole collapses that crushed chances to win for both Colin Montgomerie of Scotland and American Phil Mickelson.
Ogilvy claimed his first major title with a five-over-par 285 Sunday. He posted the highest winning score since American Hale Irwin's seven-over-par victory 32 years earlier on the same Winged Foot West course in Mamaroneck, New York. The 29-year-old Ogilvy says some of his earliest memories of golf was watching the 1984 U.S. Open on television, when American Fuzzy Zoeller defeated Australian Greg Norman in a playoff at Winged Foot. Ogilvy says playing the course lived up to his expectations.
"The first time I came here was about Monday two weeks ago," he said. "And I was impressed from the first moment. I was really happy with what I saw. It beats you up. But you still enjoy every moment playing in a place like this."
Ogilvy calmly completed his round after Montgomerie found deep rough in front of the 18th green and slipped to six-over-par with a double bogey [two-over-par on a hole]. Mickelson finished with a double bogey after getting into trouble when his tee shot on the final hole went far left. Fellow American Jim Furyk also finished one shot back. Coming into the final hole, Ogilvy felt his chance to win would come in a playoff.
"I thought Colin might bogey on the last hole, not get a six," he said. "And when I saw that, I thought I can get this up and down and make par, this is a tough hole and anything can happen on this hole. I thought if Phil misses the fairway, he is really going to struggle to make par and maybe we could play tomorrow [in a playoff]. I never expected to win it outright after finishing at five-over [par]."
Ogilvy is only the second Australian to win the U.S. Open after David Graham first did it in 1981. Mickelson was aiming for his third straight major title. Montgomerie has never won on U.S. soil and has played in 58 majors without ever winning a Grand Slam title.