All of the great golf legends throughout history can breathe a sigh of relief. No matter how great you are at this game, it always has the potential to jump up and bite you on the ass. Tiger Woods has spanked the golf world for a very long time. He wins major tournaments as effortlessly as John Daly downs beers.
Woods has continually made a mockery of a very difficult and demanding game. Heâ€™s snubbed his nose at the golf gods as if to say, â€œWhatâ€™s all the fuss about?â€
Well, after this weekend the whole world knows â€“ Tiger Woods is human after all. Heâ€™s not invincible. Heâ€™s capable of choking like anyone else. The man is infallible. Woods can get rattled. He can be had.
Angel Cabrera hit all the perfect shots when he needed them most to hold off Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk by a stroke on Sunday at the U.S. Open, shooting a 1-under-par 69 at an unforgiving Oakmont and giving Argentina its first major championship in 40 years.
For the second straight time in a major, Woods played in the final group and couldn't get the job done.
Woods squandered birdie chances with his wedge and his putter, and Furyk paid for a questionable choice of driver on the 306-yard 17th hole and fell out of the lead with a bogey.
That left Cabrera all alone at the end.
The only other Argentine to win a major was Roberto de Vicenzo in the 1967 British Open at Hoylake. He was equally famous for signing for the wrong score a year later at the Masters, keeping him out of a playoff.
"It is very difficult to describe at the moment," an elated Cabrera said. "Probably tomorrow, when I wake up with this trophy beside me, I will realize I won the U.S. Open."
Cabrera made his share of mistakes â€“ no one played spectacular golf on this brutally tough course outside Pittsburgh - but he overcame late bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes with a perfect tee shot and a par that gave him the victory.
Woods, a runner-up to unheralded Zach Johnson at the Masters, played the final 32 holes at Oakmont with only one birdie. He missed a birdie putt from 6 feet on the 13th, and the only clutch putts he made on the back nine were for par.
"He put a lot of pressure on Jim and I, and we didn't get it done," said Woods, who closed with a 72 and extended his dubious streak of never winning a major when he wasn't leading going into the final round.
Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion, ran off three straight birdies on the back nine and was tied for the lead when he opted to hit driver on the 17th, where the tees were moved up. He hit so far and enough left that he had no angle to the pin, and the lie was so deep that he didn't even reach the green. His 8-foot par putt caught the lip and spun away.
Needing birdie on the final hole, Furyk dropped the club after contact, and his long putt never had a chance.
Copyright © 2010 Ed Attanasio
Tiger is Human After All!
Copyright © 2010 Ed Attanasio
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