Jun 13th, 2019
Pebble Beach Remembered
Gmac grinds his way to victory
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
When Graeme McDowell teed up at Pebble Beach in 2010 for the US Open golf championship, he had not previously won on the USPGA. However, he was a golfer in form having won the week before at the Celtic Manor Wales Open. 72 holes later and he stood on the final green sinking a short putt for the US Open title.
MacDowell said he felt at home at Pebble Beach which may have been due it similarities with his home town of Portrush on the coast of Northern Ireland. He managed to stay relaxed throughout that final round whilst some of the greats of golf faltered.
Dustin Johnson led the field by three from McDowell going into the final round after a great 66 in the third round. That same day one Tiger Woods, back after his (how do we put this delicately) erm, personal issues, also shot a 66 to put himself in contention. Tiger was five back on one under with Ernie Els and Gregory Havret on level par and Phil Mickelson one shot further behind.
Sadly, for Dustin Johnson he triple bogied the second hole and his round imploded from there. He would eventually shoot 82 and end in a tie for eighth. Gmac parred the first four holes and then birdied par three 5th hole to go to four under.
Meanwhile Ernie Els was making a move and after six holes had joined Gmac in the lead at three under. Both players faltered around the turn with McDowell taking bogies at the 9th and 10th holes but Els faired worse with two bogies and a double bogey putting him two shots behind McDowell.
Neither Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson fired on the final day. They were always there or thereabouts but couldn’t pick up the birdies they needed to challenge. The event came down to a three horse race, down the stretch, between McDowell, Els and France’s Havret.
Els made bogey at the par three 17th and then missed a makeable birdie put at the last to be leader in the clubhouse on two over. Gregory Havret, who had played the best golf of the leaders, also missed a birdie chance on the 18th green to finish on one over.
This left McDowell just needing a par at the last to take the title. A solid drive, two solid iron shots and a good lag putt later and McDowell was tapping in to take the US Open title.
- McDowell was only the second European to win the U.S. Open since 1925
- The event finished on Father’s Day and McDowells father was in the crowd and had suggested Gmac could give him the best present by winning the event.
- Tom Watson received a special exemption from the USGA to play at the age of 60. Watson would finish tied 29th for the event in his last US Open, the same position he finished in his first Open in 1972.