RETIEF GOOSEN He's made almost $10 million in his career, but
he's so cool that at times he seems more like The Six Million
Dollar Man. You know, "a man barely alive...."
SOUTH AFRICANS They've taken four of the last 11 U.S. Opens and
had three players in the top 13 last week (Goosen, Els and Tim
PHIL MICKELSON ON 16 The Old Phil played it in six over in '95
while losing by four, but the New Phil got through the tricky
par-5 in two under.
June 27, 2004
BUTCH HARMON Tiger's former teacher finally came right out and
said what anyone with eyes has known for the last six months:
Woods is not the same.
JAY AND BILL HAAS They provided a Hallmark moment when they both
made the cut and played on Father's Day, with the old man
shooting a one-over 71 to match the second-best round of the day.
SAND WEDGE Thanks to the technology boom of the last decade, it
has become a much more important club as several players,
including Woods, went driver, sand wedge at the final hole on
ROBERT ALLENBY The wire-haired Aussie was the only player to
shoot par on Sunday, which moved him 26 places up the leader
board by simply standing pat.
SHINNECOCK HILLS 2004 With fewer trees, shaved chipping areas
around the greens and a setup that was on the edge of fair, the
course was a terrific stage.
QUALIFIERS Twenty-two of them made the cut, including Jeff
Maggert, who finished alone in third after a gutsy final-round
ERNIE ELS He owned Goosen when they were kids, but on Sunday, Els
blew a chance to move atop the World Ranking while watching his
former whipping boy win a second major.
EUROPEANS Sergio Garcia was the top Euro at 20th, with an 11-over
291, extending the continent's winless streak at the U.S. Open to
PHIL MICKELSON ON 17 Maybe he was too relaxed after successfully
navigating 16, because on Saturday and Sunday, Lefty was three
over on the par-3 and wound up losing by two.
TIGER WOODS Mathematically he's still No. 1, but Butch is right:
Tiger's in denial. He's not even close to being the best player
in the world.
CRAIG AND KEVIN STADLER They provided a South Park moment when
chunk-off-the-old-block Kevin imploded with a final-round 85,
prompting dad to say on TV that whoever set up the course must
have had a "brain fart."
FOUR-WOOD It doesn't get much notoriety outside of Pavin's famous
slash at the '95 Open, a shot that now seems more connected to
Craig Wood than Tiger Woods.
STUART APPLEBY The wire-haired Aussie played solidly except for a
six-hole stretch in the first round during which he went eight
over to miss the cut at plus nine.
SHINNECOCK HILLS 1995 With a crazy mix of weather, rough around
the greens and generally more shaggy conditions, the course
wasn't much to look at.
EXEMPTIONS Michelle Wie failed to qualify for the men's Public
Links. Is it time to rethink her free pass into the U.S. Women's
Steve Williams has no business playing camera cop as he did,
again, at the U.S. Open. If he keeps it up, he's going to end up
in court or on the wrong side of someone's fist.