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Cabrera tames Tiger at Oakmont

Tiger Woods
Robert Beck/SI
"Finishing second is never fun. You play so hard, and it's just disappointing," Woods said.

Once again, just like at the Masters, Woods was the last player to walk off the 18th green with the trophy belonging to someone else.

"Finishing second is never fun,'' Woods said after closing with a 72. "You play so hard, and it's just disappointing.''

Furyk became the first player since Arnold Palmer in 1966-67 to be a runner-up in the U.S. Open in consecutive years. A year ago at Winged Foot, he failed to convert a 6-foot par on the final hole that left him one shot behind Geoff Ogilvy.

Cabrera not only beat the No. 1 and No. 3 players in the world, his birdie on the final hole Friday caused No. 2 Phil Mickelson to miss the cut in a major for the first time in eight years.

The big-hitting Argentine earned this one.

"I beat everybody here, not only Tiger Woods,'' Cabrera said. "But I wasn't able to beat the golf course. The golf course beat me.''

Oakmont turned into a survival test with its thick rough and scary greens, although Cabrera handled it better than anyone. Of the eight sub-par rounds all week, he had two of them, and finished at 5-over 285.

And yes, he signed for the right score.

The only other Argentine to win a major was Robert de Vicenzo in the 1967 British Open at Hoylake, where he held off Jack Nicklaus with a daring 3-wood on the final hole. De Vicenzo is equally famous for signing for the wrong score a year later at the Masters, keeping him out of a playoff.

Woods, a runner-up to Johnson at this year's Masters, played the final 32 holes at Oakmont with only one birdie.

"He put a lot of pressure on Jim and I, and we didn't get it done,'' said Woods, who extended his dubious streak of never winning a major when he wasn't leading going into the final round.

For Woods, this is becoming all too familiar for all the wrong reasons. It was the second straight major he played in the final group, only to see an unproven player take the lead, unable to do anything about it.

He missed a 6-foot birdie putt on the 13th, and the only clutch putts he made the rest of the way were for par.

Furyk, who grew up in western Pennsylvania, 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 stood by his decision, shocked that the ball carried so far. The rough was only part of the problem; Furyk had no angle to the pin, and his delicate shot came a few yards short of the green.

"Getting that close and not being able to win the golf tournament, yeah, it stings a little,'' said Furyk, who shot 70 for the second straight day. "But I went down swinging.''

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