Up & Down

Up & Down

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Angel Cabrera
Al Tielemans/SI

Winner: Argentina
Angel Cabrera got his first Tour win and also the first major victory
for a South American since Roberto De Vicenzo hauled the claret jug home from
Hoylake back in 1967.

Loser: Australia
The land Down Under’s much hyped young stars wilted under Oakmont’s pressure.
First Adam Scott, then Geoff Ogilvy and finally Aaron Baddeley (right).

Winner: Par
By all rights, Oakmont should have played as a par 71, which means Cabrera’s
plus-five would’ve been one over, but either way, par definitely meant
something during Open week.

Loser: Scoring
Fans who think birdies and low numbers equal exciting golf were sorely
disappointed by Oakmont. There were a total of seven eagles and only eight
rounds in the 60s.

Winner: Tiger’s Nike ad
The commercial in which the clubmaker hand-produces a tiny version of TW’s
sticks was a fun Father’s Day tribute.

Loser: Tiger Woods
With major number 13 there for the taking, Woods couldn’t produce one of his
magical finishes.

Winner: Seasoned vets
When things got tough, the experienced guys took over–Jim Furyk, David Toms, Scott Verplank and Jerry Kelly all battled into the top 10, and
Steve Stricker (13th) held the lead on Sunday.

Loser: Young guns
Nick Dougherty hung on to tie for seventh, but fellow up-and-comers (and
Englishmen) Paul Casey and Justin Rose failed to make a run at the
title after putting themselves in prime position.

Winner: Johnny Miller
The super announcer got his due and then some. For a full week, references to Miller’s historic final-round, Open-winning 63 at Oakmont in 1973 were harder to avoid than Cialis ads.

Loser: Butch Harmon
The super coach has clients, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott, ranked among the
top five in the world, but both flamed out in spectacular fashion and missed
the cut.

Winner: USGA
Perennial whipping boys, the association brass take heat for everything from
the course to the concessions, but they did well this year to swallow their
pride, put some water on the course and keep it fair.

Loser: Oakmont
The members who whined about the course being too easy left a sour taste. The
U.S. Open is not about feeding their egos.

Winner: Bubba Watson
The lanky lefty played great, wowing crowds with his length and Johnny Miller
with his shotmaking, in the process becoming a new fan favorite.

Loser: Phil Mickelson
Lefty gave it a valiant try, but the fan fave couldn’t drag his left wrist
under the cut line, then compounded his ills with silly stuff about workplace
hazards.