Retief Goosen wins the 101st U.S. Open
The U.S. Open returned to Southern Hills for the first time since 1977, where Hubert Green appeared & won in his first major championship.
Players complained that approach shots, landing in the middle of green in the 18th hole, could wind up 40 yards (37 m) away in the fairway after rolling back down the two-tiered putting surface. The USGA and Southern Hills officials raced to rectify the problem by feeding the green fertilizer to spur the growth of more grass, calling off the mowers and hand watering the green during the day.
Mark Brooks three-putted his way out of the lead on the 18th, playing two groups behind Retief Goosen. Goosen blasted his birdie putt within two feet of the 18th hole, but he then missed the putt for par, and ended up in a tie with Brooks. Goosen prevailed the next day in an 18-hole playoff. The purse was $5 million and Goosen earned $900,000. The tournament was also notable for breaking Tiger Woods's "Tiger Slam" run of consecutive major championship wins; Woods finished twelfth.
Retief Goosen captured the 101st U.S. Open Championship Monday, posting a two-shot victory over Mark Brooks in an 18-hole playoff at Southern Hills Country Club. The seemingly stoic 32-year-old became the third South African to win the title, joining countrymen Gary Player and Ernie Els as champions of the USGA's premier event. A two-shot swing in Brooks' favor at the 17th cut Goosen's lead to three shots with one hole to play. But Brooks, who struggled off the tee all day, sent his most important drive into the right-hand rough. He chose a fairway wood for his approach and did well to run his ball into the bunker short and left of the final green. Goosen found the 18th fairway with his drive, then hit a five-iron that landed short of the green and rolled 20 yards (18 m) back down the slope. Taking no chances with his tight uphill lie, Goosen used a putter to knock his ball onto the putting surface, but was left staring at a 25-footer for his par. Brooks blasted out of the trap to three feet to set up a closing par for a two-over 72. Goosen left his bid for par five feet short, but this time rolled in the clinching putt for an even-par 70 that saw him become just the sixth foreign-born winner of the U.S. Open in the last 70 years.