Open notes: Tiger positive despite poor weekend

Tiger Woods of the U.S. reacts after his bogey on the first hole during the final round of the 2012...

Tiger Woods of the U.S. reacts after his bogey on the first hole during the final round of the 2012 U.S. Open golf tournament on the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California June 17, 2012. (REUTERS)

KIRK PENTON, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:21 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO - Talk about looking on the bright side.

Just when it appeared Tiger Woods had turned a corner in his comeback, he ran into a brick wall on the weekend at the U.S. Open.

Woods shared the 36-hole lead at The Olympic Club before shooting a 75 on Saturday and then a 73 on Sunday.

That means The Striped One is now 8-2 at majors when holding or sharing the lead after 36 holes.

Despite finding plenty of rough on the weekend, Woods said there were many positives.

“(Saturday) I was just a touch off,” he said. “As I explained to you (Saturday), I just happened to get those half clubs all day. Never got the speed of the greens yesterday as well.

“But today was different. I felt great on the greens, had the perfect speed all day and unfortunately just got off to such an awful start and tried coming in, but I was too far out.”

Woods put on a clinic over the first two days. He was the cream of the crop in his star-studded threesome on Thursday and Friday that also included Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson. He shot 69 and 70 by hitting fairways and greens.

On Sunday he was 6-over after six holes but battled back with three birdies the rest of the way. So maybe his late surge is why he was whistling through the graveyard following his round. Sunday, however, was his worst statistical day, as he hit only five fairways and nine greens.

Don’t tell that to Woods, though.

“I’m excited about the consistency of it, how well I hit the ball all week,” Woods said. “I didn't really miss it that badly this week. The misses were just a fraction off, which is great. That’s what we want to have happen. And this golf course is just so demanding that a fraction off you pay a price.”

He does have a point. And he does have two wins this season.

So while there will be those who will jump all over Woods and say he’s not back, he proved on Thursday and Friday he can do it. He can’t do it over four days like he did a decade ago, but he still appears to be on the right track.

If there’s one thing he needs to lose, however, it’s the woe-is-me and dramatic attitude. No one cares that much about your three putts, Tiger.

HOSSLER A FAN FAVOURITE

“Let’s go, Hossler!”

Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap.

That’s how 17-year-old amateur Beau Hossler was greeted on Sunday by the massive crowd in the amphitheatre that surrounds the eighth green at The Olympic Club. It was one of many cheers the Grade 11 high school student from southern California got throughout the week.

Hossler will go down as one of the more memorable stories from the 112th U.S. Open. The Grade 11 student with braces was a fan favourite. Everybody loves an underdog, and they don’t get much bigger than someone who still has a year of high school remaining.

Hossler, who was appearing in his second consecutive U.S. Open, shot a double bogey on the 18th and signed for a 76, giving him a four-round total of 9-over par.

The crowd still loved him. One group of young men, proclaiming to be from Hossler’s hometown of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., offered to buy him a drink. Another fan screamed, “Will you sign my yearbook?”

Every time he approached a green, there were constant yells of “Go Beau!” Even his mom got some media attention this week for her, well, looks.

His playing partner on Sunday, Jason Dufner, had a fun moment with Hossler on the third green. Hossler’s caddie was raking a sand trap, and the youngster still had his sand wedge in his hand as he lined up his putt.

So Dufner shuffled over to Hossler’s bag, which stood out this week because it has a kickstand, and grabbed the kid’s putter.

The kid smiled, which is exactly what he’ll be doing for a while after a week like that.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/PentonKirk

 


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