A decade ago, we stood pacing around my parents’ vital room willing/begging/praying for a Tiger Woods putt to drop. we can acknowledge to that given it would be another 9 months until we landed a gig during Golf Digest and strictly became a member of a golf media. In that moment, we was simply a fan, nonetheless a full term—fanatic—is some-more appropriate. My relatives were both there, yet stealing in a corners of a room out of fear for what we would do if he missed. Thankfully, he didn’t.
That celebratory organisation cuddle stays a happy, clear memory, yet a rest of that week is a blur. Partly, given we was bustling pushing all over New York state covering high propagandize round for The (Westchester, N.Y.) Journal News, and partly given it was 10 years ago. TEN freaking years. Can we trust it? Feeling all nostalgic—probably given we finally got SiriusXM and have a dial set to a ’90s on 9 channel—I motionless to go behind and re-watch a contest again. And while everybody can remember “The Putt,” a playoff and Tiger personification by pain, here are some things we competence not remember from that week.
1. At a vigourous 7,643 yards, Torrey Pines was indeed THE LONGEST COURSE IN MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY. This indicate was driven home by a crews during ESPN (Yes, Chris Berman was still covering U.S. Opens) and NBC. As was a fact that TORREY PINES IS A PUBLIC GOLF COURSE. Moving on …
2. For a initial dual days, a USGA finished a “Dream Pairing” of World No. 1 Tiger woods, World No. 2 Phil Mickelson and World No. 3 Adam Scott. At a 2018 U.S. Open, Woods will also be partial of a top-two pairing. Only now it’s Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson, dual players who had nonetheless to win a PGA Tour pretension in 2008 (to be fair, JT was 15) yet are now 1-2, while Woods is No. 80. A lot can change in 10 years, huh?
3. With a whole golf universe watching, Scott went with this argyle demeanour on Day 1 and it was no large deal.
Again, a lot can change in 10 years.
4. Speaking of Scott, like Woods, he was personification notwithstanding pang a new injury. The Aussie’s right palm had been damaged a few weeks before when a crony tighten a automobile doorway on him by collision and it was still bad adequate that he used his left palm to shake hands with Tiger and Phil. Despite this, Scott finished a rather drastic T-26.
5. Tiger double-bogeyed Torrey Pines’ initial hole on Thursday. Remarkably, he also did a same thing on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, however, personification it as his 10th hole, Tiger finished an implausible birdie after standing/slipping on a transport trail during his proceed shot.
Not that a shot helped his bad leg.
6. Tiger badly bladed and chunked a representation shot during his opening round. It wasn’t adequate to get anyone to wheeze a “Y-word,” yet it was ugly. He non-stop with a one-over-par 72.
7. Tiger’s grimaces weren’t always on bad shots, discordant to what a certain co-worker who shall sojourn indistinguishable (and many others) like to claim. In fact, he grimaced for a initial time of a contest as his Thursday tee shot on 18 separate a fairway. So he’s an equal-opportunity grimacer. Pipe down, haters.
8. Kevin Streelman and Justin Hicks led after Day 1 during 3 under, a measure that would lead after any of a initial 3 rounds. SPOILER ALERT: Neither Streelman or Hicks stayed nearby a tip of a personality residence for long.
9. Rocco Mediate missed a four-footer for eagle on No. 18 during a second round. That kept him one cadence behind 36-hole personality Stuart Appleby streamer into a weekend. Tiger was also tied for second during dual under, along with Robert Karlsson. It’s tough to ever be too unhappy by creation a birdie during a U.S. Open, yet Rocco would have desired to count one fewer cadence come Sunday dusk …
10. Tiger pulled himself into row with a second-round 68 that enclosed a back-nine 30. However, Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a day’s low spin of 66. And afterwards substantially took a prolonged expostulate to Napa booze nation to applaud given he now had a late Saturday tee time.
11. Three amateurs finished a cut, including some long-haired child named Rickie Fowler. Whatever happened to him?
12. There was a extensive continue check on Day 3. Kidding! It never rains in a San Diego area. Maybe they should play some-more majors there, generally given a three-hour time disproportion authorised people on a East Coast to watch prime-time golf on Saturday night. we remember that, given it’s a usually reason we was means to see that enchanting finish while essay a H.S. round state championship diversion story from a hotel lobby. Ah, a glamorous lifestyle of a immature sports reporter. Speaking of that memorable Saturday finish …
13. Johnny Miller (kind of) called Tiger’s eagle on No. 13. Tiger had depressed 5 behind when he reached a standard 5 and blew a expostulate proceed right. As he set adult for a formidable ascending shot from a severe to a front pin, Miller had a clearly illusory thought.
“This eagle, if he could somehow get it,” Miller said, “I consider would change a whole championship. we unequivocally do.”
Woods strike a good shot to a behind of a immature and afterwards rammed in a 65-foot curler.
“There’s that eagle we talked about that could change a championship!” pronounced Miller, verbially patting himself on a back.
14. Tiger supposing some-more fireworks with a one-hop chip-in for birdie on 17 that caused him to peep a humble smile.
But a organise in finish dishonesty competence have given a best reaction:
15. Woods grimaced/winced/dropped down a bit after distinguished a plain 5-wood from 226 to a core of a 18th green. (Look! More grimacing on good shots!) Of course, Woods would substantially strike 5-iron from a same stretch today. Technology, am we right?
16. Dan Hicks delivered his initial good call on No. 18 after Woods converted a prolonged double-breaker for another eagle.
“A second eagle on a behind 9 for Tiger Woods!” Hicks exclaimed. “That’s what we call limping home!” Suddenly, Tiger had taken a lead.
17. Speaking of that limp, it should be conspicuous that during a time, people suspicion Woods’ pain was simply from returning too shortly from arthroscopic medicine on his left knee following a runner-up during a Masters. In fact, Woods was personification with a ripped ACL and a double highlight detonate of his tibia he postulated during recovery. No one knew he was personification with a ripped vinculum and a BROKEN LEG until dual days after this win when Woods announced he’d bear another medicine and skip a rest of a season. Suddenly, an epic win was towering to maybe a biggest delight in golf history. And again, a haters claiming Woods was being overly thespian were silenced. But we still had a contest to finish …
18. Seeming like a tighten to win with that ideal record with a 54-hole lead in majors, Tiger double bogeyed a initial hole to start his final round. we know we already pronounced he doubled a hole 3 of 4 days, yet it was utterly intolerable saying rise Tiger—injury or not—in Sunday red looking like a sum chop. Meanwhile, Rocco birdied a second hole to take a solo lead, and after an extra-big expression by Woods following a bad tee shot on No. 2, a Woods win indeed seemed flattering unlikely.
19. The mislaid male in all of this play is Lee Westwood. No one played improved from tee to immature that week, and a Brit substantially should have won. Of course, he didn’t, given he’s never won a vital and sadly, approaching never will. And while many indicate to his handicapped birdie try entrance adult brief on No. 18, it was another putt on No. 8 that was even worse. After stuffing a tee shot to about 6 feet with a formidable pin position, Westwood whiffed on what would have given him a two-shot lead. Ouch.
20. Hicks is remembered for his illusory call of Tiger’s finishing birdie on Sunday (“EXPECT ANYTHING DIFFERENT?!”), yet he indeed gave a flattering identical commercial a integrate hours progressing when Woods rolled in a five-footer for birdie on No. 11 to take a lead.
“Would we have approaching anything else?” No, yet we also wouldn’t have approaching (in a opposite way) what happened dual holes later.
21. After a good expostulate down a left side of a par-5 13th, a hole that began Tiger’s stirring Saturday charge, Woods inexplicably snap-hooked his second shot into a high things and finished bogey. This was distant from over.
22. Mediate finished a shutting standard to finish during one-under 283 for 72 holes. After plucking his golf round out of a hole, he looked during caddie Matthew Achatz with a half-smile and said, “I don’t know. we don’t know.” Meanwhile, we don’t know about Rocco’s belt bend …
23. Miller (kind of) called Tiger’s shutting birdie. After Woods strike that flattering snazzy proceed shot from a severe to about 12 feet, NBC’s cameras showed Rocco in a scorer’s area. “Don’t check out of your hotel, Rocco.” Boom.
24. Everyone remembers “the putt.” Let’s watch again, shall we?
And while we remember a reactions by Woods and Hicks, Rocco had a good one of his own.
“Unbelievable,” he muttered. “I knew he’d make it.” Poor Rocco.
25. Rocco wore a red shirt for a Monday playoff. BOLD.
26. But Tiger didn’t seem to mind Mediate’s tone choice. When he finally strike a good expostulate on No. 1 to start a Monday 18-hole playoff (Someday, we’ll have to be reminded a U.S. Open used to use this extra-hole format, that now goes down as a final 18-hole playoff in U.S. Open history), lifted his arms in jubilee and even joked around with Rocco.
I unequivocally didn’t remember Woods being this lax during such an heated moment. But maybe that’s given we got called out of a bureau during a final impulse to cover a internal propagandize celebrating a state title. Never had we been so ticked off about an assignment, and we let it uncover to a indicate where we was scolded by my trainer a few days later. Whoops. Anyway, I’d have to settle for conference many of Monday’s playoff by a eyes of Mike Francesa, that if you’ve ever listened Mike Francesa speak about golf, is not a good thing.
27. So many 18-hole playoffs are lopsided, and this seemed to be another one after Woods finished a 20-footer from a border for standard on No. 10 and Rocco missed from 5 feet. Woods now had a three-shot lead. At a major. With 8 holes to go. Despite his injury, Miller would have had to have deemed this a throttle if Woods mislaid now …
28. Most fans remember Woods’ conspicuous liberation shot from a fairway fort on No. 15—a fairway fort from a ninth hole—but even some-more conspicuous was that Rocco rolled in about a 30-footer for birdie while Woods missed from about 10 feet. Suddenly, Rocco was in front.
29. Both players had to persperate a small some-more than they should have on No. 18. Miller really, really favourite Rocco’s chances of winning after dual good shots.
“I consider he’s got a ideal club, folks. This could be tighten with that trap pull of his and that cut wind. It’s a immature lighter.” But Mediate usually managed to strike it to 20 feet. “Not his best shot, yet underneath pressure, that’s flattering good.”
Rocco had that 20-footer for a win, and … blew it a good 3 feet past. Meanwhile, Woods got flattering frolicsome with his prolonged eagle try that wandered some 4 feet past a cup. Both converted, though, and we played on.
“Ninety holes by a 108th U.S. Open and still not adequate to confirm a champion,” Hicks exclaimed.
30. With a win, Mediate would have spin a oldest U.S. Open champ in story during 45, flitting Hale Irwin by a few months. (Phil Mickelson will spin 48 on a Saturday of this year’s contest when he tries to finally finish that career Grand Slam.) But a final hole—the initial sudden-death hole played on a par-4 seventh—was ugly. Rocco tugged his tee shot left into a fairway bunker, strike one over left on his second and had to use a dump area. “Is a Cinderella story about to end?” Hicks wondered.
For a moment, it looked like it competence continue when Woods’ winning birdie putt came adult juuuust short, that caused Rocco to moment a grin (not that it takes many to means him to moment a smile). But he couldn’t modify a 20-footer for standard to keep it going.
“And in one of a many conspicuous performances of his career,” Hicks said, “Tiger Woods perseveres by Torrey Pines and wins a third U.S. Open championship.”
31. Tiger and Steve Williams were boys:
OK, maybe we do remember that, yet we still wanted to indicate that out. Now? Not so much. . .
32. Bob Costas conducted good post-round interviews with both Rocco . . .
“I never quit. I’ve been beaten down a few times and we came back. And we got what we wanted. we got a possibility to kick a best actor in a world. we came adult usually a hold short, yet we consider we had him a small frightened during once, that is great. He usually pronounced ‘great fight’ to me, and that means a universe to me.”
“I’m blissful I’m done. I’m done,” pronounced Woods, now a 14-time vital champ during 32, with a laugh. “All we can contend is a atmosphere kept me going. The tournament, being a vital championship here during Torrey Pines. All a people. we could never quit in front of these people. It wasn’t going to happen.”
By a way, Costas was an constituent partial of a broadcast, from his opening monologues to his actor interviews. we skip him doing golf. That dude is versatile. And what a pleasing conduct of hair.
33. Tiger’s ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, and his daughter Sam, dual days from her initial birthday, were there for a belated Father’s Day celebration.
“You know, we mislaid my father a integrate years ago, and we know how special it was in 2002 to move this home and speak to him about it and share it with him,” Woods said. “I can’t do that anymore, yet now I’m a father, I’m on a other side now. This is substantially a biggest contest I’ve ever had.”
I’m not going to argue. And I’m certain I’m not a usually chairman who distinguished Woods’ play that week with their parents—although, we competence have been one of a oldest. Now a decade after Tiger’s mythological victory, we have an tot daughter and a residence of my possess in that a giant—and we meant giant—framed print of Woods’ playoff-forcing putt (Plucked when Golf Digest altered offices … Shhh …) hangs on a wall in a basement. Hey, we usually have so many lean these days.
In a time given Tiger’s delight during Torrey in 2008, it seems like usually about all has altered except Woods’ vital championship total. But even if golf fans don’t remember each fact from that week, it’s protected to contend we’ll never forget how things incited out—and that we’ll never see anything utterly like it again.