The Live Blog, Squared: Part Two

I’m doing this again. (Yes, again.)

As always, I’ll be live blogging not just the golf but Jason Sobel’s excellent live blog. And, who knows, I might get fancy and extend the coverage to Jay Busbee’s live chat at Devil Ball Golf. Live scoring can be found here, in a popout window.

All times Eastern.

8:55 AM: Rick Reilly’s short essay: “You know what you’ve got to do today, right? You’ve got to skip work.” He then goes on to use the phrase “epic epicness,” invent “HDAD, High Definition Attention Dedication,” and tout David Duval’s credentials as a comeback kid. He also picks Lucas Glover to win. So he’s not winning.

9:00: Dan Hicks’ voice on ESPN? How strange. Can anyone confirm or deny that Dan Hicks sounds exactly like Jim Nantz?

9:01: These updates are going to come quick, at least at the start: Ross Fisher puts in a par putt on the second to stay at -2 for the tournament, Phil Mickelson gives himself a long birdie putt on the third, and, somehow, Ricky Barnes chops out of a cornfield to the green on the second. A remarkable shot, and Lucas Glover is on in two as well.

9:05: Johnny Miller has not yet justified the mute button. This is good.

9:07: Peter Hanson, to within six feet on the sixth. He’ll have that for birdie. Mickelson, meanwhile, leaves his putt short.

9:08: Barnes leaves his birdie a little short; Hunter Mahan pushes his birdie putt on the third to the right.

9:09: Some guy named Eldrick tees off. On the par 3 eighth, he’s on the fringe of the green.

9:11: The “amazing” count for David Duval: Two. Amazingly, he doesn’t hit the green on the third.

9:12: Glover also made par on the second; he and Barnes are still tied for the lead at -7.

A quick scoreboard check: Barnes and Glover at -7, Mickelson, Mahan, Duval, and Fisher at -2, Retief Goosen and Mike Weir at -1, and Tiger at level par with four others.

9:16: Tiger won’t make up any ground, leaving his putt a foot short on the eighth, but Duval, whose ball was buried right next to the border of the rough, forcing a play back to the middle of the bunker, is likely to concede at least one stroke.

9:18: Hey, look, Sobel’s live!

9 a.m. ET: To borrow a phrase from some other major championship, this is becoming a tradition unlike any other.

Don’t expect the drama of last year, though. This is far more likely to be a three-man race, or something less traditionally great than the Tiger-Rocco Mediate playoff duel.

Of course, it could also give us more implosions, like Duval’s triple bogey 6 on the third. He’s gone from -2 to +1 and has to be considered out of the running, having gone +4 for his final round over just three holes.

9:22: Glover’s well left on the third; Barnes is in the right-hand bunker.

Hunter Mahan, though, will make up a shot unless he gags on a short putt on the fourth; Mickelson will have a medium-range par. Peter Hanson has two birdies today and is at -1 for the Open; Bubba Watson pitches to within a foot of the pin from some deep fescue. Hey, I said there would be a lot of updating.

9:25: Mickelson and Mahan both make their putts. Mahan’s now within four shots of the lead, at -3; Mickelson stays at -2.

Barnes may not give back a shot: His bunker pitch at the third is to within five feet. Glover wasn’t so lucky, his pitch stopping shortly after landing on the green. He’ll have a long putt for par.

9:28: From Sobel:

9:14 a.m. ET: Avidde Uvalde!

A few days ago, in order to avoid placing the Blog Jinx on a certain player with the initials DD, one e-mailer suggested I only mention his name in Pig Latin.

Done and done.

That’s not the Pig Latin I know; I think it should be Aviday Uvalday. Phonetically, no different, I suppose.

9:22 a.m. ET: Shhhhh!

This round could become the Hunter and the hunted.

Hunter Mahan makes birdie on No. 4 to move to 3-under, in sole possession of third place.

That’s a turn of phrase that should be endangered.

9:32: Barnes makes par at the third; Glover makes bogey.

9:33: Tiger’s birdie putt on the ninth? It never had a chance. He’ll stay at even—if he can put in the four-foot par putt.

Glover slips on his tee shot on the fourth; Barnes is in the fairway.

9:35: Tiger puts in the par.

Meanwhile, Duval makes birdie after his triple. No one calls it amazing.

9:37: From Sobel:

9:30 a.m. ET: If Peter Hanson wins, it would be an incredible story.

About a month ago, Hanson competed in a sectional qualifier for the U.S. Open in England. Tied with two others going to the second playoff hole, he stepped up to the par-3 and aced it to earn a spot into the field.

“This game is just so stupid sometimes,” Hanson said afterward. “Obviously, I am delighted to get through, but to do it like that is unbelievable. We were between clubs on the tee, but I thought that I would go for a full 6-iron and play for the middle of the green. You need a bit of luck with any hole-in-one, and I got my share today.”

I don’t have snark for that. It’s just a neat story.

Also neat: Ricky Barnes refusing to gag. He’s behind the green, in the chipping area, on the fourth. A good pitch, and he will have a chance to extend his lead.

9:40: No one, seemingly, has the long-range radar working on the greens. Mickelson’s merely close from the fringe on the fifth. If he, or anyone else, can get hot with the flatstick, that would be an asset on a day when the Black Course seems to be as forgiving as it ever is.

9:44: From Sobel:

9:38 a.m. ET: After hitting his approach to pin high on No. 9, Tiger Woods misses the putt.

He’s now seven back with nine to play; obviously, he needs to go low on the back nine.

How low can he go? Here are all of his previous back-nine scores at the Black:

• 2009 Round 3: 33
• 2002 Round 1: 33
• 2009 Round 2: 34
• 2002 Round 3: 34
• 2002 Round 2: 35
• 2002 Round 4: 36
• 2009 Round 1: 37

I don’t think a 2-under 33 will be enough to get it done today.

I concur. Something like -4 or -5 will win this Open; Tiger’s not getting there, unless he goes into the sort of zone we haven’t seen from him at all this week.

9:49: From Sobel:

9:40 a.m. ET: live blog of the live blog.

Time stops. Planets collide. World ending.

Hey, it’s happen twice before with no apocalypse. We’ll be fine.

Now, will ESPN’s coverage survive with Tiger doing his best to stay uninteresting? He’s at even for the day and +1 for the tournament after a bogey at the tenth. He will not win this Open, and any attempts to make him seem like a legitimate contender from here on in are for hype’s sake.

He’s never come from behind to win a major in the final round, and a eight-shot deficit with eight holes to play at Bethpage Black is not going to encourage such a rally.

9:53: Phil, last night, as Hicks relates, said: “I’ve got one good one.”

That good one could show up any time now: Mickelson’s at -2 with no boxes or circles on his card, but it will probably take a red number from him to take this Open.

9:55: Then again: Glover and Barnes are in trouble at the fifth, so the field may move towards level par.

It won’t help Mickelson just yet: He’s making at least bogey at the sixth.

9:58: From Sobel:

9:52 a.m. ET: Great analogy from my buddy Dave in the ESPN Stats and Information department:

“Ricky Barnes is like the Tampa Bay Rays of 2008. He comes out of nowhere and everyone thinks he’s gonna fade, but doesn’t.”

Of course, the Rays didn’t win it all. So that analogy doesn’t end well for Barnes. But, maybe more compelling: Who is the Phillies? Is it Mickelson, who has all the talent in the world but needs to put it together?

10:01: Suddenly, unplayable lies are all the rage: Mickelson took one on the sixth, and Glover is forced to do the same at the fifth.

Mike Weir, who has had exactly one shot televised today, at least makes the most of it, holing out for birdie from the bunker on the seventh. He’s at -2. Maybe he’s the Phillies.

10:03: Glover’s bogey at the fifth is true. He drops to -5. Barnes bogeys the fifth, too, but he’s only fallen to -6.

You know what this means: “TIGER IS ONLY SEVEN SHOTS BACK AND IS TOTALLY IN CONTROL OF THIS OPEN!” Or something like that.

10:06: From Sobel:

9:59 a.m. ET: Ross Fisher.

There. Just wanted to write his name. You know, just in case he actually wins this thing, I wanted to be able to say that I didn’t totally ignore him the entire day.

Fisher is 2-under, in a share of fourth place with Mike Weir.

And the major champion at the end of that update continues to grind, even for the day while each member of the Barnes/Glover pairing is +2. Don’t count out the Phillies!

10:09: If you can follow this tournament on Twitter, a quick list of who to follow:

10:15: It’s a shame Tiger’s playing better in the commercials for Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 10 than he is in real life.

Maybe he just needs a Wiimote.

10:17: The Phillies choke!

Actually, it’s just a bogey for Weir, a par putt pushed just right on the eighth. And he doesn’t have to deal with a hail of batteries. So I’m going to guess he’ll be just fine.

Things that are coming down: The leaders’ scores. Barnes is back at -5 after a scrambling bogey on the sixth, tied with Glover, who parred the hole. At this rate, I might even be convinced that David Duval has a chance.

Wait, Duval hit a muddy ball into the trees and will have to play a fourth shot from the rough behind the seventh green? Okay, his tournament is toast, too.

10:22: Hunter Mahan’s birdie putt on the eighth is a little overcooked.

Not as overcooked as whoever decided putting a “Six behind the leaders” graphic under Woods’ name was worth the time and effort, though.

10:24: Time for a scoreboard check.

At -5: Lucas Glover. At -4: Ricky Barnes. At -2: Hunter Mahan. At -1: Peter Hanson, Mike Weir, and Ross Fisher. At even: Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson. Six behind the leaders: Matt Bettencourt. (Oh, fine: And Tiger.)

10:27: From Sobel:

10:14 a.m. ET: Ricky Barnes looks more like a linebacker than a pro golfer. Dude’s a workout fiend who may spend more time in the gym than anyone else on tour.

To the untrained eye, Barnes looks a little bit like your paperboy, if your paperboy hit the free weights immediately after the route. Maybe it’s the hat, but he also looks a teesny-weensy bit like the late Payne Stewart.

One thing Barnes doesn’t look like, though, is a linebacker. I could see wide receiver, maybe, but Barnes and the rest of this field bear as much resemblance to Shawne Merriman and the typical linebacker physique as I do to the professional golfer’s physique.

10:31: Also from Sobel:

10:22 a.m. ET: My buddy Dave would like to amend his earlier comment about Ricky Barnes:

“He’s now the 2007 Tampa Bay Rays.”

Ouch.

Okay, fine: David Duval is the 2007 Texas Rangers. He’s not really in contention, but every so often, he does something spectacular, as with the birdie he bombed in on the eighth. He moves to eighth, and is one ahead of Tiger.

If David Duval bests Tiger Woods in a major championship in the year 2009, I will start buying futures on flying pigs.

10:35: Tiger has an eagle putt on the 13th go just left. He’ll clean up for birdie and get back to even.

But he’s not going to win this tournament, okay? Everyone clear on that?

10:38: I tweeted that crack about Tiger needing a Wiimote.

I got this in return. There are people much funnier than me in this world.

10:40: Tiger is on the first page of the leaderboard graphic, which means that the leaderboard graphic is probably some fixed length plus a spot for Tiger.

The good news: He may be earning it now, with a great iron at the 14th to within six feet. He’ll have that for birdie and a chance to be in red numbers for the first time this Open.

10:43: Remember when I wasn’t prattling about Tiger? I miss those times.

Unfortunately for the leaders, their faltering is only going to fuel Tiger, and the roars Tiger can produce, if they happen, are only going to keep the pressure on them.

10:45: And the Phillies might be coming back, too: Mike Weir nearly lances a 2-iron in from the fairway for an eagle on the 10th. If he’s holding a trophy at day’s end, remember, I touted him with everyone else.

10:46: In the final pairing, Lucas Glover is righting the ship: After two early bogeys, he’s rattled off three straight pars.

With Ricky Barnes melting down, about to put in his fourth straight bogey, that’s all Glover has to do to extend his lead.

10:48: Finally, in his Sunday red, Tiger is in red numbers.

He jars a birdie, gives a little fist pump, and gets the crowd on its feet. He’s only got four holes to play, but with four strokes separating him from the leaders, it’s just that little bit more plausible that Tiger could enter the clubhouse as the leader and make the leaders match him.

It’s still not going to happen. But at least it’s more plausible now.

10:53: From Sobel:

10:49 a.m. ET: You know things are bad for Ricky Barnes when the research folks start sending me info on the worst scores by a U.S. Open 54-hole leader since 1970:

• 2005 — Retief Goosen, Pinehurst No. 2: 81
• 1992 — Gil Morgan, Pebble Beach: 81
• 2007 — Aaron Baddeley, Oakmont: 80
• 1974 — Tom Watson, Winged Foot: 79
• 1989 — Tom Kite, Oak Hill: 78
• 1975 — Frank Beard, Medinah: 78

Barnes is currently 5-over through eight holes. Wheels are off.

If my math is correct, Barnes is currently on pace to shoot 417. But, remember, I’m an English major.

10:54: One of the things I’ve always loved about Tiger: The body language.

On the 15th tee, after a superb fairway drive, his face is a mask of stony determination. And, whether it’s that, the cheeky little club twirl, or the genuine frustration, Tiger could never be accused of being a cipher on the course. He’s a human golfer, and, for someone we consider a sporting immortal, it’s always been nice to see.

10:58: And after his second shot, that body language reads dismay.

Tiger’s got work to do from behind the green on the 15th.

10:59: The other titan currently in contention is tapping his magic, though.

Mickelson, from a patch of matted tall grass, pitches to about five feet. Related: I have goosebumps.

11:01: Tiger pitches onto the green, but he will have a tough par putt.

Mahan gives up a stroke on the 10th as his par rims out; Mickelson, somehow, scrambles to remain at -1.

11:02: Lucas Glover’s par putt streaks by the hole on the ninth, leaving him a medium-range par.

But he likes having the lead to himself or something, so he puts that in. Glover’s at -4, in sole possession of the lead, +3 for the final round, and just three strokes clear of the Tiger/Phil monster.

11:05: And now Glover is four ahead of Tiger.

Woods’ par putt dies left; it never had a chance. His adventure in red numbers ends, for the moment. He’s even with three holes to play.

11:07: ESPN goes to commercial with Hicks telling us “The fans can’t wait to see what happens!”

Of course, this is true, but it seems strangely quiet at Bethpage today. Even the big roars—Tiger’s birdies, Phil’s escape, Duval’s long birdie, Weir’s near-eagle and holeout from the bunker—seem hushed. Attendance on any Monday of a major, of course, should be low, theoretically, but I would have expected more decibels from this rowdy New York crowd.

11:10: From Sobel:

11:03 a.m. ET: Long par attempt won’t fall for Lucas Glover and he takes a bogey on No. 9.

How crazy is it that he came into the final round of the U.S. Open in second place, shot a front-nine 3-over 38 … and now leads by 1?

Glover falls to 4-under, while Ricky Barnes finally makes a par to stop the bleeding and stay at 3-under.

Oh, and just for the hell of it … Ross Fisher. Don’t forget the name.

Just so we’re clear: The deal is that if Fisher wins, Sobel gets the credit, and if Weir does, I get the credit.

Right now, Fisher’s got the better chance: He’s lurking at -2 and has been solid on the back nine all week. His trouble spot is the 12th: He’s gone bogey-bogey-bogey there so far.

11:14: Also from Sobel:

11:07 a.m. ET: Tiger Woods is gonna leave Bethpage with some bad memories of the 15th hole.

He’s now played the par-4 in 4-over this week, thanks to another bogey just now, as he failed to get up and down from behind the green.

Woods drops back to even-par, 4 strokes behind the leader with three to play.

He’s not out of it yet. But he’s not exactly in it right now, either.

Someone on TV said Tiger needed to birdie two of the last three to have a chance. That would put him at -2. He would be in great shape. But I think he’s still got a shot if he at least enters the clubhouse in red figures.

After all, some of his competition is in my comment section instead of playing Bethpage:

R. Barnes
June 22, 2009 at 10:16 am

Does anyone here know the heimlich?

P.Mickelson
June 22, 2009 at 11:04 am

I’d like to thank the course spotter who foot-wedged my horrendous approach out of the gunk and onto the path.

Anyone have a visual on that FootJoy help for Phil?

11:18: To go -2 for the last three, Tiger’s got to go birdie-birdie.

And given the poor quality of his birdie putt on the 16th, I’d say that’s not likely. He converts the par and stays at even, but his Open chances now depend more on others choking and not his own play.

11:22: If it were just Ricky Barnes ahead of Tiger, Eldrick might have a shot.

Barnes continues his tour of the fescue with a shank at the 11th. He’s got a fighting chance—at posting 80.

11:25: As we switch over to NBC, ESPN reminds us that David Duval exists.

He misses a birdie putt at the 12th, but par is a fine score on that hole. He’s at even, same as Tiger, and has more holes to put up red numbers. Could he really be the guy to step up down the stretch? (He would fit that Phillies profile, too.)

11:28: In the brief news break here in Central Florida, we see footage of a woman who lost her legs and arms to a flesh-eating bacteria and is suing because of it. There is no way to make that a joke without invoking wrath from somewhere.

We are also told that the heat index across the center of the state is in triple digits. And you wonder why I blog.

11:30: The first shot NBC shows, on tape delay: Tiger missing his birdie on the 17th after a magnificent approach.

The second? Mickelson rolling in a putt from Yonkers on the 12th, just the 18th on that hole this week and the fourth of the final round, and eliciting a roar.

Did they switch bodies or something?

11:35: From Sobel:

11:28 p.m. ET: Phil Mickelson is within two shots of the lead.

Long birdie putt on No. 12 puts him in a share of third place with Ross Fisher and Hunter Mahan.

Love him or hate him — and nearly every fan in the New York gallery here loves Phil — you have to admit that this would be an absolutely huge story if Mickelson could pull off a victory today.

And, oh by the way … Phil has played the final seven holes in 4-under so far this week.

Oh, and with Tiger’s hopes all but extinguished, get ready for more than your fill of Phil from NBC. I may have to admit it would be a huge story if Mickelson triumphs today, but that doesn’t mean I’ll enjoy the attempts to make him America’s sweetheart in the next two hours.

11:39: Of course, if Phil earns it with scintillating golf, I’m fine with it.

He puts his second shot at the par 5 13th within four feet. He might be tied for the lead after this hole.

11:41: For Tiger, the leader in the clubhouse, it will be another round of “Why can’t he come back?” talk.

He can’t convert the birdie on the 18th, and finishes at even par 280 for the tournament, after a Sunday/Monday 69. His disastrous +4 four-hole finish in his first round and his +4 performance on the 15th will both be dissected, but Johnny Miller nailed the problem: “It was chipping and putting this week. And he didn’t have it.”

11:45: Phil, though? Phil has everything right now.

He puts in his eagle putt on the 13th. He ties Lucas Glover at -4. And he holds this U.S. Open in his grasp. It is Phil’s to win or lose.

11:47: From Sobel, some insight on Glover:

11:37 a.m. ET: Another fairway hit for Lucas Glover on No. 12. He’s starting to look very comfortable, as if he is thinking only about each shot rather than everything at stake.

And at this moment, Glover has to keep thinking: par, par, par.

Par is his friend right now. He needs to have the mentality that if someone is going to tie him, they’ll have to come from behind.

Mickelson has. And he’s played the final five holes in -4 this week. I have to think that par won’t be enough.

As I type that, Mickelson hits the 14th green safely.

11:51: Here comes the Mickelson montage. This is hard to watch.

I’m not a Phil fan; this is well-established. But to be that close that many times? It hurts.

11:55: Sobel on Phil:

11:47 a.m. ET: Anytime you’re on a list with Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, you’re in pretty good company.

And yet, Phil Mickelson is hoping he remains tied with them rather than breaking their record.

That’s because that record, which Phil now shares, is for the most career runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open with four.

From Pinehurst to Shinnecock to Winged Foot, Phil Mickelson has come so close, so often. Could this be his time?

You would think. But you would also think that there are plenty of names that could step up if Phil falls back. One of them is Sobel favorite Ross Fisher, who eagles the 13th to creep within one shot of the lead.

“You’re going to be more famous than Susan Boyle!” Johnny Miller exults. And, again, I consider the mute button.

12:00 PM: Mickelson’s in the rough at the 15th, Duval’s a few feet from red numbers after a sweet tee shot at the 16th, and Lucas Glover has a decent chance at birdie on the 13th.

It’s not going to be a boring finish, that’s for sure.

Scraggly, no?

Scraggly, no?

12:05: Ricky Barnes continues to lose his battle for relevance.

His eagle try on the 13th is just short, and he has to settle for a birdie.

On the bright side, he’s not failing to retake the lead like Glover did at the 13th. And he doesn’t look like Glover, pictured right.

12:10: But Barnes doesn’t have fans/family like Glover does. From Sobel:

12:03 p.m. ET: When Lucas Glover showed up at the course today, he got a little surprise.

His cousins, Todd Hendley and Billy Johnson, purchased U.S. Open tickets on e-Bay yesterday for 40 bucks, then drove through the night 10 hours from North Carolina to see their cuz.

And they’re not exactly disguising themselves, either. Each is wearing a shirt reading, “Lucas Locos” on the front and “Lucas, We Got Your Back” on the back.

Golf can use some of that zaniness from time to time.

But $40 for Monday tickets? Weak, New York scalpers. I thought you were good at this.

12:13: From the comments:

alfistheman
June 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Could Phil be the Phil-lies?

Yeah. And I’m not entirely sure how I missed that when initially selecting Weir. But Phil’s got the crowd, the talent, and the long-standing aversion to being good in the clutch.

Phil also has to concede a shot on the 15th, though he does jar a tough comebacker for bogey. He’s back to being one behind Glover, who has a short putt on the 14th for par.

12:17: And don’t look now, but I’m probably going to be investing in flying pig futures.

Duval gets a great bounce from the rough on the 15th, will have a shot at birdie, and could move to within two shots of the lead. At the very least, he seems likely to beat Tiger: He’s -3 on the final three holes this week, and birdied the 16th and 18th in his third round.

12:20: From Sobel:

12:13 p.m. ET: Knee-knocker for Phil Mickelson from about 3 feet on No. 15 … and he misses it!

Mickelson knocks it about 3 feet past. He does clean up for bogey, but that drops him to 3-under, in a share of second place with Ross Fisher, one behind Lucas Glover.

If Phil loses this tourney by one, that’s the one he’ll be thinking about all night.

Mickelson should be commended, however, for his efforts to prevent a playoff. As fun as the title bout between Tiger and Rocco was last year (I type, as Mediate’s Callaway commercial plays), it was 18 holes of golf set aside for itself on a Monday with a built-in storyline or seven (Tiger’s knee, Tiger’s wife’s pregnancy, Tiger at Torrey Pines, Rocco as David, etc.), not a round tacked on to an already interminable Open with the prospect of some rising star taking on Mickelson and getting drowned by the one storyline: Mickelson’s struggles and his wife’s battle with cancer.

Also: I think it would mean I am stuck at this computer until Detox drops. That is not a good thing.

12:27: Score check:

Glover’s at -4. Mickelson’s at -3. Barnes, Duval, Fisher and Mahan are all tied at -2. Mike Weir has gone bogey-double bogey on the 15th and 16th to fall to +2.

12:29: Mahan hits the pin on the 16th!

And it ricochets to the fringe. How terrible can luck be?

12:32: Barnes’ chip at the 15th just misses the hole. We’re getting to the nitty-gritty, and these guys are delivering some high-quality golf.

Also: It is incredible that Barnes is still in this; he’s +6 on the day, made four straight bogeys, and had every chance in the world to pull up the stakes, fire an 81, and be done.

And yet, he’s just one back after letting Glover two-putt for bogey and cleaning up for his. How phenomenal would it be if he finds a birdie or two on the next few holes, shoots 74, and wins the U.S. Open?

12:36: That Barnes scenario would, in all probability, require that guy named Mickelson to choke.

And with a par at the 16th, he’s tied for the lead. So he’s in prime gagging position.

12:39: From Sobel:

12:24 p.m. ET: Avidde Uvalde!!!

Double-D drains a second straight birdie putt on 15 and he’s back to 2-under with three to play. Definitely within shouting distance.

Just thinking out loud here: What kind of odds could you have gotten before the week on DD finishing ahead of TW on the leaderboard?

I knew I should’ve done something else while buying those futures.

12:39: For those wondering where the roars are: They’re chasing Mickelson.

His tee shot on the 17th gets a ton of buzz, and then a resounding “OOOF” as it thuds into the rough. Then, “LET’S GO PHI-IL” booms out.

Oh, and Mahan’s on the green, but will need a miracle for birdie. This has been your obligatory Hunter Mahan update.

12:43: NBC breaks out the double boxes.

In the lower one, Duval jars his third straight birdie putt to claim a share of the lead. In the upper one, Mickelson’s pitch lands on the green but leaves him a rough little six-footer for par.

12:45: Miller on Duval: “In his prime, nobody made the game look easier.”

And today, he’s looking quite good.

12:46: Lucas Glover wants some love, too.

His second shot on the 16th is fantastic, and leaves him a great chance to take the lead for himself.

12:47: But for now, Lucas is a co-leader, and just with Duval.

Mickelson pushes a par putt on the 17th, and makes bogey. He’s one back, at -2. The heart breaks.

12:49: Sobel on Duval:

12:43 p.m. ET: Avidde Uvalde!!!

It doesn’t matter what we call him, David Duval is on a roll right now.

Three straight birdies, including this one from 8 feet on 16.

And David Duval is tied for the U.S. Open lead with two to play.

You might want to read that sentence a few more times.

That would be 882nd-ranked David Duval. Leading. The U.S. Open.

Unbelievable.

His tee shot on the 17th, though, goes the way of Mickelson’s. He’ll have a better lie, but birdie is out of the question.

12:50: Quick hits: Barnes misses a birdie on the 16th, and Mickelson’s in the fairway on the 18th.

12:52: We have a new leader, same as the old leader.

Lucas Glover, who has shared the lead since the 8th hole, is now in sole possession of it. He has a one-shot lead on David Duval with two holes to play in the U.S. Open.

12:54: Duval’s chip zips by the hole. He’ll have a little work to do for par.

12:55: Here is Mickelson’s moment. He needs to put his second shot close.

And he doesn’t, giving himself at least 20 feet for birdie.

12:56: And fate frowns upon David Duval.

His par rolls around the hole and lips out. His bogey moves him to -2 for the Open and gives Lucas Glover a chance to win it with a par-par finish.

12:58: Mickelson has a chance to make par-bogey a poor outcome for Glover.

And it rolls a hair right. He will clean up for par and be the clubhouse leader at -2 for the tournament, posting a 278 after a final round 70.

1:01: Glover (and Barnes, remember him?) are on the 17th green cleanly. Duval’s in good shape on the 18th.

But, for Barnes and Duval, the goal is to seize the day; Glover must only avoid seizing his own throat.

1:02: Miller on Tiger: “I bet Tiger’s watching this and thinking, ‘I could’ve won this thing half blindfolded.'”

You stay classy, Johnny.

1:04: Barnes and Glover have shots at par the 17th after nice, safe birdie putts.

But Glover’s is a knee-knocker, and a gust postpones it.

1:05: And Glover puts it in.

Duval has already played his second on 18th, to the middle of the green, so, unless Barnes puts a second shot in, Lucas Glover can win the U.S. Open with a par on the 72nd hole.

1:08: Duval’s birdie putt starts right and stays right. He’ll have to make his par to stay in contention, and tie Mickelson for the clubhouse lead.

1:10: In succession: Glover hits a safe 6-iron to the fairway, Duval cleans up his par, and Barnes smashes driver.

Still a little work to do, but, unless calamity strikes, Lucas Glover is going to win this U.S. Open.

1:13: Though I disagree with the way Miller said what he said, he has a point about Tiger.

None of the players who began the day under par shot a round in red numbers today; if he had been better positioned entering Sunday, Tiger could have been in Mickelson’s or Duval’s position, easily.

But the same could be said for Soren Hansen, who began and ended today tied with Tiger. And no one’s putting the words of a bitter loser in his mouth.

1:16: On Lucas Glover, from Sobel:

1:09 p.m. ET: Knowing he needs just a bogey to win the U.S. Open — he likely would have thought differently had a loud roar emanated from the green for a Duval birdie — Glover simply takes a mid-iron off the tee and knocks it down the right side.

He can now put his next shot on the green and three-putt to win the 109th U.S. Open championship.

Obviously, he’s going to win; his two-putt for par looks promising, after a very good lag putt from the fringe. But Ricky Barnes can birdie this hole and make that par putt a win-or-playoff scenario. That possibility shouldn’t be dismissed.

1:19: And Barnes almost proves why.

His putt refuses to turn just the centimeter it needs to at its last gasp. He cleans up for par, finishing his final round 76, and Lucas Glover can two-putt for a trophy.

1:20: But who two-putts for a trophy?

Lucas Glover puts it in from five feet out, concluding a final round 73 and finishing at -4 276 for the 109th U.S. Open.

Congratulations to him.

1:23: From the very first entry in this live blog, italics mine:

8:55 AM: Rick Reilly’s short essay: “You know what you’ve got to do today, right? You’ve got to skip work.” He then goes on to use the phrase “epic epicness,” invent “HDAD, High Definition Attention Dedication,” and tout David Duval’s credentials as a comeback kid. He also picks Lucas Glover to win. So he’s not winning.

Kudos to you, Reilly.

1:25: Duval: “It’s a lot easier to relate to someone who gets beaten up a bit.”

It is. And if nothing else, this Open gave Duval a chance to remind the world of his prodigious talents. He did so, and admirably.

1:33: Lucas Glover offers to pay for his cousins’ gas. Awww.

1:36: Dan Hicks is trying really hard to remind the people who aren’t going to watch Wimbledon because Rafa’s out of it that NBC is televising football this fall. He is failing.

And I’m taking off. Thanks for joining me for the live blog, thanks for reading and commenting, and, of course, thank you to Jason Sobel for, as always, chuckling to himself as he links me.

I might see you for the British.

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8 Comments

Filed under Live Blogs

8 responses to “The Live Blog, Squared: Part Two

  1. Todd

    Will someone please get Jhonny Miller off the air. For sake of sanily, please get this man off the TV before I run my head into a wall….

  2. R. Barnes

    Does anyone here know the heimlich?

  3. anonymous

    That’s the “pig latin” an e-mailer used so Sobel followed suit.

  4. CW

    I concur with the Jim Nantz/Dan Hicks are the same damn person assessment.

  5. P.Mickelson

    I’d like to thank the course spotter who foot-wedged my horrendous approach out of the gunk and onto the path.

  6. alfistheman

    Could Phil be the Phil-lies?

  7. Lady Luck

    Screw you, Hunter.

  8. Winged Foot

    Psst hey Phil, remember me?

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