Graeme McDowell is the U.S. Open champion of rips and shanks

The U.S. Open was an absolute beast this year at Pebble Beach, and while the leaderboard was packed with big names, one unexpected man left with the trophy. Dive in with us (and watch for poana!) in this week's rips and shanks.


Graeme McDowell: This year, the U.S. Open was all about survival, and when the final putts dropped, that was McDowell, the first European champion of this event since 1970. His victory was all the more impressive because he was around the top of the leaderboard all week, a hard thing to do at a major championship, especially this one.

Gregory Havret: Before this week, you probably would be scrunching your face at that name wondering who the heck I was talking about. The Frenchman nearly tried to do what Jean Van de Velde couldn't at the 1999 Open Championship and take back one of the big ones, but a bogey on 17 left him a shot back of McDowell. Nonetheless, it was a great final round considering both the conditions and the fact that he was smack dab in the middle of the Tiger zoo. Ryder Cup pick, anyone?

Matt Kuchar: Here is something crazy to wrap your head around; since the 1998 Masters, when young Kuchar stole our hearts with his fine amateur play, Matt has made just two cuts in majors as a professional. The third came this week, when he closed with 68 for his first top 10 in a major championship.

Scott Langley and Russell Henley: The two amateurs were smiling all week, and were battling hard for low score by a non-pro with each other over the weekend. The only appropriate finish was how it came out, with both posting great Sunday rounds (71 and 73) to finish tied for 16th at 8-over.

Tiger Woods: You have to sometimes take the good with the bad, and that was what Pebble Beach, 2010 was for Tiger. He didn't win, but he did make some roars on Saturday, and finished tied for fourth for the second straight major. Sure, we judge him on wins, but for a guy that isn't swinging his best, a top-5 finish is fantastic, and he has to pull some positive from it.

Tom Watson: What more can you say about this man? He is 60 and finished in the top 30, warming the hearts of anyone that actually has a heart to be warmed. You're the man, Tom.


Dustin Johnson: I wrote on Saturday that Johnson was silencing all the critics that thought he couldn't compete at this U.S. Open because it wasn't the same feel as the AT&T. Man was I wrong. Johnson's 82 in the final group on the final day showed everything you need to know about major championships and young nerves.

Ernie Els: Talk about opportunities lost for Els, who seemed to be hitting the ball better than anyone else in the final groups. Ernie had a great chance to take down another major, but a back-nine 40 doomed him.

Phil Mickelson: Lefty just never seemed comfortable over the weekend at Pebble, hitting a bad shot when he didn't need one, failing to make basically any putts besides those in the second round, and being near another U.S. Open without winning. The clock is ticking on his chances in this event, and on Sunday, this one was there for the taking.

Y.E. Yang: You read about it, but why don't we just bring it up once more: bogey-triple-bogey-bogey-triple-double-bogey-bogey-par. That was his back nine on Friday. I'll let you guess if he made the cut or not.

Michael Campbell: Can you believe he once won this tournament? Campbell has missed the cut or pulled out of his last six majors, including Pebble Beach, where he was 19-over.

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