Sunday's Birdies and Bogeys

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Sunday's Birdies and Bogeys

June 14, 2014

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: AP Photo

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Birdie: Martin KaymerDon't blame Kaymer that this U.S. Open was utterly devoid of drama. When it was Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy romping to their one-sided U.S. Open wins, we celebrated virtuoso performances by two of the game's superstars. Maybe we should be doing the same with Kaymer, who now has two majors, a Players, a World Golf Championship and a clinching Ryder Cup putt -- all before his 30th birthday. It wasn't just that Kaymer shot 69 on Sunday to finish at nine under, good for an eight-shot win. It was that he did it in such methodical, unflappable fashion -- always rising to even the tiniest challenge -- that we have to rank Kaymer's Open as one of the great performances in this championship's history.-- Sam Weinman

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Bogey: Final-Round DramaIf you were looking for abrupt momentum shifts, this was not the U.S. Open for you. In fact, if you were looking for any momentum shifts, this was not the U.S. Open for you. With a five-shot advantage to enter the final round, Kaymer's lead never got to less than four on Sunday, meaning you could get up from your seat, walk the dog, go for a jog, and even take a nap, and still be able to come back to find Kaymer pretty much where you left him. With this U.S. Open already missing Tiger Woods and contending with the World Cup, it's no surprise that the final round ended up being a tough sell to casual fans. -- S.W.

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Birdie: Erik ComptonThe feel-good story of this U.S. Open couldn't catch Kaymer on Sunday, but the 34-year-old journeyman won over a lot of new fans. Making his 100th PGA Tour start, Compton entered with as many career top 10s (three) as he's had hearts, but he'll leave Pinehurst with a lot of confidence following his runner-up finish. "I wanted to prove I'm more than just the guy with two heart transplants." Mission accomplished. -- Alex Myers

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Bogey: BritsIt wasn't just their performance in the World Cup, which was terrible -- England lost 2-1 to Italy on Saturday. It was their showing at Pinehurst. In a tournament where two continental Europeans finished first and T-4, only Justin Rose ever threatened the top 10. The British contingent of Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Paul Casey failed to live up to any sort of expectations, despite four of them still trying for their first major. -- Luke Kerr-Dineen

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Birdie: Rickie FowlerIn a tournament somewhat lacking in star power, the popular Fowler helped fill the void. There was nothing flashy about his final-round two-over 72, but it was good enough to keep him in a tie for second place -- easily his best career finish at a major championship. We'd like to see late Sunday afternoon tee times for the orange-clad golfer on a regular basis, but at least his two best finishes this year have come at the season's first two majors. -- A.M.

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Bogey: Phil MickelsonThe biggest storyline entering this year's U.S. Open was a mere afterthought by Sunday, never breaking par in any of his four trips around Pinehurst. Largely due to his continued putting woes, Mickelson finished T-28, something he said feels worse than if he had collected another heartbreaking runner-up. "It is way worse, because there's nothing more exciting than having a chance." On the bright side, there will be other chances for Mickelson in his pursuit of golf's career Grand Slam. He's probably already thinking about next year's venue, Chambers Bay. -- A.M.

Photo By: AP Photo

Birdie: Keegan BradleyBradley obviously didn't win the U.S. Open, but he walked away from Pinehurst more comfortable with the notion that some day he could. A final-round 67, including a nifty eagle after driving the green on the par-4 13th, left him one of just three players in the field to shoot three rounds in the 60s in a T-4 showing. Not bad when you consider in two previous Open starts his best round was a 73. There's work to do, as Saturday's 76 attests, and Bradley needs to straight out his driver if he really wants to be a favorite here someday. But as his game matures, the dream gets bigger. -- Ryan Herrington

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Birdie: Jason DayThe Aussie has seen limited action due to a left thumb injury since winning the WGC-Match Play in February and ascending to a career-best fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking. But a pain-free T-4 at Pinehurst proved he's back in top form. Day shot a final-round 68 to vault up the leader board and pick up an impressive seventh top 10 in 15 career major starts. Just 26, his reputation of playing his best in golf's biggest events is well deserved. -- A.M.

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Bogey: Donald TrumpWhether you agree with the general consensus that a course can be brown and beautiful, or side with Trump and think that courses should be at their manicured best for major championships, there's a time and a place to have that discussion. On Twitter during U.S. Open Sunday isn't that time or place. Trump's influence within golf is growing ever larger, but on this occasion, we'd like to have seen him take a more measured approach. -- L.K.D.

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Birdie: Zach JohnsonOn the ninth hole Sunday, Johnson made just the second hole-in-one at Pinehurst in a U.S. Open. If that wasn't cool enough, he celebrated by running towards the gallery on the right of the hole and high-fiving everyone, then swooped over to the left side and high-fived everyone over there. It was a refreshing break from watching pros focusing only on grinding-out pars. -- L.K.D.

Bogey: Matt KucharOne of the favorites entering this week, Kuchar didn't play poorly, but he also failed to make a serious push after getting to three under late on Day 1. In fact, his score got worse each day, culminating with a Sunday 73 to drop the top-10 machine to T-12. If Kuchar isn't the best player in the world without a major, he's certainly the most consistent. But despite all his success so far this season, his close call at the Masters and a lost opportunity at Pinehurst (a course that seemed to suit his game) have to keep even Kuchar from smiling. -- A.M.

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Birdie: LPGA prosNo, the women weren't thrilled that they would go second in the USGA's novel back-to-back U.S. Open experiment at Pinehurst. But several LPGA pros competing in the upcoming Women's Open made sure not to pass up the biggest benefit to having the men go first: watching how they tried to play the firm-and-fast course. Whether practicing side-by-side with the guys early Sunday or walking the course with the final groups, the LPGA watched and (they hope) learned . . . while also doing a nice job (with the help of NBC) of promoting their own national championship. -- R.H.

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