Date: June 18, 2007

Cabrera claims first major

Argentine Angel Cabrera claimed his first major after world No.1 Tiger Woods missed a monster putt on the 18th which would have forced the US Open into a playoff. At a five-over-par total of 285, Cabrera edged Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, both former US Open champions, by one shot. Australian Aaron Baddeley&aposs dream of winning his first major turned into a nightmare when he triple bogeyed the opening hole to surrender his two-shot overnight lead. He dropped two further shots on seven after his tee shot landed in thick rough while further bogies on the 8th, 10th and 11th saw him bow out of contention. His 10-over-par 80 saw him drop back to a tie for 13th. Cabrera was as low as three over after a birdie at 15 but he gave shots back – and handed Woods and Furyk hope of a comeback – with bogeys at 16 and 17. A par at 18 put Cabrera in the clubhouse on five over as the American duo played the final holes. Both Woods and Furyk tried to drive the green at the 306-yard 17th but ran into trouble. Furyk bogeyed the hole from the rough to the left of the green and Woods was unable to get up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker. At 18, Furyk split the fairway with his drive but his approach was long and left, leading to a par. Woods had a 30-footer to force a play-off but left it out to the right and about a foot past the hole. The world number one dug himself a hole he could never get out of with a double-bogey on the 428-yard, par-four third hole. Woods had an uphill pitch shot that he tried to hit into the side of the hill to take some of the speed off, but instead it skipped across the green and into the rough on the other side. He mis-hit the pitch coming back and took two putts to finish the hole. Woods bounced back with his only birdie of the round at the 609-yard, par-five fourth. He made an eight-footer for birdie there but never made another on his way to a two-over round of 72. Furyk shot his second straight 70 to finish tied for second with Woods at a six-over 286. The leader after 36 holes, Cabrera struggled on Saturday with a six-over 76, but he was still only four shots off the lead and he turned out to be just one solid round from his first major championship. “After the round I had yesterday, I knew I had to come out and shoot something under par to win,” Cabrera said. He was right and for the second straight major, Woods was all wrong. Cabrera carded five birdies, the last coming at 15 to put him at three over. He then bogeyed his next two holes but a par at 18 put him in the clubhouse in the lead and put the pressure on Woods and Furyk. Woods was also in the final group at the Masters but could only muster a 72 and he tied for second. He briefly held the lead in the final round at Augusta and did the same for a good part of the front nine at Oakmont but he could never put together a stretch of the vintage Woods play that has come to be expected, especially in majors. Saturday&aposs 69 proved to be Woods&apos only sub-par round of the tournament and he was left to ponder what might have been after his second runner-up finish in the US Open in the last three years. Cabrera is left to celebrate an unlikely championship. He started with three consecutive pars before back-to-back birdies at four and five. He went out in 34 after a birdie at eight and bogeys at the sixth and ninth. Of the remaining Australians, Nick O&aposHern finished in equal 23rd place at 15-over-par, Stuart Appleby was further stroke adrift in a tie for 26th, while Mathew Goggin carded his second consecutive round of 74 to finish at 18-over-par in a share of 36th. Fellow Australian and 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy closed with a 75 to share 42nd place, while Marcus Fraser was a further stroke back at 20-over-par in a tie for 45th. Final scores from the US Open: (par 70) +5: Angel Cabrera 69 71 76 69 +6: Jim Furyk 71 75 70 70, Tiger Woods 71 74 69 72 +7: Niclas Fasth 71 71 75 70 +9: David Toms 72 72 73 72, Bubba Watson 70 71 74 74 +10: Nick Dougherty 68 77 74 71, Jerry Kelly 74 71 73 72, Scott Verplank 73 71 74 72 +11: Stephen Ames 73 69 73 76, Paul Casey 77 66 72 76, Justin Rose 71 71 73 76 +12: Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 72 70 70 80, Lee Janzen 73 73 73 73, Hunter Mahan 73 74 72 73, Steve Stricker 75 73 68 76 +13: Jeff Brehaut 73 75 70 75, Tim Clark 72 76 71 74, Carl Pettersson 72 72 75 74 +14: Anthony Kim 74 73 80 67, Vijay Singh 71 77 70 76, Mike Weir 74 72 73 75 Also: +15: Nick O&aposHern (Australia) 76 74 71 74 +16: Stuart Appleby (Australia) 74 72 71 79 +18: Mathew Goggin (Australia) 77 73 74 74 +19: Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 71 75 78 75 +20: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 72 78 77 73 +24: Michael Campbell (NZ) 73 77 75 79