Keep that card
Never mind the 11-over 291 finish: Padraig Harrington’s streak of 11 consecutive pars from holes 7-17 on this course Sunday was something some front-runners would have envied. Ditto for his closing 72, which was 2 strokes better than Phil Mickelson and three better than Hunter Mahan.
Toss that card
Charl Schwartzel’s bid for an Open title blew up when the South African opened with a birdie, then carded bogey or worse on seven of the next nine holes on the way to a front-nine 42 and a closing 78.
On the course with …
Jason Dufner was — where else? — under the radar when he began the final round at 8 over. He had a sizzling 5-under surge going before a triple-bogey 7 on No. 15, after which he closed 1 under with birdie-par-par, something only one other top-10 finisher — Nicolas Colsaerts — duplicated Sunday. Dufner finished in a tie for fourth after a 67.
U.S. Open moment
Mickelson surged back into the lead by holing out from 75 yards in thick rough on No. 10 for eagle. But he gave it back when, on the easiest hole at Merion, Mickelson played a wedge and overshot the green on the par-3 13th and made bogey.
Merion’s first ace in the hole
Shawn Stefani became the first player to make a hole-in-one at any of the five U.S. Opens at Merion when he aced the 229-yard 17th hole with a 4-iron. After pulling the ball from the hole, Stefani went over to the area where the ball hit, got on his knees and kissed the ground, prompting another ovation.
World No. 1 Tiger Woods, a three-time Open champion, closed with a 74. His 13-over 283 was his second-highest total in relation to par in a U.S. Open, and his worst since turning pro in 1996. “I did a lot of things right,” Woods said. “Unfortunately I did a few things wrong, as well.”
Quote of the day
“You didn’t have to tell them that part.” — Rory McIlroy, maintaining his sense of humor after his 72-hole total of 14-over 284 was included in his introduction before his news conference.
Tweet of the day
“Thanks for a memorable week, Phil. I haven’t rooted that hard for someone since I got my TCU Frogs past Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.” – Golf Digest’s Dan Jenkins.