The 2014 U.S. Open: A Final Round Oral History

Retrospectives are all the rage right now, in fact, you’d be hard pressed to find an event from the past that has yet to be given the oral treatment. And while it is important to know that Speed just turned 20, (“I’m a cop. L.A.P.D. There’s a bomb on your bus! There is a bomb on your bus!“) we as a society need to start turning our attention forward. Take the upcoming U.S. Open golf championship for example. Through the miracles of space, time and hallucinogenic drugs, we’ve been able to transport ourselves into the future to see what transpired during Sunday’s final round at Pinehurst No.2.

Heading into Sunday’s final round of the 114 U.S. Open, American hero, and suspected insider trader, Phil Mickelson was tied for the lead with the quiet loner (code for rude) Frenchman Victor Dubuisson. One shot back were a group of golfers that included Matt Kuchar and Luke Donald. Before action on Sunday got under way, all people could talk about were the conditions at Pinehurst No. 2.

Ben Crenshaw : When my partner Bill Coore and I took on the challenge of restoring Pinehurst we tried to recapture as much of the charm and intrigue of the original Donald Ross design. An unintended consequence of our loyalty was that it became impossible to distinguish between bunkers and waste areas. Unfortunately this confusion led to a few regrettable situations.

Dustin Johnson: I was disqualified after the 3rd round for the repeated and excessive grounding of my club in a hazard. You would have thought that I learned my lesson after Whistling Straights in 2010 but it’s a testament to the genius of the USGA that even though there was a walking official following each group it took the expertise of some Canadian dude watching at home from his sofa to phone in half my violations.

Wayne Gretzky: As a former world class athlete myself I call it as I see it and if you expect to marry my daughter then you need to be able to hold yourself to the highest ethical and professional standards.

Crenshaw: We are sorry for what Dustin went through and shocked as we thought that each bunker was going to be lined with a rake. In any event, the course played just like we wanted it to: firm, fast an unique. Kind of like some of the links courses you see at the British Open.

Bubba Watson was unavailable for this article but did speak to a waitress at a Waffle House in Pinehurst, NC shortly after missing the cut Friday.

Bubba Watson: I play Bubba Golf that’s all I can do and I wasn’t about to stop bombing my driver off the tee. That’s why fans love me so much. So what if every single one of my tee shots ran off the hard, dry fairways and into the waste areas. Normally I’m a much more inventive player. But that’s not why I lost. I lost because I wasn’t supposed to win. Just wasn’t in the good Lord’s plans.

God: I actually missed Bubba’s first two rounds as I was down in the southern hemisphere tending to several soccer players in Brazil who were seeking guidance during the group stage of the World Cup. What happened anyway? He went with the driver didn’t he? I knew he couldn’t resist temptation. We’ll have to talk about that before the Travelers next week.

Watson: Seriously, why couldn’t they throw a little hydration on those fairways? It’s not like the planet is running out of fresh water or anything.

Crenshaw: Our planet is running out of water which was one of the many reason’s why when we redesigned Pinehurst No. 2 we did so with the environment in mind. We ripped a crap ton of sprinklers out of the ground, cutting our annual water usage down from 55 million gallons a year to slightly under 15. Viewers at home may think that we did a poor job caring for the course on account of all the brown, burnt out grass but what we’ve really did was help save the environment. Go ahead, ask the players. They’ll tell you the course was difficult, fair and environmentally friendly.

Ian Poulter: Pinehurst was fair and difficult but I’ve got a garage in Orlando full of luxury, gas guzzling automobiles so clearly climate change is not tops on my list of priorities.

Sunday’s final pairing of Mickelson, and Dubuisson didn’t tee off until 3:00. By then, a few players, including Rory McIlroy had already made an early afternoon run launching themselves onto the first page of the leader board.

Rory McIlroy: Having played relatively poorly over the first few rounds of the tournament I knew I need to post a low score Sunday which I did. I checked my phone after I finished my final round and was really overjoyed by the amount of positive messages. I even had time to check twitter and Instagram to see what else Caroline and Serena were up to in Miami beach. Hopefully she’s moved on.

Caroline Wozniacki: I’ve moved on.

Dubuisson and Mickelson both played the front 9 2 over par but settled into a nice groove after the turn.

Phil Mickelson:  Ever since I lost to Payne Stewart back in ’99 I’ve always felt like I’ve had a bit of unfinished business at Pinehurst and was therefore happy to be in contention on Sunday.

Victor Dubuisson was unavailable for this article but did give an interview to Le Monde. That interview has been translated into English by a high school sophomore French student from Muskegon Michigan.

Dubuisson: I don’t often play in states but when I do I like to do my best and I believe I did my best but always feel like I’m position to succeed.

As the final group of Mickelson and Dubuisson stepped to 18 tee they remained tied for the lead, one stroked ahead of McIlroy and Matt Kuchar.

Matt Kuchar: Golly what a golf tournament.

Mickelson: When I stepped up to 18 tee and saw the name “Ogilvie” on the leaderboard my mind instantly raced back to Winged Foot. How was I supposed to know it was Joe Ogilvie not Geoff?

Jim “Bones” Mackay: I insisted that Geoff spells his name with a “y” instead of an “ie” but Phil would have none of it.

Mickelson: Even though the Ogilvie thing rattled me a bit I figured that since I was hitting fairways all day I could be a little aggressive off the tee on 18.

Bones: As we approached the tee I thought about hiding Phil’s driver behind the water cooler but decided there was no need because we had strategized how he was going to lay back a bit and avoid trouble on his second shot.

Mickelson went with the driver and ended up running his ball through the fairway and into a waste area. Dubuisson piped a 3-wood that rolled safely along the fairway.

Dubuisson: I play the ball very well all day for a sportsman and on 18 hole I was in imperfect position to win me first majors.

After Dubuisson played his second shot to the front right portion of the green Mickelson prepared to hit his approach from the waste area.

Mickelson: Right before I hit my second shot on 18 I felt a presence looming over me that brought me great calm and joy.

The Spirit of Payne Stewart: I wasn’t there yet as I was putting the finishing touches on that day’s wardrobe. Honestly, it’s a shame that there isn’t a current golfer sponsored by the NFL.

Mickelson hit a miraculous shot from the sand leaving himself less than 15 feet for  birdie and perhaps his first U.S. Open.

McIlroy: After Phil played it in nice and tight to the pin on 18 I figured since I was already one stroke and he was unlikely to three putt from that position that there was no need to keep hanging around the clubhouse. I checked Instagram one more time to make sure Caroline is doing ok and got in my courtesy car and drove away.

Caroline Wozniacki: I’m doing o.k.

Kuchar: Golly what a golf tournament!

As Mickelson and Dubuisson strode confidently to the green the crowd rose in appreciation.

Dubuisson: All day people be nice and polite and even though I France playing in United State Open I made feel happy.

Mickelson: The 18 green at Pinehurst still brings back such vivid memories of ’99 and I knew Payne was there with me on that day too.

The Spirit of Payne Stewart: From my vantage point it looked like Phil was in total control of his game and that there was little extra comfort that I could provide.

Mickelson: Payne really wasn’t much of a help so as I lined up my putt I had Bones text Billy to see if Carl had any tips.

Bones: I never texted Billy Walters. My phone is under FBI surveillance same as Phil’s and it wouldn’t be prudent to draw any extra attention from the Feds especially with a putt to win the U.S. Open. Plus I knew we’d get a good read from Victor.

Dubuisson: All day I play pretty good golf and had a putt to bird 18 but ball through the break and I tap in for level.

Mickelson: When Victor’s birdie putt blew by the hole I felt like I had the speed guaged perfectly. I looked at Bones one final time and asked him if Billy texted me back to which he replied, “Billy says trust your gut like you did when you picked the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl in ’01”.

Bones: I lied. Like I said, I never texted Billy Walters. But I wasn’t about to tell my guy that.

Mickelson: So thanks to some sound advice I trusted my line and rolled the putt perfectly towards the hole.

Dubuisson: I knew it be good as soon as off face of putter.

Bones: Straight in the cup.

Kuchar: Golly what a golf tournament!

Mickelson: Winning my first U.S. Open was a dream come true. And to complete the career grand slam at Pinehurst of all places is incredibly special. I can now consider myself one of the greatest golfers of all time. And Tiger not being here does not take away from this accomplishment.

Tiger Woods was unavailable for this article but was overheard muttering to himself while playing miniature golf with his two kids in Jupiter.

Tiger: Great for Phil but this Hollywood ending bullshit would have never happened if my back were healthy.