Mickelson Fumbles, Ogilvy Triumphs for First Major June 18, 2006 | Mamaroneck, N.Y.

(USGA/John Mummert)

In perhaps one of the wildest finishes in U.S. Open history, 29-year-old Geoff Ogilvy of Australia emerged from the carnage at the 72nd hole of Winged Foot Golf Club’s West Course with a one-stroke victory over crowd favorite Phil Mickelson, Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie and 2003 U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk.

Playing in the final group with unheralded Englishman Kenneth Ferrie and needing only a par to win the title or a bogey to get into a Monday playoff, Mickelson sliced his tee shot off a hospitality tent, then hit a tree with his second shot en route to a disastrous double-bogey 6. A couple of groups ahead of Mickelson, Montgomerie mis-hit his approach shot from the fairway and also made a 6. Furyk, playing in front of Montgomerie, also had a chance to par the final hole, but missed a 5-foot putt. All three finished at 6-over 286.

That left Ogilvy, who chipped in a 30-footer for par at the 71st hole and then got up and down from the front of the green for another par at the 18th hole, making a downhill 5-footer to finish at 5-over-par 285. Ogilvy’s victory denied Mickelson an opportunity to become just the third person in history to win a third consecutive major championship following Ben Hogan (1953) and Tiger Woods (2000-01). The left-hander entered the Open off victories in the 2005 PGA Championship and ’06 Masters. Instead, Mickelson tied Sam Snead with the most runner-up U.S. Open finishes without a title at four.

Meanwhile, two-time U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods missed a cut in a major for the first time as a professional, a stretch of 37 events (39 overall which includes his amateur days). Woods was playing for the first time in nine weeks following the May 3 passing of his father, Earl.

Ireland’s Padraig Harrington finished fifth at 287, but he could also claim the 18th hole cost him a shot at victory. He tripled the hole in the third round and made a bogey in the final round.

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