Return to the Golf Today Home Page All the latest golf news Coverage of all the worlds major tours For all your golfing needs Golf Course Directory Out on the course Golf related travel Whats going on, message board, links and more!
Worldwide Feature Articles
Golftoday Latest
PGA: Stephen Ames coasts to six shot win
PGA: Tiger Woods ends difficult week with 75
Euro: Van de Velde ends 13 year victory wait
Stephen Ames vaults to World No. 27
Boost for the Philippine Open
Tiger Woods misses practice to be with father

No regrets for Mark Brooks

There were no gifts for Mark Brooks this time.

The U.S. Open playoff that Brooks wasn't supposed to be in proved too tough for him Monday.

The guy he was playing couldn't make a 2-footer to win the championship the day before. In the playoff, Retief Goosen seemingly couldn't miss.

In the end, Goosen had his first U.S. Open trophy to take back to London.

All Brooks could do was say he had no regrets before getting into his car and making the five-hour drive home to Fort Worth, Texas.

``I'm more disappointed with bogeying the 18th yesterday than what happened today,'' Brooks said. ``Golf's a funny game.''

Indeed it is.

Only the day before, Brooks was so sure he had lost the Open by three-putting the final green that he cleaned out his locker and prepared to go home.

Then Goosen's meltdown on 18 gave him another chance.

``It was just one of those weird days,'' Brooks said. ``He hit two great shots on 18 and should have won.''

All the amateur psychologists who lined the fairways at Southern Hills Country Club for the playoff might have been thinking the same thing about Brooks.

While Goosen lost a chance to win Sunday with his putter, though, Brooks gave his Open away in the playoff with a pair of wayward tee shots on the ninth and tenth holes.

By the time he walked off the 10th green, Brooks was five shots down and in need of a bigger gift than the one he received from the South African a day earlier.

``I'm not going to call it luck. You make your own luck,'' Brooks said. ``Sometimes it works out that way and sometimes it doesn't.''

Brooks teed off Monday with everything going for him, except perhaps his choice of clothing. He and Goosen stepped to the first tee dressed nearly identically in khaki slacks and light colored shirts.

He had the edge in experience, thanks to a playoff win in the 1996 PGA Championship. Most of all, he figured to have the mental advantage after Goosen's collapse on the 18th green only 16 hours earlier.

``If we had gone out to some other playoff format right away, I think that probably would have been true,'' Brooks said. ``But not with such a time lapse. It gives you time to get over it.''

Goosen couldn't putt when it mattered Sunday, but he was masterful on the greens Monday. He missed four of the first six greens, but got it up-and-down every time, once from 165 yards after a wild drive on the second hole.

Goosen needed only seven putts to navigate the first six holes, finally drawing even with Brooks with a short birdie putt on the par-3 sixth.

``He made his putts early,'' Brooks said. ``That's what you're going to question. Has your stroke disappeared? Obviously it hadn't because he made all his putts the first few holes.''

While Goosen found his putting stroke, Brooks suddenly lost his ability to find the fairway. He hit it into the rough on No. 7 for a bogey and didn't hit another fairway until the 13th.

With Goosen making back-to-back birdies on Nos. 9 and 10 for a four-shot swing, the Open was all but over.

``It was a little deflating energywise after he birdied 9 and 10,'' Brooks said.

Brooks did manage to birdie the 17th and make a par putt after Goosen had already holed out on the final hole to finish with a 72.

It will go into the record books as a two-shot win, but it was never really that close.

``I just could never get anything to happen,'' Brooks said.

Brooks stood on the 18th green and watched as Goosen received the Open trophy and made a short speech. Brooks, who made $530,000, was given a silver medal for finishing second, but he did not speak to the crowd.

He didn't have much to say to Goosen, either, although he did put his arm around his shoulder after he won.

``He's not real talkative and I'm probably accused of not being too talkative, either,'' Brooks said. ``I've played with him a few times. He's just one of those foreign guys.''

Not any more. Now he's a foreign guy with something Brooks still doesn't have at age 40 — a U.S. Open championship.

Email this page to a friend | Return to top of page