TULSA, Okla. -- Two feet away from claiming the U.S. Open, Retief Goosen buckled under the stifling pressure and missed a short par putt on the 18th green that tied him with Mark Brooks and set up a Monday playoff.
Goosen, trying to go wire-to-wire for his first major championship, needed only two putts from 15 feet behind the hole. Instead, he rapped the first one 2 feet by the hole, and the par putt coming back missed badly to the right.
Brooks earlier three-putted the 18th from 40 feet to make bogey and seemingly blow his chance to win the U.S. Open.
"I don't know what happened on the second putt," Goosen said. "It's golf, you know. Tomorrow is another day."
There should have never been a tomorrow in this case. Instead, the U.S. Open will be decided by an 18-hole playoff, the first in seven years.
It wasn't quite as wild as Jean Van de Velde taking triple bogey to squander the British Open at Carnoustie in 1999, but it was no less shocking.
Lost in the drama was Tiger Woods, who was long gone and his incredible streak of four straight majors ended.
He shot a 69 and finished in a tie for 12th. Asked if it was the most disappointed he had been after a major in a long time, Woods said, "Considering I won the last four, yes."
Goosen's three-putt -- he had to make a 3-footer for that -- gave him a 71 and left him and Brooks at 276. Brooks closed with a 70.
It will be the first 18-hole playoff in the U.S. Open since 1994, when Ernie Els defeated Loren Roberts and Colin Montgomerie at Oakmont.
"I look forward to tomorrow," Goosen said. "I'm not worried at all."
Save some sympathy for Stewart Cink.
He was tied for the lead with Goosen at 5 under when they came to the 18th, where no major champion at Southern Hills has ever made a par or better.
Cink figured his hopes for an Open victory were doomed when he missed the green long, chipped to 25 feet and the par putt just slid by the edge of the cup on the left.
He could have marked, but it's a professional courtesy to let the likely champion -- Goosen looked like a lock -- have the final putt.
Cink proceeded to push the 18-inch bogey putt. A few minutes later, that cost him a spot on the playoff.
"I just blocked out that second one," Cink said.
Brooks, won the '96 PGA Championship in a sudden-death playoff, and Goosen will return to Southern Hills on Monday for one final round of stroke play.
If nothing else, it proved that Woods doesn't have to win a major to produce such memorable moments.
Goosen will have a chance to redeem his gaffe, or join a long list of golfers whose championships slipped away because of missed short putts -- Scott Hoch in the 1989 Masters and Doug Sanders in the 1970 British Open are the most famous.
With a cool, unflappable demeanor to the end, Goosen sounded up to the task.
"Obviously, I'm not happy about what happened, but what can I do?" he said. "I'm not going to go jump out of my hotel room."
Rocco Mediate, in a four-way tie going into the back nine, bogeyed three of the next five holes and finished with a 72, good for fourth place at 278. No else broke par.
Ten players were separated by 10 shots when the final round started under hot, sunny skies at Southern Hills. By the time the leaders reached the back nine, it was a three-man race -- just not the three anyone expected.
Woods failed to provide many theatrics other than reaching the 642-yard fifth hole -- the longest in U.S. Open history -- in two shots. He finished at 283, ending his streak of 40 consecutive stroke-play tournaments under par.
The surprise, though, was who didn't make a run.
For the sixth time in his career, Phil Mickelson was within two strokes of the lead going into the final round of a major. So much for experience. He was hanging around until hitting his ninth tee shot toward the first fairway, then three-putting from 4 feet on No. 13.
"I'm not going to beat myself up over this," Mickelson said after a 75.
Sergio Garcia was poised to become the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923. Instead, the 21-year-old Spaniard went 12 holes before making a birdie and knocked himself out of the hunt by missing a 3-foot bogey putt on No. 9.
David Duval had an outside chance until making bogey on the first hole and going downhill from there. He played the weekend in 5 over, giving him his fourth straight top-10 in a U.S. Open, but nowhere closer to his first major.
With those three wasting their chances and Woods already on his way home, the massive gallery sought out the only guys who seemed capable of handling Southern Hills.
And what a finish they provided.
Brooks surged into the lead with two birdies on the back nine, two big breaks out of the trees and hardly any mistakes until the end. He finally surrendered on the 18th, knocking his 40-foot birdie putt 8 feet by the hole, and hanging the next one on the right side of the lip.
It was a bogey that Brooks figured would prove fatal.
"It's unfortunate to finish with a three-putt," he said. "But I know a lot of people who have missed important putts, and we all live to play another day."
Good news for Brooks -- his day is Monday.
Goosen was hardly the model of a U.S. Open champion the way he sprayed tee shots into the woods and high grass. But he refused to quit, the best trait of all in this championship, and reclaimed the lead with a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 15.
Cink was quietly lurking until the biggest shot of his career -- a wedge that landed 15 feet behind the pin and spun back to 2 feet for a birdie, tying him with Goosen at 5 under.
Then they came to the 18th, perhaps the toughest closing hole in golf. The previous five major champions at Southern Hills all had a two-stroke cushion and could afford to make bogeys, leading to some of the more anticlimatic majors.
That wasn't the case this time.
"I figured I was done," Brooks said. "I feel for bad for him."