In the first email Q&A with a lowly golf blog since his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Dan Jenkins answers a few questions before returning to the scene of some of his most painful moments as a sportswriter.
This will be the 212th major Jenkins has attended and the 211th he has covered. His first U.S. Open was as an 11-year-old in 1941; he covered his first fifty-one years ago and Olympic marks his 58th U.S. Open as an inkslinger.
You can read volumes one, two, three and four.
GS: Excited to return to San Francisco?
DJ: Very excited to return to San Francisco. I want to recapture the cheeseburger a precious waiter refused to serve me last time there because I asked for salt. I look forward to continuing the search for Ambrose Bierce among the fern.
GS: Care to rank the U.S. Open's at Olympic?
DJ: In order of misery, I recall the Opens in this order: 1955 (worst result in the history of sports), 1966 (worst result in the history of Arnold Palmer), 1987 (biggest letdown in light of who was challenging: Watson, Seve, Crenshaw), 1998 (a sleeper all the way, but if Payne had to lose, Janzen was better than Tway.
GS: After all these years, have you ever developed a working theory as to why Olympic doesn't let the superstar win? Is it the course? Nancy Pelosi's fault?
DJ: I guess I'll finally have to buy into Sandy Tatum's defense of Olympic. Even though the course has brutally punished the superstars---let alone me on deadline---it has given us a great list of runnersup in Opens---Hogan, Palmer, Watson, Payne Stewart.
GS: Putting aside your man Hogan's upset loss and the other rally killer winners, where does Olympic rank as a US Open venue for you?
DJ: Think about it. No "Open course" over time has defended par better than Olympic. Scott Simpson's 277, only three-under, is the best. It has yet to be embarrassed, as all of the other usual suspects have on at least one occasion.
This could be it. Part of the suspense.
GS: You pulled off a superb World Golf Hall of Fame speech, how was that experience?
DJ: Getting into the World Golf Hall of Fame was quite special, very flattering. As my co-inductee and friend Peter Alliss said to me by email, "I'm trying very hard not to be carried away by the adulation of the multitudes." As for my acceptance speech, I lost my place twice, made up a couple of things out of thin air, but somehow survived. All through the weekend's many functions, I kept thinking I should be sitting with my press brethren.
GS: How's the journalism book coming?
DJ: There IS a "journalism memoir" slowly coming to an end at the computer where I sit. It's been damn near impossible to keep myself out of it.