Inside sources say the USGA ordered all air shut off to the media center interview room. How else to explain a media performance for the ages?
Let's deal with all five questions asked after the statements by President Jim Vernon and Championship Committee Chair Jim Hyler.
Q. In light of the weather forecast, the current softness of the course and the likelihood it's going to be a lot softer, can you envision any circumstance in which the players will be allowed to lift, clean and replace?
JIM HYLER: No.
You have to love the brevity!
Q. So if they can't do that, you're prepared to take this tournament into Monday or Tuesday?
JIM HYLER: If it gets to the point where -- we're not going to play lift, clean and place. We'll suspend. If we can't play it, if it's not fair to be playing the ball as it lies, we'll suspend play. We'll stay here until we get a champion.
Uh, I booked on Priceline. Lift, clean and place doesn't look so bad to me.
Q. Do you recall any other championships -- and this is for David as well, I imagine -- in which the USGA has allowed that method of play?
JIM HYLER: Lift, clean and place? No.
Not a lot of grey area there!
Q. On the subject of future U.S. Open sites, how important is geographic diversity? Do you consider Oakmont to be part of the Midwest? And are you strongly considering something, a course in Chicago or Wisconsin, for 2017?
JIM HYLER: Oakmont is sort of Midwest, sort of East Coast. So it's certainly not East-East Coast.
Which reminds me, let's hear it for Oakmont! Questions, anyone, anyone?
My contribution to the proceedings:
Q. Some of the manufacturers have been indicating that they may have trouble implementing with the new groove rules and having enough clubs prepared, and they're lobbying the PGA TOUR to reconsider their support. How will that affect the USGA's stance on the groove rule change that takes effect in 2010?
JIM VERNON: As you know, Jeff, the implementation of the new groove regulations include a condition of competition for elite play, such as the PGA TOUR.
PGA TOUR will make its decision at some point as to whether they will implement that condition of competition for 2010. It is likely that if they were not to adopt it for 2010, we certainly would not adopt it for the U.S. Open either.
You can probably guess why I asked this. Last week we learned from Ian Poulter that certain manufacturers don't believe they'll be ready. Different theories have been floated, but it seems likely that at least one company is lobbying the PGA Tour in hopes of getting the tour to not adopt the condition of competition that bans the U-groove on the PGA Tour.
So now we know. Tim Finchem is the most powerful man in the game. Well, unless a certain manufacturer gets him to not comply to the rule change. Then that CEO is the most powerful.
I thought some of my counterparts would be fascinated and ask more questions. Instead...
Q. Have you given any consideration to a Senior Women's Open? You've talked about pairing up the men's and the women's open, but what about the Seniors? At the moment the women don't have a Senior Open.
I'm sure you can guess what David Fay said as kindly as he could.
Q. I wanted to ask about a future site by looking into the past a little bit. I don't know how many years ago it was that you announced that Pebble Beach would be hosting a U.S. Women's Open. It looked like '14 might be the best opening. You're booked now through '15. Can you give us any kind of an update on what's going on there, and how much of it is Pebble maybe just not wanting to give up a week that close after the U.S. Open?
DAVID FAY: Thanks. I've had conversations with them. They remain interested in having a Women's Open. That interest is sincere, but the date was never set in stone. It was speculation, and that's great. But I can tell you that they remain interested in a future Women's Open. No set date.
BETH MURRISON: Thank you all very much for being here. Gentlemen, we thank you very much.
Yes, we thank you for not asking questions.