Alright, what'd you think? I'm traveling, but curious about some initial thoughts on the week.
To make a great hole hazards need not be numerous. A few well-placed are quite sufficient to arouse an amount of lively interest and to call forth shots of which the best golfer may well be proud.
Alright, what'd you think? I'm traveling, but curious about some initial thoughts on the week.
Doug Ferguson's game story and his lede:
Halfway through his third round, Ricky Barnes had a six-shot lead and a smile to match in the U.S. Open. Ten holes later, with darkness gathering, he couldn't get off Bethpage Black fast enough.
Larry Dorman's NY Times story includes a revealing image of Ricky Barnes after his first hole bogey (before halting of play) and this lede:
The 15 hours of daylight during the year’s longest day was not enough to illuminate a finish to the soggy United States Open at Bethpage Black on Sunday. But just before it died, it lighted the corners and cracks of the games of the co-leaders Ricky Barnes and Lucas Glover and gave some insight into what may happen on Monday when final round continues at 9 a.m.
Thomas Bonk on Phil Mickelson's state of mind. Sean Martin also weighs in on Phil. As does Bill Pennington.
Bob Harig on the final pairing. You'll love finding out who Barnes is sandwiched between on the world ranking.
John Strege tells us things we might not know about Ricky Barnes. I definitely forgot about his interesting path to the final pairing of the US Open.
Ian Poulter Tweets from the course (between rounds) to show us mud on his ball. The heartbreaking image is here.
SI digs up a 2003 profile of Barnes.
Gary Van Sickle makes final round picks.
Bill Fields reminds us of some other strange majors while Steve Elling says this one is pretty much the worst, not that it's anyone's fault.
Mark Soltau compiles the best quotes of the day.
TV Times are here.
And mopping a few items missed yesterday:
Michael Buteau talks to Pete Bevacqua of the USGA about the importance of Tiger Woods to golf: “He’s our own TARP money." And shares this:
Because organizers sold less than 50 hospitality tents, which range in price from $32,500 for a table of 12 inside a course-side pavilion to $230,000 for a 40-foot-by-40-foot shelter, the association was left with about 1,500 additional daily and weekly ticket packages to sell to the public.
The tents that were sold remain shrouded in anonymity. There are no visible marquees because the occupants do not want to be known.
“Everybody is afraid of being seen out here,” Bevacqua said. “Until people understand how effective a tool this is, corporations will still use this as a tool, but they don’t want to draw attention or exposure to themselves.”
Newsday notes on Tiger's hecklers Saturday.
"We're on Long Island, baby, where men are men!" one fan yelled. "Put that umbrella down!" The taunts were mixed with cheers from the majority of the crowd. Woods did not respond to the people who were heckling him but tried to quiet the crowd with a "sshh" hand gesture, putting his finger to his lips, as golfers prepared to tee off on the adjacent 12th tee. "Suck it up, you've got your own video game!" someone shouted at Woods.
The best sports fans in the world.
Press center debate has been spirited over what to call the caps worn by Ricky Barnes and Ryan Moore. Painter's cap? Choo-Choo cap?
Personally, I think this tells us what to call it:
John Paul Newport reports that brother to Rees, son of Robert Trent Jones, and architect of the stars Robert Trent Jones II wonders why his brother blew it more wasn't done to help Bethpage drain better in wet conditions. Family!
Can you recall a day where so much could happen? I suppose it'd be more exciting if the rain would stop and the people could just enjoy a great day of golf.
Comment away! Johnny, Dan, Tiger, Ricky, Phil, Tilly...whatever crosses your mind. Predictions welcome too.
NBC comes on at 11 a.m. EST. Here's my Twitter feed:
GolfDigest.com has posted this Sunday primer on the scenarios, statements and status of the 3rd and 4th rounds.
If they can start at 7:30, there's a chance the round is finished reports Doug Ferguson. Amazing. A re-pair will not happen if the weather is holding things up again.
Bob Harig talks to players about the difficulty of playing with so many stops and starts.
Adam Schupak on Ricky Barnes and his rebirth, looking to become the first man to win a major wearing a painters cap.
Here I was listening to Lucas Glover talk after his round and found myself nodding off. After Cameron Morfit's profile, I'm reminded why he's a guy to root for.
Mark Soltau with the days best quotes. Love Ogilvy's, really bored with Tiger's poa-green complaints.
Speaking of Tiger, Gary Van Sickle has a full report on the world No. 1's day.
Sam Weinman kicks off the discussion about luck in majors and just how much was involved with this year's draw. This year's Open definitely surpasses the worst draw contrast in recent memory: the 2008 Northern Trust Open.
Jeff Babineau makes the case that the Open is more than just Tiger and Phil.
Trevor Murphy, the shock TV star of Saturday's round, filed this diary entry for GolfDigest.com.
Golfweek's coverage is here, including a couple of player blogs from Rickie Fowler and Matt Nagy.
Tim Rosaforte explains David Duval's New York connection, if you are so inclined to root for him.
And finally, Jaime Diaz interviews Dan Jenkins about Ben Hogan. And if you haven't been following Dan on Twitter, you're missing out.
So much good writing, so little time. Just a few that caught my eye:
All the transcripts are here.
Mark Soltau finds the best lines of the day and puts them all here.
Golfweek.com compiles notes from its staff writers, including stats about the weird leaderboard and horror stories on Ernie Els and Brian Gay.
Lawrence Donegan's game story. Doug Ferguson's here. Still waiting on the local editions...
Michael Bamberger praises the USGA for a "nice save" on the ticket policy change. Oh I can't wait to read the tabloids tomorrow!
Steve Elling on the lopsided advantage for the afternoon-early guys.
John Huggan on Ian Poulter's silly little rant about plugged lies in the sand. He also notes Paul Casey's 75 and post round silence.
Jeff Rude on the Lefty Lovefest and how his playing partners have been ignored.
Ryan Herrington says the low amateur race might actually be close and interesting.
Thomas Bonk sums up the timing scenario possibilities and concludes there's no use trying to figure out where this Open could go.
I posted an item on GolfDigest.com earlier in the day on Tiger's prediction of mud on the ball worsening as the day went on, with a negative impact on scoring. Looks like Tiger got that one wrong.
Sean Martin on Drew Weaver's impressive opening round.
Mark Reason reminds us of Graeme McDowell's past U.S. Open success after his opening 69.
Neal Best on NBC's bonus coverage Saturday.
Jack McCallum on his RV neighbors.
The Angry Golfer visits the merchandise tent and vents about. I was disappointed that he missed the $168 belts, easily the LOL item of the week.
Here's where to observe, opine, and oscillate on what appears to be a day where golf will be played.
A few more reads: Jeff Neuman on 47-year-old Mike Miles, Bamberger on the ticket issue and a decision the USGA "will come to regret," Lupica on the same topic, and Stephanie Gaskell reports on the rainfall amounts. A chart with her story (not online) shows that June is a bit more wet than some have led us to believe. The average June rainfall is nearly 5 inches (at 7.32 now) and in 2003 they had 10.27 inches of rain.
Oh and here's my Twitter feed.
The rainout gave me a little more time to do some clippings. And there's actually a lot of fun stuff posted.
John Hawkins goes out in the rain to see just how miserable conditions were. And who says writers never leave the tent? On a serious note, in the video you'll get to see just how water logged the property is. And I can attest. They didn't just pick the worst spots. It's like this everywhere. Poor Bethpage deserves better!
Also on the video front, Jeff Rude talks to Tom Lehman in hopes of hearing how he hit the same person twice on the same hole, Bethpage's fifth.
Gary Van Sickle wisely points out that this week's problems should be a sign of trouble for the 2014 USGA plan at Pinehurst to contest back-to-back Opens.
I've already believe I was called out on Twitter for my latest GolfDigest.com entry of the day about Bethpage's lack of subsurface green drainage. That's comical since I'm not a fan of the USGA Green construction (largely for artistic and economic reasons). However, the question will be asked after this week: can Bethpage host another Open without converting to the better-draining green spec? I'd hate to see it happen, but when you want to host U.S. Open's and it tends to rain when you do so, they really come in handy.
Michael Walker points out the USGA's no refund policy and how it's not going over well. I heard local sports talk shows were chatting about it and less than civil tones, and the discourse likely won't improve when they hear the Yankees are giving all ticketholders to Wednesday's rainout a free ticket.
Alan Bastable talks to some of the disgruntled fans. Everyone was frustrated except those fortunate enough to have access to the corporate tents.
Perhaps in homage of Dan Jenkins, Jim McCabe tries to lighten the mood with a worst case scenario game story.
Golfweek features photos from the lovely day one.
Dave Fanucci on the USGA's weather policy and how they monitor inclement weather.
Dave Shedloski with some of the anecdotal evidence from Jeff Brehaut and others that Bethpage was playing long in almost unimaginable ways.
Jaime Diaz notes that the AmEx Experience is popular not only for the shelter it provides, but the cool amenities like the indoor bleachers setup in front of a huge screen and the interactive swing analysis. I'll get pictures before I leave, it's pretty swell.
And Jack McCallum, legendary SI NBA writer, is camped out in an RV near the course to experience the People's Open in the People's Town Car.
I received a few strange looks on the train this morning when I laughed out loud at this Johnny Miller remark in Richard Sandomir's NY Times story about Johnny's special notebook:
He used to carry a surveyor’s tool to assess how putts would break, but last year he downloaded the Break Meter application to his iPhone. He demonstrated his toy in an NBC trailer, showing the angle and slope of a table and the linoleum floor.
“This thing is Johnny Miller, it’s totally Johnny Miller,” he said cheerfully as the iPhone registered its findings. “I don’t really need it, but it verifies things for me.”
And I let out a groan after this one:
Miller confessed to one weakness: “I don’t sit on the range all day and talk to players. My thing is to be more of an expert on the holes, to know what to watch out for, what not to hit, how the putts break and to know every bunker.”
He also knows that Nick Faldo, the lead golf analyst at CBS and the Golf Channel, has something he will never have: a knighthood, which was announced last week.
“Is CBS going to call him Sir Nick now?” Miller asked. “Jim Nantz might.”
Would he like to be Sir Johnny? “As long as it doesn’t take three divorces to get it,” Miller said, referring to his friend Faldo’s marital history. He smiled and said, “I guess that wasn’t a cool thing to say.”
I filed this primer for GolfDigest.com on what to look for now that the telecast has started.
Post your comments as the round commences. Or, for as long as it commences.
I'll be Tweeting when I'm not in the press center. Here's some form of the feed, though it seems a bit slow. You can always go to my Twitter page.
Thomas Bonk on Phil Mickelson's early morning press conference.
Ryan Herrington sums up the USGA press conference highlights.
Dave Perkins talks to players on the range who are staying away from the course. And the weather was perfect today. Shows you how simple the greens are, I suppose.
Mark Soltau with the best quotes of the day.
Lorne Rubenstein says don't count out the short hitters and considering how soft the greens are, he may be right.
David Shefter tells us all about the weather precautions and the unlucky folks who have to deal with it.
Wendy Uzelac preps us for Squeegee use and how the rules dictate various situations.
Tom Dunne explains what WaterHOGs are and how they are used to soak up the moisture. They were mentioned in today's USGA press conference
Ken Belson in a New York Times story tells us just how dead the corporate villages were early in the week.
Jason Sobel ranks the field. My wrists hurt just thinking about how much typing he did.
And finally, Lawrence Donegan loves that the USGA is playing a public course. He takes a while to make the point but it's worth it:
In a crowded sporting landscape, the Open Championship is the one of the few weeks during the year that the nation focuses almost entirely on golf. This is true now and it will be true in four years time, when people will turn their attention to Muirfield and see what? That's right, a golf club embodying every stereotype that has proved so damaging to the sport.
This, to put it at its mildest, is disappointing. Others would prefer to see it as a serious misjudgement; a needless provocation; or even a crime against the sport. I know I do.
The USGA hosted a salute to Dan Jenkins on the eve of his 200th major. Well attended, festive and fun (uh, were SI guys barred?), they handed out his latest book and DJ bobbleheads courtesy of Golf Digest.
Jerry Tarde saluted Dan and only slipped in twice that we were in the presence of a future Hall of Famer. Of course, what they're waiting for, no one knows!
David Fay thanked Dan for his service and shrewdly pointed out that this is Dan's 201st major, if you count the 1942 Hale America Open. You may recall Dan has lobbied for that 1942 playing of the Open to count, not because his boy Hogan won but because it was the rebranded U.S. Open in a war year.
Dan finally took the microphone atop the interview room podium, and proceeded to take us through his round in tour drone fashion. "Hit in the left rough on one." Press room joke. Had to be there.
My favorite was a Dave Marr story. Dave was asked what were the top three things Bruce Crampton did wrong. "He was born. He came to America. He stayed in America."
I'm sure if you told Butch Harmon ten years ago that he would be discussing his pink belt with Phil Mickelson on the eve of the U.S. Open, he'd have told you to go jump in front of a train.
Just a few clippings heading into Wednesday at Bethpage.
Mark Soltau has a nice overview of player comments from Tuesday. Rocco's press conference makes for a pretty fun read.
Bob Harig on the fans and how they may play a role at Bethpage, reminding us of Sergio's battles last time the Open was played here.
Steve Elling talks to folks about the 18-hole playoff concept and you might be surprised by Kenny Perry's answer.
David Shefter interviews Matt Nagy about his amazing journey to Bethpage. You won't believe what had to happen for him to get there. Thanks to reader Rob for catching this.
Mark Lamport-Stokes hears what Geoff Ogilvy has to say about the long slog that is Bethpage.
"This is probably the only golf course with a warning at the first tee," former champion Ogilvy told reporters at Bethpage State Park on Tuesday. "I've seen lots of rules written down on the first tees but I've never seen warnings."
Bill Pennington reports that fans are treating Ogilvy like a defending champ due to his win at Winged Foot.
And just a reminder, I'm filing updates on Twitter and will post live from the USGA press conference as well as the media center toast to Dan Jenkins on the eve of his 200th major.
...is a lot like Bethpage Black. Big, grand, awe-inspiring but lacking some of the quirk and character you'd like to see in a ballpark. Some of the detail work and architecture is stunning, many other parts seem unfinished. It's just a wee bit soulless for my taste--like the Black.
The old park...
And today's new park...
Geoff Shackelford is a Senior Writer for Golfweek magazine, a weekly contributor to Golf Channel's Morning
Copyright © 2018, Geoff Shackelford. All rights reserved.