Greetings From LA, Vol. 5

greetingsfromLAWell the forensic people found signs of a Christian Lacoix shoe on my lowly Rockport, so it's a match. Elin got me. Ebay here we come!

Wasn't it a cold but lovely day? That is, until the rain decided to make a mess of things. Even though the heavy stuff was in the forecast, several players were caught off guard and did not have umbrellas or Gore-tex. Including Tiger.

Uh, isn't this the point of having a tour bag?

I spent the morning walking with Jason Gore. He's struggling a bit with the putter, but otherwise playing fine. He hits the ball, uh, quite long. Particularly when he's pissed.

At various times I made stops by the short par-4 10th to watch just how poorly players manage the hole. With a back (Sunday!) hole location, it was remarkable to see how many people tried to drive the green even though that play brings 5 into the equation.

Els on 10 (click on image)
Early in the day, Ernie Els drove the 10th, the very same play that began his demise in the 1995 PGA final round. But hey, that was then, this is now, when he's battling to...make the cut.

Naturally, he made birdie from the 11th tee, so I'm sure he'll continue to swing away at No. 10.

And that's the very beauty of it: the 10th remains as tempting as ever, even the face of all this athleticism.

I'm not sure if Hank Kuehne is tempted easily or just not a very smart player, but a day after driving it in the bunker backing the 10th hole alternate green (40 yards offline), he took another crack at it and made a mess of things. These pictures give you a nice idea how he was lucky to make 5.

Kuehne Hits Into 10 (click on image)
Kuehne from the bunker
I decided to follow Kuehne to see how he recovered, and to also watch Joe Ogilvie, Tour policy board and good natured sport about the columns I write using him as the lead character. Kuehne nearly blew it O.B. on #11, attempting to scale the 80 foot tall range fence. Somehow he stayed in bounds and made par. Then on No. 12 he nearly visited the 11th fairway.230136-274955-thumbnail.jpg
Kuehne approaches 12

The 13th got even uglier with a visit to the left trees, followed by a lay up in the barranca, a swipe from there and finally one more for a miracle bogey. I couldn't take it anymore, nor could I stand staring at the outfit (which would go over wonderfully in certain parts of this town). 230136-274956-thumbnail.jpg
Kuehne on 13

Since it was getting dark and cold (Junior Chamber of Commerce weather!), I ventured toward the press center. Even though the tent is located 350 yards off the 2nd tee, it's now in play baby!

At least 10 players made visits to the press room without actually entering. But the scene was welcomed by the scribblers who don't like to leave the premises for fear of missing first lunch menu crack, even though the fare has been uninspired even by the Junior Chamber's normally low standards.

View from the media center
Before arriving back, I took in the Holmes-Faxon pairing along with the Ogilvy-Browne-Johnson group. Thankfully, Saturday will feature a Tiger-J.B.-Geoff Ogilvy pairing. Yes, the three players I want to watch most will all be together. Unfortunately, about 5,000 other people are thinking the same thing. 230136-274961-thumbnail.jpg
Ogilvy on 9

Finally, a few more fun photos from the day, including Geoff Ogilvy on No. 9, J.B. Holmes on No. 11 and a distinguished spectator on No. 12.

J.B. Holmes Saturday (click to enlarge)
A fan... (click to enlarge)