U.S. Open Reads: Early Saturday Edition

us open icon.jpgLawrence Donegan with his always entertaining perspective, even if it's filed at about 2 p.m. EST.

Seth Davis blogs that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel picked the wrong week to stop sending their respected beat writer to a tournament.

Saturday's tee times are posted in case you were wondering how they have positioned things for NBC's strong prime-time lead in.

Hey if you're looking for a reason to root against David Duval Saturday, check out his latest Golf Digest interview where he talks about his putting on all that weight and what a bad guy Ben Crenshaw is for writing a book after the Ryder Cup. Gosh it's great to have him back.

Mark Soltau offers a great anecdote on Sergio Garcia and a driver he planned to dispose of before a USGA official had a better idea.

Stats of the day can be viewed by going to the USGA's stats link and then clicking from there (direct links USGA...they work). Friday's eye-openers:

The field's averaged 50% on fairways hit and 50.8% of their greens in regulation in round 2

Cost of rough was just under .5 for round two (better convene a championship committee meeting Saturday morning!). 
The average tee shot distance climbed to 292.1 in round 2

Of the toughest "cost of rough" holes, the non-tiered rough holes took a toll Friday, with Nos. 5, 6, and 11 all ranking over .5.

Moving the tee up 70 or so yards on No. 12 brought the scoring average down to 5.239 from 5.404 in round 1.

The fairway hit % on the horribly contoured 15th: 36.5% in round 1, 40.0% in round two. (That's a flawed setup when you are talking about the best players in the world playing to a soft fairway with the best equipment in the history of the game.)

Less silly but just as unfairly contoured (yes, I used the dreaded unfair word...deal with it!), is No. 8. 53.8% hit the fairway in round 1, 43.9% in round 2.

Finally, Jim McCabe writes about The Country Club's interest in the 2013 U.S. Amateur and floats this thought on Merion receiving the 2013 U.S. Open: 
So why isn't the 100th anniversary of Ouimet's win going to be celebrated at the place where it took place? Merion hasn't had a US Open since 1981. The knock was that Merion, at roughly 6,900 yards, was too short and with the ball going too far and classic layouts being obsolete, some believe David Fay, the executive director of the USGA, and his colleagues wanted to prove you could bring a competitive US Open there.

In other words, to show they haven't lost the battle on equipment. Gee, I can't imagine they'd ever do such a thing. Just look at the fairways this week.