7:10: Final group completes play, twosomes of the best players in the world spaced 10 minutes apart taking 4 hours and 10 minutes to play. Lovely.
7:00: NBC stays on the air past sign off time even as one more group remains on 18. Mickelson joins Costas in the booth. Really needs a haircut.
6:48: Padraig triples 18 to go from +3 to +6 and out of a likely second-to-last-group pairing.
6:39: Thank God for TiVo, so I could rewind and relive Padraig's one-step cold-top. How bad that lie must have been!
6:36: Phil hits "stock wedge" into 18 from 135, but rams birdie putt by, giving us hope for a close finish tomorrow.
6:12: Gary Koch tries to set up the Mickelson-Bones chat where a soundman has worked hard to get the dialogue. Naturally, Johnny talks over part of it. Mark Rolfing, whose microphone hasn't worked all day, points out that it's pretty amazing Phil's "stock 8" is used from 176 yards.
6:00: NBC gives us a worm cam view of Ferrie's par putt on 14 and wow was it a bumpy ride.
5:57: The first grain reference comes from Bob Murphy, taking Johnny off the hook.
5:46: NBC needs a worm cam because Ogilvy's par putt on 13 just looked in the hole and wiggled right. Brutal.
5:40: USGA is using recently restored front left hole on 18, Ian Poulter tries to get cute with it and makes double.
5:28: Interesting debate between Ogilvy and his caddie Squirrel on 12 fairway, but Johnny talked over the first part and it was tough to figure out what exactly they were debating. Ogilvy makes par. NBC seems to think they are mad at each other but I'm not so sure that's just not Ogilvy's way. Hopefully the scribblers will get it cleared up after the round.
5:25: So is that Lincoln Financial Group interruption along with the way-too-long Stanley Cup video package designed to be a bathroom break for the crew? It seems like we do this every Open, and always at the worst time.
5:15: Have you notice that Dottie Pepper is starting to give Judy Rankin a run as best on-course reporter in golf?
5:05: Johnny somehow ties Geoff Ogilvy's birdie on 10 into the overall player mindset that things are going to be much easier without Tiger in the field. Okay.
5:00: Seth Davis reports in his SI blog that the writers who aren't watching soccer are officially worried now about writing stories with this leaderboard. But Ogilvy is hanging in, and the ones who know better are rooting hard for the Aussie.
4:51: Ferrie bogies No. 9, no one is under par for the event. That loud cheer from clubhouse is not from Executive Committee members, but soccer fans rejoicing over U.S. goal in World Cup.
4:29: Johnny pronounces Harrington "right on plane" after 9 tee shot and before we see ball flying into left trees.
4:16: Johnny makes "Ferrie Tale" joke, both he and Hicks at least act embarrassed (unlike Berman).
4:05: Phil bombs it into the trees on 8, Callaway smells driver sales taking a hit. Lots going on today, but I'm still feeling a nap coming on.
3:53: Johnny (Callaway man) notes Phil's cool new U.S.Open bag (Callaway). Will it be on sale Monday if Phil wins? I know, so cynical. Johnny then compares Kenneth Ferrie to golfers who camp out in their cars at Bethpage.
3:50: Monty starts bogey-bogey-doublebogey-bogey, Scottish writers mourn in press tent because they have to file before they can interview their boy.
3:49: Mickelson intentionally drives into No. 6 bunker, explodes out close, showing that the hazard is a better place to be than the 7 inch rough around hole. Birdie 3 for Phil.
3:44: First "signature hole" reference to No. 6, Dan Hicks is guilty as charged.
3:42: Johnny says that the rough has not been cut all week on the last 90 yards of No. 6. Think they're a little paranoid about birdies being made?
3:27: Graphic points out that Winged Foot's greens are 4,750 sq. feet, compared second smallest in last seven Opens. Hicks reads Tilly quote about large greens breeding slovenly play and notes that Tilly was an "intellectual type."
3:18: Sun is out, wind is starting to blow, Dottie Pepper makes reference to bumpiness starting to be a concern.
3:10: Boy, the birds sure are chirping a lot more at Winged Foot than they were at Westchester last week. Huh.
3:05: NBC stat notes that there has been 1 ace on No. 3, no birdies. Later stat says only 22.8% of field has hit the green today.
3:04: Phil scoops under lob shot on 3, stuggles to make bogey, NBC execs wondering why they didn't buy World Cup rights instead of golf.
2:48: Phil in rough on 2, hits ugly chop shot out. Then to hay where the Havercamps are working as marshals. Hits great wedge out and makes par.
2:45: Johnny wonders what's going on with all of the Euro and International players playing so well, So far the American showing is pretty poor.
2:42: After Stenson birdie on 9, Hicks notes that we've seen more highlights in first few moments of third round than first two days. Amazing what happens when you let the players play a little golf.
2:39: Bunker cam debuts on No. 6. Cut to Phil doing the impossible, leaving it short on a downhill put on No. 1. McDowell makes only 12th birdie on No. 1 all week.
2:33: Phil's drive is in center of first fairway. No one seems to know how it got there!
2:30: Mickelson pulls first drive into right trees, NBC execs let out first audible moan.
2:20: Villegas wearing all black with yellow shoes he bought at Liberace estate sale.
2:08: Oh no, they're here too! That's right, our first "The Villages" ad, and it's the older, really embarrassing one!
2:06: Hedlbom makes eagle on 5, second in three holes.
2:00: Contractually obligated USGA puff segment. USGA nurturing game of golf. Fay interviewed, needs comb. Says they put "as much effort into U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur as the U.S. Open," with a straight face. Jimmy joined now by Fay, mentions Merion getting 2013 Open, Jimmy says issues with Merion, "would it provide an adequate test of golf." Fay: "we told Merion not that many years ago that the Open as outgrown Merion. Course was too short, facilities were too small. the members didn't take that answer well. They set to work, they thought creatively, so what they've done is lengthen those great long holes at Merion. You still have the great short holes. A lot of the holes on Merion are under 400 yards. They've cleared away a lot of trees. I would say our operations people have looked at Merion more comprehensively than any U.S. Open site. This will work." Fay says the Open will be same size as Winged Foot.
1:55: Back to the range too, Smith is to the left of Phil, Pelz behind him. I think they've got him covered.
1:50: Mickelson sees Smith as he's leaving the range tee, microphone picks up him saying to Smith: "is there a microphone you just don't love."
1:47: Rick Smith wins, get NBC interview. Says he'd love to see Phil hit more fairways. The revelations!
1:39: Els drives 6, Johnny says he could get closer approaching from 100 yards out after ball ends up in rough with stance in bunker. Els knocks it tight, Johnny concedes maybe he couldn't get it inside that. Els makes 3.
1:37: Maltbie asks Kenneth Ferrie for diet tips. Seriously. Hicks says Ferrie went from 280 to 225!
1:27: Peter Hedblom makes hole in one on No. 3, amazing shot. Throws ball into crowd. Is he nuts!? Wow, they replay it again, what a beautiful swing.
1:21: Hicks mentions championship "perhaps" ending on Father's Day, guys in truck groan at possible dreaded Monday playoff.
1:20: Tim Rosaforte joins Bob Costas, plugs the David Duval Golf Digest interview in May issue.
1:01: Roger Maltbie asks Ogilvy if he's had a eupiphany after all of his great recent play in majors.
1:00: Johnny: It's a heckuva hole; Dan: It's a heckuva golf course. Blame W.
12:58: Hole flyovers, Johnny notes beauty of striped tee cut, causing supers around the country to grown.
12:42: First inevitable reference to Johnny's 63 at Oakmont today, but this one by Dan Hicks. Johnny says "great trees" at Winged Foot. Tilly would be proud. NBC does a good job of explaining tiered rough Johnny brings out ruler and clump of rough for display, not Karl Ravech's rug.
12:41: Koch reports watering last night and today. Greens look greener, but maybe it's the cloudy day.
12:40: NBC wide shot of 11 fairway. Stomach churning here. Sad to see such neat contours hidden in rough.
12:38: We see Monty arrive in a gas guzzler, Dan Hicks says he's in a jovial mood. Cut to Mickelson with Pelz and Smith vying to see who can jockey for closer position to their man.