Thursday U.S. Open Clippings: They Finished!

2007usopen_50.gifI missed most of the afternoon but did get in front of a television to notice that the Mickelson-Scott-Furyk group wrapped up at 7:08 EST, a swift 5:32 after they teed off.

20070615pdusopen0614d_450.jpgHere is the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac's game storyLawrence Donegan offers the UK angle.

Doug Ferguson (I think) looks at Tiger's solid opening round.

For stats, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review offers numbers from key players as well as the leaders in various categories after day 1, including some course stats.

And because aspires to provide as little substantial information as possible, we'll lean on Ed Patterman who is blogging at Golfobserver for some stats that are I can't seem to find on the official site. 

-- There were only two eagles all day - both of them HOLE OUTS on Par 4's (11 and 14).

-- After 156 Players had played the 477 yard par 4 9th hole, only 3 made birdie. More birdies (4) were made on the 288 par 3 hole.

-- Speaking of which, only 1 out of 3 players hit the 288 Yard Par 3 green in regulation. The stroke average on the hole was 3.539.

-- For the day, 55.9% of all greens were hit in regulation.

-- The field also hit 56.2% of all fairways.

-- The 18th Hole was the most difficult in relation to par, averaging 4.638 strokes.

-- The par 5 4th Hole was the easiest hole, averaging 4.974 strokes.

-- Only two of the Top Ten Players in driving distance are currently in the Top 100 in the tournament standings - Aaron Baddeley (24th) and Jason Dufner (7th),

Robert Dvorchak at the Post-Gazette offers this note...
While the USGA customarily uses yellow flags atop the pins at U.S. Opens, this week red flags adorn the pins. The reason?

Mike Davis, the USGA senior director of rules and competition went to the USGA and requested the change because red is the color Oakmont uses during everyday, regular play.

William Wolfrum noted the web troubles.'s Ken Klavon offers an utterly useless explanation about the web site crash, which means there's a juicy story behind it!
With deepest of regrets, we apologize for various site issues we experienced today. Without getting into great detail, the issues were completely out of our hands. It wouldn't be fair to point fingers and the like.
John Huggan helps us get to know Nick Dougherty better.

B.J. Lisko in the Salem News found the scribblers questioning of players to be uh, lacking. And you think I'm tough!
Tuesday’s press conferences which included Woods, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Johnny Miller and a few others was another exercise in futility. What’s most remarkable about the conferences is how completely clueless and dumfounded the golf media truly is. There are a few exceptions — regulars like Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press, and a few scattered writers for some of the larger golf publications — but the majority are no more than windbags that aren’t even in physical shape enough to walk the course. They sit in the media tent, watch the monitors, then ask third-grade level questions while the pros blankly stare back and try to come up with something resembling an answer to easily some of the dumbest inquiries ever uttered.
He goes on to share real questions and pose appropriately sarcastic answers.

The Irish Independent--that would be from the same country that gave us The K Club as a Ryder Cup venue--does not like the quirkiness of Oakmont's practice green/9th green. Surely there is another practice putting green on the property?
The practice putting green at Oakmont is not up to the standard one expects at a Major Championship.

An extension of Oakmont's ninth green, this practice area is simply inadequate, while crowds of players preparing for their tee times were an obvious distraction to many attempting to finish out the ninth hole yesterday.

Pádraig Harrington, Ernie Els and Graeme McDowell were but three of many who had practicing players working a couple of yards behind them as they lined up their putts at nine yesterday.

The Dubliner missed his birdie attempt as did Els minutes later. Though neither made an issue of it, the situation was utterly surreal.

McDowell later complained that the practice green itself "is really disappointing. I have not been able to get any work done on it at all.

"There is not enough room there at the back of the ninth green to get a feel for these things."

And Simon Bruty's shot of Phil Mickelson pretty much sums up Lefty's day: