Baltusrol Readies for the PGA
In Bush's trailer office on one of the country's top golf courses, the plaque on the wall Friday read: '52 days until championship week begins.'
'It's the ultimate deadline,' the PGA Championship tournament director said. 'They are all going to be here on Aug. 8.'
Bush has been getting ready for the PGA - golf's fourth major - for two years. The 28-year-old Michigan native has been working at Baltusrol since October 2003, developing plans for ticket sales, corporate involvement, vendors, volunteers, traffic, housing and everything else it takes to stage a golf tournament.
In the past month, 25 of what will be 300 truckloads of building material arrived at the 109-year-old course that has hosted 15 USGA national championships, including seven U.S. Opens.
'Now, as we have started construction, we are looking to see 'does the plan work?'' said Bush, who has worked at 56 tournaments. 'It is constantly changing. It's like a puzzle and we're making adjustments on an hourly basis refitting those pieces back into the puzzle.
'Everybody in this office has to be able to change their plans and go with it, and our vendors have to be the same way.'
Running the PGA Championship isn't the easiest of jobs. During an interview, his telephone rarely stops ringing. His cell phone is just as busy, and there are 70 or so e-mails that need to be answered on a daily basis.
The one area Bush doesn't have to worry about is the Lower Course, where the championship will be played. Kerry Haigh is in charge of everything inside the ropes.
Haigh recently told Bush that the course is ready after a wet spring. The rough is full and thick, the greens are outstanding, and conditions will only get tougher in the next seven weeks.
'This is a traditional golf course,' Bush said. 'Everything is in front of you. You can see the trouble but sometimes you just can't do anything about it. That's what makes it great. It has withstood the test of time.'
Players who competed in the 1993 U.S. Open will see some changes on the Lower Course. The rough was re-sodded last year, and the course is longer and narrower, playing at 7,400 yards - 248 more than 12 years ago.
The par-5, No. 7 has been extended 25 yards to 647 yards, which might even prevent the game's longest hitters from reaching it in two.
Bush plans on watching some of this year's U.S. Open on television, but he isn't going to pick Pinehurst apart.
'I look at it the other way,' he said. 'I'll sit there and say, 'I love that' and 'How do I get that here?' I always root for something special. Augusta was incredible whether it was Tiger or not. The three-month stretch where (every tournament) was going into a playoff was incredible.'
Seconds after the words came out of his mouth, Bush started thinking about a potential three-hole playoff at the PGA - and the implications.
The marshals at holes Nos. 4, 17 and 18 have to remain in place all day to protect them. Extra holes could also create transportation problems for the players and the expected 35,000 spectators. Potential dilemmas flood his mind.
But after a second, Bush smiled. That's exactly why he's spent the past two years in New Jersey getting ready.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.