From a New Mexico Pasture to US Open

By Associated PressJune 11, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- They grew up on a public golf course, certainly nothing as lush or scenic as Torrey Pines.
 
Brad Bryant thought he might be good enough to make a living at golf, and Bart took up the game to be like his big brother. They played on a nine-hole course in New Mexico until it was too dark to see, and sometimes they slept under the stars near the swimming pool at Alamagordo Country Club so they could move the sprinklers around the golf course.
 
This was before they had automatic sprinkling systems. We did a lot of that, Brad said. We moved sprinklers in the middle of the night and mowed the greens and helped mow the fairways. And it was a pretty cool time.
 
This is a pretty special time, too.
 
The Bryant brothers'separated by eight years, linked by their well-kept moustaches and plain style'are the first brothers to compete in the U.S. Open since Jay and Jerry Haas in 2002 at Bethpage Black.
 
Just like the old days, it was little brother doing all he could to join the party.
 
Brad Bryant, 53, went 474 starts on the PGA Tour before winning at Disney for his only victory. He hasnt played the U.S. Open since 1996 at Oakland Hills and figured he had seen his last major championship. Then he rallied from five shots behind on the final day at Whistling Straits last year to capture the U.S. Senior Open, earning an exemption to Torrey Pines.
 
This is quite a gift at a late age to be playing in this event, he said. I really thought that my days of playing in major events were over. We have majors on the Champions Tour, but theyre just kind of big tournaments for old people.
 
Bart Bryant, now 45, turned out to be the more successful of the two.
 
He endured endless surgeries and trips to the minor leagues until he broke through with his first PGA Tour victory in 2004 at the Texas Open, then followed with victories in the Memorial and Tour Championship, beating Tiger Woods by six shots in the latter.
 
His game slipped for a couple of years, enough to knock him out of the top 50, and even a runner-up finish to Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational wasnt enough to get a free pass to the U.S. Open.
 
He didnt like the idea of qualifying'except that big brother was going to be playing.
 
I didnt know if I could even walk 36 holes, but it ended up being a really good day, Bart said of his qualifier, where he finished second to easily make it. Its only been a week or so that Ive known that I would be playing, but its been really exciting.
 
The Bryants are sons of a Baptist minister, who spent his afternoons teaching them to play. As they grew older and followed their dreams to the PGA Tour, they leaned on each other in hard times.
 
Bart had every reason to quit golf after injuries to his left rotator cuff, left elbow and right elbow, and seemingly endless trips to the minor leagues to support his family.
 
Phone calls from big brother kept him going.
 
The fact that he said, Bart, you have the talent, youre good enough to play on the PGA Tour, I really believe that that may not sound like a lot to you guys, but for me, that was everything, he said. Because I really doubted at times that I had the ability to compete with these guys out here. To hear it from somebody I admire, that meant something to me.
 
Little brother returned the favor.
 
Brad was struggling with his putter when Bart persuaded him to try the claw putting grip, which changed everything. Brad made it through Champions Tour qualifying school and now has made over $4 million to go along with four victories on the senior circuit.
 
They also have been called by the others names, which was annoying to Brad when he was winning on the Champions Tour and to Bart when he was winning on the PGA TOUR.
 
And it didnt stop at the U.S. Open.
 
Bart Bryant was the first to register at Torrey Pines, getting his parking pass and ID badge.
 
Of course, mine said, Brad Bryant. And I didnt notice it for an hour, he said. I took it back in and said, It doesnt bother me, but when Brad gets here, hell probably want his own.
 
They managed to play six holes together in a practice round, and Bart Bryant wondered why the USGA didnt bother putting them together for the first two rounds. After all, the USGA went out of its way to put Woods and Phil Mickelson in the same group.
 
No matter. Theyre at Torrey Pines for a U.S. Open, a long road for both that converged in a most unlikely place.
 
This may very well be the last time we get to do something this special, Brad said, as far as golf goes.
 
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  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

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    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

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    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

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    Lexi Thompson:

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    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

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