Ominous forecast for an Open where nothing is sure

By Associated PressJune 19, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 U.S. OpenFARMINGDALE, N.Y. ' The forecast is ominous, which will likely cause a lot of people to keep an eye on both the clouds and their watches Saturday at Bethpage Black. A hundred bucks is a hundred bucks, after all, especially if you never get a chance to see Tiger Woods.
If its going to pour, New Yorkers had better hope it comes early. The new rules are 90 minutes of play and theres no refund, not even an invitation to come back Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or whenever this thing ever ends to watch some more.
That was about the only thing resolved during a bizarre day on Long Island, where a ton of golf was played but no one was really sure what it all meant. The leaders certainly didnt, and neither probably did Woods, whose misery was over by the time those with more fortunate starting times began venturing out.
Members of the grounds crew work on a soggy fairway during the continuation of the first round Friday morning. (Getty Images)
When Woods left the course he was under the impression a U.S. Open was going on. By the time little Mike Weir teed off hours later for his second round, it looked more like the Bob Hope Classic.
Nothing the USGA could do about that, though that didnt stop them from trying. The greens were too soft, the day too beautiful, the mud too mysteriously missing.
The unfortunates who spent the first morning of their Open trying to stay dry and the second trying to figure out how to hit balls coated with mud could only curse silently at their television sets while watching Weir carve a seemingly effortless first round 64 in brilliant sunshine. Nothing they could do about that, either, though most had to also be cursing the thought that they would likely be returning to a muddy quagmire on Saturday.
We dont know what the severity of the weather is, USGA executive director David Fay said. It sounds like we are going to get hit somewhat hard in the afternoon.
Golf can be a funny game, but there wasnt a lot to laugh about for those who got the bad end of the draw and averaged two shots a round worse than those who began play Friday. Certainly Woods wasnt laughing, especially since he could have hardly imagined that he would be 10 shots behind Weir just 18 holes into this Open.
It was just a bad day overall for superstars in New York. Alex Rodriguez got benched in the Bronx, while Woods played just 11 holes, got four mud balls and guessed wrong when he suggested the USGA might allow players to lift, clean and place their balls (Never!).
It was an even worse day for the suits of the USGA, whose biggest problem running their national championship usually is making sure they dont run out of jumbo shrimp in the corporate hospitality tents. They began by getting chewed out by New Yorkers for not giving refunds to those who made the trek to Bethpage for Thursdays aborted opening round and ended it with a lot of questions floating around about the very integrity of this championship.
They bungled the ticket mess so badly that the New York attorney generals office dispatched a team of lawyers to look into the matter. Then the governor decided to pay a visit to a course owned by the state of New York, and suddenly people were being offered a $50 refund if play concluded Sunday or a free ticket for Monday if it went that far.
They also decided that the giveaway wouldnt happen if there was at least 90 minutes of golf Saturday, meaning fans had better get on the train early if they wanted to be sure of seeing anything on a day when the weatherman was forecasting rain that could match the earlier downpour that made the course look more suited to Michael Phelps than Mike Weir.
As for the golf itself, about the only thing that had been decided by the time darkness settled on Bethpage Black was that it was going to be an awfully long weekend. Sure, there were the usual assortment of leaders and lurkers but, with players scattered everywhere from the fifth green to the nearest watering hole and new storms approaching, not one Vegas wiseguy would be wise enough to offer odds on what might happen.
What has happened, though, has already made for a most uneven playing field. Those unlucky enough to be in the morning pairings on Thursday had to grind through driving rain and then deal with mud, while the other half of the field ended up playing in the most benign Open conditions in years.
The disadvantage may be too much to make up by the time they go out under more equal conditions for the third round, assuming that ever happens. It might already be too late, even for the greatest player of his time.
Then again, maybe not. Because the only thing certain so far about this Open is that nothing is certain.
Related Links:
  • Full U.S. Open Scores
  • Full Coverage - The 109th U.S. Open
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    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

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    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

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    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.