LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Some days you just know it just isn't your day. (Like when you use "just" twice in a 10-word opening sentence.) Some days you know the night before. And sometimes you know when you check the weather for the first major championship you are asssigned to cover, and the forecast calls for 100 percentchance of rain. If you tuned in to the PGA Championship on Thursday or were (un)lucky enough to slosh your way through it on site, there's a good chance you know which option I am referring to.
8:15 a.m. ET – Alarm clock goes off. This is the latest I’ve woken up on this trip, it feels glorious. Not really, but I’m out of material about waking up early, so I'm just gonna get out of bed. It hurts to use my brain at this time anyway.
8:26 – Look out the window of my V.I.P Grill Room suite. I see a wet parking lot and a highway full of traffic. If it was my tee time, I would get back in bed. I wish it was my tee time.
9:00 – Depart for Valhalla.
9:45 – Arrive at Valhalla; it’s still raining.
10:29 – Decide to get a taste of my first major in the rain, and head out on the course.
10:32 – Find a group, not sure who, because below is my current view. You know when I said yesterday how watching Tiger wasn’t any fun because you couldn’t see anything? (Of course you do, you definitely read it.) This is similar, except umbrellas make watching golf even less enjoyable than the backs of people heads. I know, hard to believe.
11:02 – Happen upon Kevin Na’s group. He’s slowly looking around uncomfortably into the crowd, like he's trying to find someone. I wave at him, maybe he's a fan. He is not.
11:05 – Decides he’s going to the bathroom, ducks under the rope and heads to find one.
The crowd swarms. No one notices. Not sure when he got back, I got tired of waiting around and left. Pretty sure the rest of his group wishes they could’ve come with me.
11:59 – If I had to give the vibe of this tournament a label right now, that label would be “miserable.” If you have never been to a golf tournament in the rain, this is the best way I can describe it: It’s a lot like going on a Slip ‘n Slide, except you’re not wearing a bathing suit, there's 10,000 other people on it and none of them are smiling, it never ends and the Slip 'n Slide is actually riding you.
12:30 p.m. ET – Had enough of this, heading in to the media center.
1:45 – Make my way back out to the course. Tiger’s on the range. People still hate life but dammit, they aren't going to let that stand in the way of them watching Tiger Woods warm up. In case you don't believe me, I've provided a nice split shot of the range before and after Tiger Woods arrived.
2:17 – The rain has stopped. Standing in the rough between Nos. 1 and 9. A ball lands about 10 feet from me. No idea where it came from. The gallery swarms.
2:22 – Adam Scott comes sauntering by - apparently it's his ball. He looks perplexed with his ball in a tight spot but a gallery member assures him “everything is going to be all right!”
2:24 – With some newfound confidence, he hits his shot from the rough. Everything is all right. How did that guy know?
2:58 – Walk past Santa Claus. He's undercover but I know jolly old St. Nick when I see him. Note to any big celebrity, especially one as recognizable as Kris Kringle: if you’re going to wear a disguise out in public, a clear poncho is probably not going to do the trick. He was even wearing red underneath. Only thing missing were the reindeer. All that said, I didn't blow his cover. Kept it on the down low.
3:33 – Notice the mood picking up around the course. The big names are out, the sun keeps making brief cameos, but most importantly - the beer is flowing. In my extensive Grill Room training I’ve been taught that beer equals good.
3:54 – See a 50ish-year-old man trying the spit trick from the Adam Sandler classic, “Big Daddy.” See what I mean about beer? Note: It did not touch the ground.
4:17 – On my way back to the media center I come to a crossing that used to be made of rocks and dirt. Today it looks like a Hot Brown after your third bite. If you don't get that joke then you have some Grill Room reading to catch up on. I'll leave you to it.