GR PGA running diary: First major action in Rd. 1


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – I did a lot of things right yesterday.

I drove around town, managed not to crash the car or get lost, took photos, blogged my experiences, and even went to dinner with my team and managed not to embarrass myself.

But I did one thing wrong, and it was kind of a big.

I left my power cord at the Valhalla media center, and my computer died while I waited for my compatriots to bring it to my rescue. This resulted in a pretty-late publish time for my PGA running diary, and I am 100 percent sure a lot of you stayed up hitting refresh until it appeared.

So for that I would like to apologize, because no PGA Championship coverage is complete without the full Grill Room treatment. I hope that you will all grant me this one-time rookie mistake as we move into actual tournament play, because now I'm in the field, and reporting some pretty hard-hitting stuff.


6:35 a.m. ET – Alarm clock goes off. I like the direction we’re trending on this trip. A few more days and we might be at my normal wake-up time of 11ish. (I don’t work until 2 p.m. a lot of days. The Grill Room is a no-judgment zone. Get off your high horse.)

7:14 – Make it across the street to the media shuttle bus with several seconds to spare. I use all of my extra time to stare blankly at the back of the seat in front of me.

7:45 – Arrive at Valhalla.

7:56 – Head to the media dining area to grab some breakfast. writer Ryan Lavner informs me that the singular bourbon cocktail he ordered at dinner last night had too much sugar in it and kept him up all night. I bring up the fact that he ate an entire apple pie for dessert and perhaps there may have been a small amount of sugar in the, again, entire apple pie that contributed to his sleepless night. He dismisses this notion. We keep on living our lives.

9:34 – Decide to follow Tiger Woods’ group after some early work. Immediately regret this decision as soon as I find his group on the 13th hole.

9:49 – Hear “this is ridiculous, I can’t even move” for the 373rd time in 15 minutes. I think 374 times does the trick. Like a super-extended backwards version of Beetlejuice, I say it hoping it will make everyone disappear. It doesn’t work.

9:50 – I want to leave, but I wasn’t raised a quitter. It’s why I can’t quit drinking and also why I don’t stop believing. Just kidding, that was Journey.

9:52 – Meet Joe Dirt. Pretty chill dude, big Tiger fan.

10:22 – Tiger hits his approach fat. Ends up short and left of the green. He curses and throws his club. I laugh loudly.

10:24 – Tiger chips in for birdie. They say laughter is the best medicine. l take the credit for the shot to anyone who will listen. I get a lot of weird looks.

11:00 – Spot a grown man, and he wasn’t the only one, dressed head to toe like he’s ready to play. I mean the whole deal: spikes, slacks, collared shirt, hat with a ball marker attached. I’m not advocating for an Oakland Raider Black Hole vibe to golf, and I know Steve Flesch almost got in the tournament today through a freak set of circumstances as the 93rd alternate, but what is going through this guy’s head when he gets ready this morning? You ain’t playing dude. Put on a t-shirt and grab a beer.

11:14 – Man almost falls on rough terrain to my right. Mark my words: someone is going to eat said terrain before the week is out. Odds on me are increasing with every step I take while looking down to write this.

12:11 – Remember that stupid diatribe earlier about me not being a quitter? What can I say? I lied. Deal with it, because I can't deal with the Tiger masses anymore.

2:18 p.m. – Time to watch the defending champion in all his glory. I bet he’s as excited as I am.

2:25 – Find Jason Dufner’s group on No. 2. I wasn’t looking for his wife, Amanda, but it’s really hard to not not notice her. Sure, she’s really, really, really ridiculously good looking, but also everyone pointing and staring is kind of a dead giveaway.

2:32 – Duf’s group that also includes past PGA champs Keegan Bradley and Y.E. Yang come off the second green. The lone Yang fan in the state of Kentucky makes himself known with a loud “Let’s go Y.E.!” He probably feels dumb right now. Just my guess.

2:35 – Spot a guy holding up a PGA Championship program with a hole cut out of it so he can take pictures without getting chastised by the evil empire that is the Mobile Device Policy Enforcement. You can spot these guys because of their bright green vests and their penchant for being telling people to shush and put away their phones. They’re almost as inconspicuous as a guy pretending to walk around all day with a giant program in front of his face.

2:55 – Finally make my move to get a picture of Amanda for the Grill Room gallery. She grants me a picture. Mission accomplished. Gallery page views, consider yourself up.

4:54 – Still on euphoric high about my photo of Amanda as I put together the daily gallery, I don’t think there’s any other photos of her out there. Grill Room has the only one. I wonder what this means for our professional relationship going forward. I bet she seeks me out tomorrow to take another one.

4:55 – Jason Dufner withdraws. Crap. I drown my sorrows in media center nachos. A liberal portion, since that’s the recommended dose.

Tune in tomorrow for more of Grill Room's exclusive PGA Championship coverage. Click here for a link to today's gallery, and check out yesterday's running diary here.