SAN DIEGO – In a “Cut Line” first, a player on the leaderboard has gotten the metaphorical axe. But if John Daly gets the call for a curious sense of self-entitlement, Torrey Pines should get a call from the U.S. Golf Association for being entitled to another U.S. Open.
Phil and Amy Mickelson. Their emotional embrace behind Augusta National’s 18th green last year feels like a lifetime ago and it appears the Mickelsons are still learning to deal with Amy’s ongoing cancer treatments. All of which made her presence at Torrey Pines for Rounds 1 and 2 so encouraging.
Amy’s return and Phil’s first-round 67, which matched his best card on the South Course since the Rees Jones redesign in 2001, were not mutually exclusive events it seems.
“I forget how much I missed having her out here. It's been a good day,” Mickelson said.
Lucas Glover. Tales from the blogosphere of Glover’s professional demise appear to be greatly exaggerated. The former U.S. Open champion turned up at Torrey Pines hungry and, well hairy.
Many players grow “off-season” beards but Glover took it to a new level, so much so one caddie referred to him as “Grizzly Adams.”
According to a member of Camp Lucas, he started growing the beard in the fall but had to start over following a nasty shaving incident. No worries, however, it takes about four days for Glover to go from Mr. Clean to Mean Joe Green.
“Winning a U.S. Open. So easy, even a caveman can do it,” tweeted Justin Rose complete with a scruffy snapshot of Glover.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)
New cell phone policy. Or, for those historically inclined, the ode to the obvious policy considering that fans have been sneaking cell phones into golf tournaments for years.
In fact, when the proposal was first introduced to the Tour’s Policy Board last year incoming board member Paul Goydos deadpanned, “We don’t allow cell phones at tournaments?”
But now the Tour is on the record in an effort to attract new fans that may have been turned off by the ban, but four events into the experiment the circuit is experiencing some growing pains.
On Friday at the Farmers Insurance Open officials confiscated 13 cell phones from the throng trailing Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines . . . on the first hole.
U.S. Golf Association. Maybe it was Woods’ first competitive return to Torrey Pines since his historic U.S. Open victory in 2008, or maybe it was just the song of crashing waves on Black’s Beach.
Either way, it’s time for the USGA to quit stalling and pull the seaside muni back into the national championship fold.
“I thought it was a great venue. There were a zillion people here, and the playoff was ridiculous. It was the coolest thing I've ever seen, so I'm surprised (Torrey Pines hasn’t been offered a second U.S. Open),” said Rocco Mediate, the affable antagonist at the ’08 Open.
You do the math, another muddy People’s Open at Bethpage Black? Or sun and fun in SoCal?
Tim Finchem. It was an occasion to take the high road and open the door for healing. Instead, the commissioner offered only a backhanded snub when asked about the Lee Westwood v. Players Championship row earlier this week.
When asked about the Englishman’s decision not to play The Players, the commissioner, who supported a late-in-the-game decision to alter Tour rules in attempt to lure Westwood to TPC Sawgrass in May, took a different course.
“I'm not going to argue whether a European Tour player is doing the wrong thing, if (European Tour commissioner) George O'Grady feels because it's so important for that player to play over there,” Finchem said. “Candidly, it's probably more important on the European Tour that some of those players play over there than it is for us that they play here.”
Who says the new grooves rule did away with spin on the PGA Tour?
Tweet of the week: @IanJamesPoulter “Tiger give us a smile. Tiger Tiger give us a smile. Tiger give us a smile. Come on @TigerWoods shall we sing a song for you?”
Trash talk Twitter-style, but Woods wasn’t interested in Poulter’s reindeer games and when asked about the Englishman’s jabs he flashed a knowing smile and said, “He's probably just bored and has nothing to do. I was at home and working on my game, and flying out here. That's just Poults being Poults, and that's fine.”
Hope-less. John Daly has stretched the bounds of reason, and acceptable behavior, chronically in his career, but on Thursday at Torrey Pines he took his self-entitled outlook to a whole new stratosphere.
Following an opening-round 67 that put him in the hunt at Torrey Pines, Daly used the occasion to vent some misplaced venom toward two tournaments that had the audacity to pass on his schtick this year.
“I'll never go back to the (Bob Hope Classic) and I'll never go back to Phoenix, no matter what happens. I won't even send letters anymore. I'm not saying that to ditch the tournaments,” said Daly, who did not get a sponsor exemption into either the Hope or Waste Management Phoenix Open this year.
“I felt like I did my part. It hurt me for those two tournaments not to give me spots. So I'll go to Europe on those weeks.”
Just a thought, but if Daly really wanted to play the Hope and Phoenix he may have given Q-School a try, but then they don’t give exemptions out at the Fall Classic either.