New York Frame of Mind


Another Friday comes and another cut is pushed off until Saturday, or beyond, on the PGA Tour. Luckily 'Cut Line' remains unaffected by weather delays. The good news for those drenched by even more rain at the Travelers Championship is that, unlike the U.S. Golf Association, the Tour has no problem with playing lift, clean and place or 54-hole champions.
Made Cut
  • Phil Mickelson: Heavy-hearted ' with his wife, Amy, at home preparing to begin treatment for breast cancer ' and heavy-handed, at least from 5 feet, Lefty came within two late pars (at Nos. 15 and 17) of that coveted U.S. Open title.
    I think maybe it's more in perspective for me, Mickelson said. I want to win this tournament badly. This is now my fifth second. I play well in this event and I enjoy this event. . . . I feel I'll have more and more chances.
    Not sure where Mickelson will file this one ' near miss, choke job, emotional respite ' and runner-ups at major championships are little solace to players of his caliber, but given the circumstances this may have been Phil at his Open best.
  • Lucas Glover, Ricky Barnes, et al.: The first indication Glover is not your off-the-shelf Open champion came in the moments before his post-final round press conference as he intently studied the names on the silver trophy: Me and Horace Rawlins (winner of the first U.S. Open in 1895) are tight, he smiled, when asked if he recognized any of the past champions.
    The second hint came Wednesday when he arrived in Cromwell, Conn., for this weeks Travelers Championship. Not only did Glover keep his word, but he played in the pro-am and accommodated nearly an hours worth of media requests beforehand.
    I called him on Saturday just to ask where his head was, said Travelers tournament director Nathan Grube. He just said, Im playin. And he never even asked to get out of the pro-am.
  • Tour golf: Pro golf, by nature, is a lonely business. That is until there is a tragedy and the competitive universe closes in like Tiger Woods in the final round of a major.
    Nationwide Tour players rallied this week at the stop in West Virginia to honor the wife of Chris Smith, Beth, who was killed in a car crash last weekend, wearing caddie bibs with Smiths name on them and black ribbons.
    Ken Green ' who lost his right leg, his brother and his girlfriend in a recent car crash ' is being honored this week at TPC River Highlands. Players, volunteers and fans were given green ribbons to show their support for Green, a native of Danbury, Conn.

    Made Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
  • U.S. Golf Association: The Open that would never end made it to the finish line, thanks to Glover and Mother Nature. And while the USGA did the best it could to hold a championship on the set of Water World, the entire affair had a less-than-pleasing feel for anyone not named Glover.
    Seven of the eight Open rounds played at Bethpage have done so under threatening skies, traffic in and around the course is untenable, the fans are a bit much and, as Stewart Cink pointed out, the logistics of Bethpage are a shuttle bus nightmare.
    The only bright spot to the week, other than the champion? There are no majors currently scheduled for the New York area.
  • Dicks Sporting Goods Open: The Champions Tour event that stepped in when the Tour bolted Endicott, N.Y., is being played this weekend. OK, the AARP circuit is hardly the worse of consolation prizes, but it is a shame that the Tour seems to have outgrown small-market stops like Endicott.
    After a few days in Cromwell this week it became clear that the Travelers is more than just a tournament to the little village that could. Its the sporting event of summer.

    Missed Cut
  • Vijay Singh: CNBC reported that the Fijian has offered to help pay a portion of the $500,000 bail for jailed financier Allen Stanford, but authorities balked at the offer because Singh is not a U.S. citizen.
    Singh, who has an endorsement deal with Stanford Financial reportedly worth $8 million and continues to wear the companys log on his visor and shirt, said through a statement issued by his management company, IMG, that Stanford has yet to be proven guilty.
    While we applaud Singhs loyalty, we are curious. As long as the three-time major champion is doling out cash perhaps he could put some aside for the $7 billion Stanford is accused of swindling his investors out of.
  • Europe: Other than Padraig Harrington, who made hay better than anyone while Woods was away last year, the continents drought at American majors is becoming biblical.
    The last European to win a U.S. Open was Tony Jacklin in 1970, while the folks from the other side of the pond were 0-for-10 decades at the PGA before Harrington, with the last European winner being Tommy Armour in 1930.
    Point is despite an influx of youthful talent ' Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy and Ross Fisher, to name a few ' and a spotty U.S. Ryder Cup record in recent years, the continent continues to come up short when it really counts.

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    Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Travelers Championship
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  • Full U.S. Open Scores
  • Full Coverage - The 109th U.S. Open