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BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. ' Geoff Ogilvy thinks this may well be the first time that the U.S. Open will have been the easiest of the four majors. Augusta and Birkdale were impossible, he said. Oakland Hills wont be impossible, but it wont be easy either. Its a beast, said Paul Goydos. Last weeks back-nine backpedal at Firestone did little to inspire confidence in the ability of those not named Tiger to close. On the other hand, Padraig Harrington going 4 under over the last six to win the British impressed.
By the way, I like Harrington this week, but not that much more than I like a guy like Bart Bryant. Think Steve Jones. Think Andy North.
One of our directors, Eric Rutledge, is a Detroit native and die-hard Red Wings fan. He swears that Steve Yzermans Game 7, overtime, game-winning goal in the 1996 Conference finals against Wayne Gretzky and the St. Louis Blues is the greatest slap shot in hockey history. He roofed it, top left corner from the blue line, up where Momma hides the baby Tylenol, said Rutledge. Im no hockey expert, but when he showed it to me on YouTube, I was blown away. And I share it with you because I love the phrase, roofed it.
Heated debate broke out in our production trailer over the best sports cities in America. My list: New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Motown legend Martha Reeves of Martha and the Vandellas recalls meeting a prodigal talent, in some ways the Tiger Woods of music. This young man came in for an audition and while he waited he played the trash can and the typewriter back when typewriters made sounds. His name? Stevie Wonder.
T.C. Chen double tapped on the fifth hole here at the 1985 U.S. Open. His entire four-shot lead Sunday was wiped out in one hole when he made quad. Admit it, youve double tapped in your career ' high rough around the green and you try to get too cute. Ive done it. The reactions always the same: You pause in disbelief. No one in the group says a thing. They stare at you, waiting for you to acknowledge the gaffe. And then you say it. I just T.C. Chen-ed it.
Tigers not here so the chance for a runaway wins gone. Add to the mix a brutal golf course and you could be looking at a 10-player pileup late on Sunday.
Donald Ross designed 22 courses over an 80-mile stretch, from Oakland Hills to Inverness on the border of Michigan and Ohio.
Looking at some archival footage of Hagen, Oakland Hills first pro, what struck me was the old school action. The swing was so rubbery, so free with the left heel off the ground, the big turn and liquid tempo. In the film clip, with a stogie and a smile, he runs off the tee box down the fairway and Im thinking, Wow, I knew he was a good-time Charlie and you can see that; but hes an athlete, too! Haigs in my dream foursome with Tiger and Old Tom Morris. With a nod to Old Tom, who didnt have wheels, well fly Tigers private jet to Prestwick to play.
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