In a New York State of Mind

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Tiger Woods walked through a corridor of fans three deep on either side with a vigorous gait and slight smile as he chatted with practice round playing partner Charles Howell Tuesday. A male fan with a camera yelled out in a thick New York accent, Hey Tigah, how bout a smile, this is New Yuahwk? Tiger moved briskly straight ahead, talking to Howell but never acknowledging the man, who then said, Guess not. Nice guy.
 
Tough town. But the course is even tougher. Shinnecock Hills is firm, windy, dusty and hard. If it stays hard like this, said Phil Mickelson, I dont see how anybody can shoot around par.
 
  • If Phils golf is as good as his public relations game, hell win the Open by 10. The Masters and peoples champ tossed out a few love letters to New York in Tuesdays press conference, including, I love spending time in New York. My wife loves it, our children love it. They go to shows and they just think its the greatest place in the world.
     
  • David Duvals expected arrival on Wednesday to play a course this difficult is like a baseball player coming off an extended stay on the DL and then stepping in to face Roger Clemens. Good luck.
     
  • Names we keep hearing that arent on the front burner: Chad Campbell and David Toms.
     
  • The par-3 seventh hole will land in the Golf Hall of Infamy before the week is over.
     
  • With the shaved run-off areas youll see plenty of tortured, disgusted looks from players when their chip shots roll up to the edge of the green, peek, then crawl agonizingly back to their feet.
     
  • Shinnecock looks more like a British Open than the British Open.
     
  • If Padraig Harringtons not in the mix by Sunday it would qualify as a surprise.
     
  • David Duval used four different teachers at four different majors last year. Tim Mahoney from Scottsdale is his current guru.
     
  • Short game and ball-striking are paramount this week, which is why its extremely hard to pick against Phil, Tiger and Ernie. The three are as good as this generation has seen on and around the greens.
     
  • Vijay could knock down a third leg of the career grand slam, and lock down an already probable spot in the Hall of Fame along the way.
     
  • Ernie could get people talking about his place among the all-time greats with a third U.S. Open win.
     
  • Tiger against Phil late on Sunday could bring the house down.
     
  • Standing behind the ninth green I heard a guy yell from behind me, Yo! I turned around. Then he barked, Yo, Im tryin to take a pikcha, do ya mind?! I asked politely, Yo? Not excuse me? He said, I like yo. OK, so do I.
     
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