By now we are all pretty familiar with the Modified Stableford Scoring system used at this tournament so let's just talk about what's going on at Castle Pines Golf Club.
Six of the top-10 players in the world are here making this week's field the best in the 17-year history of The International. Only Tiger, '99 champion David Toms, Retief Goosen and Padraig Harrington aren't playing.
The only two-time winner of the tournament, Phil Mickelson, is back and why not? Phil is one of the most aggressive players on tour and the scoring system here demands that type of play. No one can fault Lefty for going at pins all week and trying to hit the shots that look impossible. He's always a threat to win each time he tees it up, especially here.
Open champion Ernie Els, the 2000 winner here, is playing competitively for the first time since winning at Muirfield. Ernie loves playing this golf course and feels like he owes it to tournament founder Jack Vickers to play in it each year. Back in the early '90s, Mr. Vickers gave Ernie, then an up-and-comer not many had heard of, a sponsor's exemption. The world's third-ranked player has never forgotten that gesture and says he will continue to support this event for as long as he can.
Anyone a milkshake fan? Castle Pines, specifically Terri Barnes, makes the best shakes. They are so good and so well known that famous people like to play here when they're in town just to have one at the end of the round.
Terri might make the best shakes around, but she's obviously not a big baseball fan. Once when the Yankees were in town playing the Rockies, Roger Clemens came to Castle Pines for some golf and a milkshake. After ordering, Roger was waiting so he struck up a conversation with Terri, who promptly asked The Rocket, 'What do you do?' She'll make an estimated 250 milkshakes a day this week. Of course, none will be consumed by The Golf Channel crew!
Watch for tons of birdies and unbelievable views of the incredible scenary at The International. Aside from being on the Jersey shore watching The Boss, where would you rather be this week than Colorado? No humidity and the best golfers on the planet playing a great golf course.