If Rich Lerner can write Hooks and Cuts on this website'always a good read, by the way'I can write Draws and Slices.
So, on the eve of the 108th U.S. Open, here goes:
Im just wondering if Tiger Woods (tender knee), Adam Scott (tender right pinky finger) or Phil Mickelson (mild food poisoning early in the week)'playing together Thursday and Friday'..Im just wondering if any of them will break 100. I mean, Cmon, Tony Romo needed 84 blows at Torrey Pines South just last week.
On Wednesday when I asked USGA course set-up guy Mike Davis, a low-handicapper, if he could break 100 on Torrey Pines South right now, he said, Yeah, I think so. Id be in the 80s. Then he added with a smile, Just dont make me go out and do it right now.
The groupings are most interesting if you scrutinize them closely for common denominators'and Im not just talking about Phil, Tiger and Adam. At 7:44 Thursday off the first tee youve got Rickie Fowler, Chris Kirk and Dustin Johnson. Comment: All members of the victorious 2007 U.S. Walker Cup squad. At 8:39 Thursday off the first tee youve got Miguel Angel Jimenez, Boo Weekley, and Shingo Katayama. Comment: None of them have yet mastered the Kings English. At 8:39 Thursday off the 10th tee you have Carl Pettersson, Soren Hanson and Daniel Chopra. Comment: All Scandinavians. At 1:03 Thursday off the first tee you have Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson and Mike Weir. Comment: Georgia on their minds. At 1:47 Thursday off the first tee you have Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes and Brett Wetterich. Comment: Fore! At 1:14 Thursday off the 10th tee you have Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Luke Donald. Comment: God Save The Queen. At 1:47 Thursday off the 10th tee you have Camilo Villegas, Charles Howell and Martin Kaymer. Comment: Not an ounce of body fat between the three of them. At 1:58 Thursday off the 10th tee you have Jeff Quinney, Justin Leonard and Mark OMeara. Comment: All former U.S. Amateur champions.
U.S. Senior Open champion Brad Bryant wondered out loud Wednesday why the USGA didnt pair him with his brother Bart. We would have brought at least 15 or 20 more people out there, Brad tongue-in-cheeked. The Bryants, by the way, are the first brother tandem in this event since Jay and Jerry Haas in 2002.
About this Slam business: Tiger didnt win The Masters. And Lorena didnt win the McDonalds LPGA last week. But hang on a minute; shouldnt we be giving Masters champion Trevor Immelman a little love here?
Trevor Immelman won the U.S. Publinx at Torrey Pines 10 years ago right here at Torrey Pines South. Trevor Immelman almost won last week in Memphis (Justin Leonard beat him in a playoff). Trevor Immelman should be one of the favorites here this week and if he wins, he will be half way to the Grand Slam. No, Immelman said earlier this week, cutting his questioner short, when asked if he had given any thought to the calendar Slam for himself this year. No. I would be the happiest guy on earth if I did it (career Slam) over the span of a career. We can safely say that if I do it this year, I will retire, okay? Theres no chance of that. I havent even for one second thought about that, no.
Immelman wasnt shy talking about the toll winning this years Masters took on him in the ensuing weeks. I mean, he said, I was absolutely smoked afterwards.
Heres one pairing the USGA missed: K. J. Choi and Jay Choi. Jay Choi is playing in his first U.S. Open and, according to the USGA Player Guide, Suffered burnout and dealt with weight issues after turning pro in 2006 and briefly gave up playing between November 2006 and August 2007.Choi lost 65 pounds The 24-year-old Jay Choi is a former AJGA all-American.