These Guys are Good Guys

By Brian HewittJune 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- These guys are good. And then there are the good guys among the guys that are good.
Guys like Davis Love III. And Geoff Ogilvy. And Kevin Streelman. And Rocco Mediate. All of whom figured prominently among Fridays story lines on a day much of which was dominated by You-Know-Who.
The boys in the pressroom are supposed to root for the stories not the people. But even the most hardened among them dont complain when the best people are among the best stories. Even if just for one news cycle.
Streelman, a PGA TOUR rookie and Thursdays co-leader at Torrey Pines South, hails from Wheaton, Il. which also happens to be where Red Grange, John Belushi and Bob Woodward spent their childhoods.
Woodward would eventually break a few stories for the Washington Post; Belushi would make a few people laugh and Grange would stampede his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As running back for the Chicago Bears Grange wore No. 77 and came to be known as the Galloping Ghost.
And somewhere along the line, in Chicago golf circles, shooting a 77 came to be known as a Red Grange.
So Streelman came full circle Friday when he followed his opening 68 with a Red Grange that included two double bogeys and a triple.
And when he finished, he was a good guy about it. If Thursday morning I would have said 3-over at the U.S. Open through two rounds, I would have taken, Streelman said, adding that the four and a half hours of sleep he managed on the lead came between 10 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.
Davis Love wouldnt know how to big time somebody if you offered him a 10-year exemption. In fact Love, playing in his 18th straight U.S. Open, had to earn his way into this one through sectional qualifying. After two rounds he is 1-under par and just two back.
Foot and neck injuries threatened to slow his career to a crawl at age 44. But this is his third week in a row in an event. Once you get physically healthy, then you have to get brain healthy, he said Friday. And theres very few people that seem to be able to help you with that.
Ogilvy, who won this championship two years ago and never complained that people referred to it as the U.S. Open Phil Mickelson lost, wouldnt know how to drop a name if his life depended on it.
Early last year, I asked him in an interview to tell me something about him nobody else knew. After a long pause, he said, I have to take a shower every night before I go to bed. If I dont, I dont feel clean.
So far this week his putting stroke has been even cleaner. Ogilvy has made a ton of par-saving putts and trails leader Stuart Appleby by just three shots after 36 holes.
On Thursday Ogilvys countryman, Robert Allenby, complained loudly about the bumpy afternoon poa annua greens at Torrey Pines South. When a reporter went to Ogilvy and told him Allenby had called them the worst greens ever, Ogilvy objected.
Thats an exaggeration, he said of Allenbys contention. The greens we played Thursday and Friday at Winged Foot, they were a lot worse than today, by 10 times.
Winged Foot two years ago was where Ogilvy won his U.S. Open. But then he didnt feel the need to remind the reporter of that part.
Mediate, who has had a wonderful career for a guy whose back hasnt cooperated, had it to 4-under and finished at 2-under par. His arrival coincided with Tiger Woods birdie putt on his last hole that left Woods tied with him.
Mediate just smiled when told Woods had blazed to a 30 on the front side. And he gracefully fielded the questions on Tiger that had nothing to do with the terrific golf Mediate had just played.
Thats the way good guys are.
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

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    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

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    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.