Around Pinehurst: Time to kill? Time to eat

By Ryan LavnerJune 14, 2014, 6:13 pm

PINEHURST, N.C. – There was time to kill – lots of it – between the end of the second round and the start of the third here at the 114th U.S. Open. By 1:10 p.m. ET Friday, Martin Kaymer had signed his card and staked himself to an eight-shot lead. He wouldn’t strike another meaningful shot for 26-plus hours, so, like Martin, we waited. And waited.

Some scribes passed the time by working out. Others watched TV, read a book, video-chatted with their family, or played golf at one of the many spectacular venues in a 10-mile radius.

Well, I preferred to eat.

Let’s be clear: This post isn’t a cry for help. This isn’t a subtle way of saying that I eat only when I’m bored. Not that at all. It’s just that when I’m on the road 12-15 weeks per year, I enjoy sampling the town’s local flavor. You know, literally.

So, after our work was done Friday night, the crew pulled our Nissan Versa into the Full Moon Oyster Bar, a wannabe dive in the middle of a shopping center in Southern Pines. When it comes to seafood I typically enact The 50-Mile Rule (from a body of water), but in this case I made an exception because, well, there were oysters involved.

Around Pinehurst: Local history at Tufts Archives

Around Pinehurst: Sights and sounds from Thursday

Around Pinehurst: Pine Crest the in place to be

Though my metabolism has caught up a bit in recent years, I can still consume an ungodly amount of food and not pack on much, if any, weight onto my 5-foot-10-inch, 165-pound frame. With that in mind, The Full Moon platter seemed a no-brainer: crab legs and shrimp and scallops and mussels and clams and oysters, all in one heap. “Enough for two!” the menu boasted, though by the end of the night, trust me, it proved enough for one famished, 27-year-old male, too. (Not to mention the key lime pie for dessert.)

When my cellphone buzzed at 8 a.m. Saturday, the final group of Kaymer and Brendon Todd was still 7 1/2 hours away from beginning its third round ... in other words, plenty of time for a hearty lunch.

At about 12:30 p.m., we made the 10-minute walk from the media center to the village of Pinehurst, where elderly women zipped around the streets in golf carts, church bells rang on schedule, the Goodyear blimp idled overhead.

Since this midday break wasn’t about sightseeing, however, we soon headed down the brick-paved street of Market Square. There was Dugans, a Pinehurst staple, an Irish pub with a friendly staff, a packed bar and, of course, a menu featuring fish and chips. Sure, it was a heavy lunch before an afternoon of walking and scribbling, but I can safely assume it was better fuel than the media-center fare. (Today’s featured item: chicken sliders.)

Third-round play will conclude at about 8 p.m. tonight, and our team here will leave Pinehurst sometime after 10. Once again, there’ll be plenty of time to kill before the leaders go off Sunday afternoon. Hey, you know what that means.

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Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.

Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

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Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

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Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."