Behind the Story Torrey Pines
Driving up North Torrey Pines Road for our 8 a .m. call time, one can’t help but notice the breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. Pulling into Torrey Pines, I immediately think of Tiger Woods’ putt on the 18th green Sunday of the 2008 U.S. Open and being glued to the television watching his magical run on Saturday.
Our points of interest on this day, Jan. 21, is how Torrey Pines acquired the '08 Open, the effect it had on the course and the area, and whether the National Championship will ever return. The first thing on our agenda was finding a location for all of the interviews that afternoon. The first holes for both the North and South courses provided the beautiful backdrop, allowing the interviewees to look like they were sitting in front of a green screen.
Once we secured the location, we set out to capture some of the stunning holes and scenery that is Torrey Pines. Our first stop was the third hole on the North Course, a 121-yard par 3. My first thought: I would take my 5-hybrid – yes, hybrid not 5-iron – and take a rip. If only I had my clubs with me. My second thought: Watch out for rattlesnakes, which is so nicely posted on a sign near the cart path.
Driving around the course, every so often you can hear a buzz in the distance. What type of buzz? It is hard to pinpoint until you see the helicopters and fighter jets fly over head. It truly is a sight to see.
After capturing video of various holes around Torrey Pines South, we headed to the 18th. As we drove up I envisioned the scene from June 2008, crowds cheering louder than ever as Tiger forced a playoff against Rocco Mediate.
There are grandstands there now, set up for the PGA Tour's Farmer’s Insurance Open. They are a bit smaller, and empty, but as we stand on the green you notice how downhill the putt was that Tiger made to force the extra 18 (turned 19). We recreated that putt with Scott Walker and it is amazing to think that anyone who plays Torrey Pines South has the opportunity to do the same. Both courses are open to the public, which is a huge draw for visitors to Southern California. Local San Diegans still frequent the 36-hole track, but surprisingly more people frequent the North Course, not the tougher South Course layout which was redesigned by Rees Jones.
“It's a trade off,' said Paul Spiegelman, co-founder of the San Diego Municipal Golfers Alliance. 'I remember Rees Jones saying, 'Oh, we made it so anybody can play.' I play the gold tees; I'm a senior now so and I can manage it, but I was a relatively low handicap. I played college golf, but it's a rather intimidating course for a lot of people so they just don't play it.'
As we interviewed a few others, there are many different opinions surrounding the debate on whether it was a good thing the U.S. Open came to Torrey Pines and whether it should return.
Mark Marney, deputy director of golf operations for San Diego, had this to say: “I think that looking at the overall city, I think it's beneficial to the city. I think it's good for San Diego. I think it's good for San Diego to be a major destination for large events just like Comic Con and Super Bowls and other big venues. The U.S. Open is another great feather to have in our cap, so I think from our perspective ... definitely (it was a good thing).”
After wrapping for the day, it’s unclear whether the Open will return to this SoCal location, but as we strike and pack up the gear one thing is for sure: Torrey Pines is, beautifully speaking, a major venue.
Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.
Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.
The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.
Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.
Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.
Third-round tee times for the 147th Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.
Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.
Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.
Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.
4:15AM ET: Gavin Green
4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed
4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose
4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton
4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley
5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner
5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson
5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)
5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood
5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello
6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford
6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma
6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele
6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood
6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na
6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin
7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim
7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira
7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters
7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li
7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker
7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink
8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook
8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris
8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim
8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari
8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson
8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell
9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka
9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott
9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren
9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone
9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett
10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler
10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell
10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau
10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen
10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele
10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood
11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.
He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.
“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.
At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.
Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.
“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?
Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.
Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.
“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”
Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.
Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.
“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.
More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.
“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”