Worth Watching

By Mercer BaggsJune 9, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenThe 108th U.S. Open will begin Thursday at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif. Tee times were released last week, with the top 12 players on the Official World Golf Ranking grouped together in threesomes. Here are some groups, including the marquee trio, worth keeping an eye on come Round 1.
*Starting on 10th tee


7:00 a.m. PT: D.A. Points, Patrick Sheehan, David Hearn
The first group out off the first tee. We assume the starter has to be out there to announce this group, but even he might not show up until one hour and six minutes later.
8:06 a.m. PT: Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods
The top three players in the world. Together in the same threesome. Nothing contrived there. Getting a good view of this group teeing off will be like trying to get bread in post-war Russia.
8:06 a.m. PT*: Woody Austin, Pat Perez, Thomas Levet
Believe it or not, there will actually be people following this group and not the one going off the first hole at the same time. Perez is a local who has, by his estimate, played the South Course some 250 times. As for Austin, its actually more fun to hear what he has to say after a round than to watch him play. Something like: Yes, I shot 77 and Tiger shot 62, but my game has the power to stop tornadoes in the Midwest.
8:28 a.m. PT: Michael Campbell, Jesper Parnevik, Todd Hamilton
Carnac says, Who are two players who never should have won a major championship and one who should have?
8:39 a.m. PT: Miguel Angel Jimenez, Boo Weekley, Shingo Katayama
For the rest of his life, in major championships, Boo is going to be grouped with either people from his hometown or people who speak a foreign language. How many times is he going to be asked if they were speaking three different languages out there: Spanish, Japanese and Redneck? Thats not really funny the first time you hear it.
9:12 a.m. PT: Jeffrey Bors, Sean English, Travis Bertoni
We have no idea who these three people are. In fact, there are a few groups out there with three names weve never before heard. Thats the U.S. Open for you. Guess we could look up who they are. If we werent really lazy.
12:52 p.m. PT: Stewart Cink, Sergio Garcia, Vijay Singh
According to Phil Mickelson, Garcias a major champion now that hes won THE PLAYERS. That should take off all the pressure this week. Sometimes Phil says things that make Woody go, Huh?
1:03 p.m. PT: Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson, Mike Weir
These three have combined for three Masters titles, which is he same amount I have. Yes, Im a three-time Dart Golf Masters champion. Lets see one of these guys win a major at 2 a.m., in an Irish Pub, listening to some indiscernible Celtic music, and cross-eyed from double-tall glasses of Jim Beam. I am not a role model.
1:14 p.m. PT*: Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Luke Donald
Three young Englishmen grouped together. Clever.
1:36 p.m. PT: Angel Cabrera, Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III
The USGA normally groups the reigning U.S. Open champion, reigning British Open champion and the reigning U.S. Amateur champion in the same group, but since Colt Knost turned pro and is not eligible for this event he ruined that tradition. Instead Cabrera and Harrington get Love, who hasnt won any of the aforementioned events and had to qualify just to get in.
1:36 p.m. PT*: Justin Rose, Geoff Ogilvy, Ernie Els
If Rose and Els were the only players competing in the final round would Ogilvy still win?
1:47 p.m. PT: Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes, Brett Wetterich
These three rank Nos. 1, 2 and 5 on TOUR in driving distance. Bubba finished T5 last year at Oakmont, so maybe he can bully Torrey Pines, too, with his length. The real question, however, is not who is the longest player among this group, but who has the worst haircut? Were going with a Watson-Holmes tie. At least Wetterich doesnt look like his mom did a quick brush on his head before picture time.
1:47 p.m. PT*: Camilo Villegas, Charles Howell III, Martin Kaymer
You might be more far more familiar with Villegas and Howell, but Kaymers probably the best player among this young trio. He won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship this year and finished runner-up in Dubai. Hes also on the verge of making the European Ryder Cup team. Camilo and Charles have made a lot of commercials.
2:09 p.m. PT*: Rory Sabbatini, David Toms, Colin Montgomerie
Mark it down: I believe this is the year Colin Montgomerie finally wins the U.S. Open! And I believe celebrities when they get busted for buying drugs and say they were just researching a role. And I believe you can stop a moving car with your feet like Fred Flintstone. And I believe in Scientology.
Related Links:
  • Full U.S. Open Tee Times
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
  • Getty Images

    Garcia (73), Fleetwood (74) off to slow starts at BMW

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 8:30 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany – Sebastien Gros carded a 4-under 68 in windy conditions to lead by one shot after the opening round of the BMW International Open on Thursday.

    The Frenchman had four birdies to take the lead before the turn, and a six-footer on the 15th hole moved him two ahead. But a bogey on the next hole left the 28-year-old Gros just one ahead of Jorge Campillo, Scott Jamieson, Aaron Rai and Henric Sturehed.

    Sturehed eagled the par-5 No. 13 to take the lead in the morning at the Gut Laerchenhof club.

    Christofer Blomstrand, Nico Geyger, Mark Tullo, Victor Perez, David Howell and Nicolai von Dellingshausen are a further stroke back on 2-under 70.

    Defending champion Andres Romero was among a large group at 1 under, including 2013 winner Ernie Els and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

    Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.

    Local favorite and 2008 champion Martin Kaymer shot 72, ahead of Sergio Garcia (73) and Tommy Fleetwood (74).

    Getty Images

    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.

    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

    Getty Images

    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament

    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

    Getty Images

    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’”