But we here at Cut Line play by none of the staid rules that govern U.S. Golf Association championships, no need for 36 to trim the field or 72 to crown a champion. All we need is a wireless connection and some questionable, curious and commendable happenings.
Phil faded late Friday, starting his second 18 even par through 11 holes, but he added another chapter to his New York legacy.
Maybe the greatest measure of set-up success is the potpourri of a leaderboard after two disjointed rounds. Mike Weir and David Toms, tied at third and 34th, respectively, are the type of players who used to win the national championship. While Gary Woodland and Ricky Barnes have never met a hole they couldnt dismantle with a single, soaring drive and are tied for 12th and second, respectively.
Despite an unsteady finish, five boroughs worth of the faithful cheered and pleaded Mickelson all the way around on Friday. Gotta win it for us, Phil, one man yelled. There hasnt been that kind of performance anxiety since Cosmo Kramer of Seinfeld fame promised a sick child Yankees slugger Paul ONeil would hit him two dingers in a single game because, as the funnyman reasoned, two homeruns are better than one.
Made Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
Scott has missed seven of his last eight weekends on Tour and has been a nonstory at the majors since 2006, having not finished in the top 10 in his last nine Grand Slam starts.
Scott is on a roll at Bethpage, sitting tied for sixth through 29 holes, but he needs to start capitalizing to keep from becoming the young phenom who has flopped.
Among the gaffes, the USGA announced the mens and womens Opens will be played at Pinehursts No. 2 Course in 2014 in consecutive weeks. Thats fine for the men, but take a look at Bethpage this week. The beautiful park has been transformed into a muddy mess. Which means the women may be left with a No. 2 that resembles, well, No. 2.
The USGAs dogmatic devotion to never allowing players to lift, clean and place their golf balls regardless of monsoons or mud is also curious. You want 72 holes to crown a champion? Fine. Lift, clean and place will speed up play and make a well-placed drive in the middle of a fairway mean something.
(On Tour) we probably would have played it up before the start of the first round given the forecast, Zach Johnson said. We try to be practical about the situation, but you accept it and go play.
But the out-and-back routing is a logistical nightmare, the weather in consecutive Bethpage Opens has had far too much impact on the outcome and the traffic is unbearable.
If the USGA is married to keeping the Black in the Open rota may we humbly suggest they dig it up and move it to Southern California.
After Thursdays rains washed Round 1 into Long Island Sound, officials originally said there would be no make-goods for first-day ticket holders because enough golf had been played. Who knew the USGA was a fan of the 11-hole round?
Less than 24 hours later the USGA caved under intense criticism, reversing its policy and allowing Thursdays jilted ticket holders access to Mondays round. Seems the U.S. Open has its first scheduled Monday finish.
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