Hooks Cuts from Torrey Pines

By Rich LernerJune 10, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Rich Lerner is at Torrey Pines this week for the 108th edition of the United States Open Golf Championship. All week long, Lerner will be providing his insights and perspectives from the season's second major:
 
  • TaylorMade/Adidas threw its annual U.S. Open bash last night. Ive never been to an Oscar party, but this is what I imagine it would be like--in a $15 million estate overlooking the Pacific with beautiful people sipping martinis by the pool. While the tanned and fit were nursing cosmos and looking gorgeous, the bedraggled media types, including yours truly, were where we always are, in the buffet line.
     
  • Early word from the players is that Torreys fair. If the wind blows over par wins. If it stays reasonably calm, Pat Perez, who grew up nearby and has played it hundreds of times, likes 3 under.
     
  • Regarding Tiger, there hasnt been this much scrutiny of an athletes knee since Tanya Hardings goons took a full swing at Nancy Kerrigan.
     
  • Two of the sweetest swingers in history hail from San Diego--Ted Williams and Mickey Wright. At the McDonalds LPGA Championship, our production staff displayed Wrights swing next to Annikas. Annika need not apologize for a move thats produced 72 victories, but my goodness, I dont think Ive ever seen better action than Wrights, male or female! If you can find a book with pictures of her swing, do so immediately.
     
  • The last four U.S. Open winners--Cabrera, Ogilvy, Campbell and Goosen--were international players. Cabrera and Campbell had never won before in the States. With that in mind, PGA TOUR Radios John Maginnes threw out the name Paul Casey.
     
  • GOLF CHANNEL equipment guru Adam Barr says struggling Jim Furyk was fiddling on the putting green Monday with a Bullseye.
     
  • Because I love hoops, allow me to unleash my inner Hubie Brown with this thought on the Lakers-Celtics Final. Kobe doesnt look right and actually seems to be shrinking from the moment. Obviously, he could go off for 50 in the blink of an eye, and might need to. On the other hand, Garnett looks possessed, and his defensive intensity always sets the tone for his team. A month ago when they were humbled by the lowly Hawks, I thought they had no shot. Defense and toughness are the difference.
     
  • Id love to see Hubie Brown call golf: OK, that is what we call in our ligg a bump and run and he is converting a very high percentage from beyond 25 feet, OK.
     
  • San Diegos produced another American sports icon--The Chicken.
     
  • Well be posting all week and would welcome your thoughts on the U.S. Open. Check out my other offerings on Tigers knee and the hoopla surrounding the Tiger-Phil grouping.
     
  • And check out Vince Cellinis blogs Thursday-Sunday as he offers his own unique insight as to the happenings around Torrey Pines.
     
    Email your thoughts to Rich Lerner
     
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    Bubba gets inked by Brooks, meets Tebow

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 5:40 pm

    Bubba Watson missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills following rounds of 77-74, but that didn't stop him from enjoying his weekend.

    Watson played alongside Jason Day and eventual champion Brooks Koepka in Rounds 1 and 2, and somehow this body ink slipped by us on Thursday.

    Got autographed by defending @usopengolf Champ @bkoepka!! #NeverShoweringAgain

    A post shared by Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) on

    And while we're sure Bubba would have rather been in contention over the weekend, we're also sure that taking your son to meet the second most famous minor-league baseball player who ever lived was a lot more fun than getting your teeth kicked in by Shinnecock Hills over the weekend, as just about everyone not named Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood did.

    Already in Hartford, Watson will be going for his third Travelers Championship trophy this week, following wins in 2010 and 2015.

    Getty Images

    Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

    By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

    There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

    The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

    Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

    If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

    “The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

    The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

    Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

    Getty Images

    Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

    There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

    Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

    While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

    Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Jordan Spieth

    6. Rickie Fowler

    7. Bubba Watson

    8. Webb Simpson

    ---

    9. Bryson DeChambeau

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Matt Kuchar

    12. Brian Harman

    On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

    Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

    European Points

    1. Tyrrell Hatton

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tommy Fleetwood

    4. Francesco Molinari

    ---

    5. Thorbjorn Olesen

    6. Ross Fisher

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Rory McIlroy

    3. Alex Noren

    4. Matthew Fitzpatrick

    ---

    5. Ian Poulter

    6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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    Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

    Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

    The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.



    The second is from Sunday night.



    And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

    Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.