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I'm logged in. Here we go. 11:04 CT
Phil off to a rough start. Perhaps has something to do with playing a different golf course yesterday? San Francisco Golf Club, a very different track. Phil does things his way. 11:10 CT
I think that 15th green the feature group of TIger, Phil, and Bubba are playing right now is one of the toughest on the course. Important to leave a good taste in your mouth heading to that nearly 700 yard monster. 11:13 CT
Zinger says everyone will make a double bogey. I don't think so, I think 5 or 6 guys will get by clean. 11:14 CT
Tiger is swinging it really nice. It's been an AWESOME progression this year of his entire game. His control has gotten better and his short putting has significantly improved. Might be better for him that he is playing bent greens. He really struggled on poa annua at Pebble Beach this year. 11:22
NOBODY has putted better on the PGA TOUR this year than Webb Simpson. Only issue: he misses his driver right every time. If he hits a fairway, it's a slight cut. He'll have trouble on the dogleg lefts. 11:25
This pairing of Bohn and Na is good for both players. When you have a guy in your group who is playing really good golf, you want to match him. Both feisty and competitive guys but do it in good spirit. Hey, they're golfers. 11:28
Okay, those last two holes are NOT "EASY." You can make eagle on 17 and it's a great hole but it's a tough green. If you miss the fairway or green on 18, you have to hit a great shot to make par. The greenside bunkers on 18 are really tough. 11:34
Not sure what was worse for Phil on 16.... the lie or the shot he attempted. Only Phil hits woods from over 40 yards. Pretty amazing. 11:36
5 runner-ups in US Opens for Phil. Have to imagine this is the one he wants the most. 11:40
Would love to know what's going on in Phil's dome right now. Playing with Tiger, played SFGC yesterday, in California.... got to be a lot going on up there. He's got to calm down and get focused. 11:44
Love that pin on 18. I made birdie on it to make match play in the second round of the 2004 US Junior. From 15 feet below the hole, it breaks a ball or two left to right. :) 11:48
There are a lot of guys who aren't in the field... players like Jason Bohn... who play a lot better golf when par matters. That's why you see guys like Ben Curtis, Shaun Micheel, Todd Hamilton winning majors. They are great players, just not great at scoring. This is golf where you have to be very smart and manage your game BETTER.
Pettersson with a make!! I saw him at Colonial and chatted for a bit. He told me to look away when he was about to swing. Said, "you won't learn anything from watching me." 11:53
I should have read that putt for Kevin Na. It's not that much break. Straightens out.
Branden Grace comes from the same South African roots of the Sunshine Tour that Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen have recently come from. You'll be hearing from him. Highly capable. 12:08
Recently got new irons and was interested in project x shafts but didn't get them. The club fitter also expressed that he didn't like them. Well, Andy Zhang is using them. If a 14 year-old qualifies with them, gotta work. I know a lot of those Bradenton guys, it's going to be a long road. Hope he can be patient. 12:15
"@DKateeb: What's wrong with Peter Hanson? +5 thru 6"
I can only say from looking at stats that he tends to miss right. He's a great putter inside 10 feet but from 10-15 he's a bit average. I think he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I don't see him as a major contender, but he's had some good finishes this year. 12:24
In case anyone is wondering, we'll do a traditional 18 hole Monday playoff if there is a tie on Sunday. 12:31
Looks like Grace is going to make a big number. Dude has a ton of game, can happen to anyone. Grace has beat Schwartzel, Oosthuizen in some head-to-heads over the years on the Sunshine Tour. Good experience for him this week. He just turned 23 years old.
I really think People magazine did these pairings. The USGA is usually so stuffy. This is very fun. Toms with Davis Love is awesome, future Ryder Cup captains. Love it. Toms is at that point in the career.... Sleeper? Why not?
Michael Allen is a member at Olympic and just holed out. Even. Age just a number. He can win, no doubt.
Some golf pros asked me yesterday if I think Keegan or Bubba will be long-term standouts on Tour. Yes, I think so. Keegan has major game, this is a good setup for him. He's struggled this year and I've watched him struggle with his chipping and pitching. If he manages that and his emotions, he's as good as anyone. 12:45
Carl Pettersson just hit a really great bunker shot on 18. He's playing with a great motive: His wife promised his kids that they would buy a dog if he won a major. Go Peter, one of the good guys. 12:50
Where Jason Bohn just missed his tee shot on 13, that's dead. I think Phil got it wrong. HE missed his tee shot left on 13 and made birdie. Bohn will make a bogey, promise you. That's dead over there. All downhill, downhill lie, long is trouble. Lucky the pin is there and he has some green. We'll see..
I really don't see why Michael Allen can't win this. Home course, grew up here, hits it good enough. Mature. Why not.
May not look it, that was a BRILLIANT SHOT from Bohn. Very impressive. He's in that category of guys that I really like to watch: Chalmers, Chad Campbell, etc. Guys who play really steady and will just par you to death. But those guys are not in the field! You gotta qualify!
Na has to be thinking: The USGA probably loves that I'm getting all this TV time. They're gonna send me to "pace of play school" and give me a lack of speeding ticket
That up and down from Bohn was very nice.
Tiger is looking really solid. One bird, one bogey. That 3rd hole, his 13th (started on 9) is a really pivotal hole in the round. Can easily make bogey there, I've done it. 1:09
This is how a US Open should be. You miss as wild as Marino does, you should make big numbers.
Right now, fantasy goers, I'd be paying a lot of attention to David Toms, Michael Allen. Jason Bohn is a loose canon at times, but if he makes it to Friday, could be a factor.
Hmmm. Joe LaCava used to work for Fred Couples. Couples made the cut in 1998 but shot 79-71 on the weekend. 1:18
That shot Tiger just hit. Wow. He is looking REALLY GREAT tee to green.
Rickie Fowler, who hasn't teed off yet, made the cut in the 2004 US Junior and 2007 US Amateur. Not sure if anyone else made match play in both, but I'm sure there are a couple. Good experience for him and Skovy today.
Kyle Stanley has really been struggling. I don't think he does well with the spotlight but I'll tell you one thing - he's a Pacific Northwest guy and I bet he feels very comfortable looking at these big trees and lush green grass.
This dude Woods might have a career ahead of him.
Phil's highest round playing with Tiger is a 75. In jeopardy. Don't think he'll WD this week.....
Meanwhile...Patrick Cantlay... who has taken the complete opposite approach to his career than Tiger. Played his way into pga tour status without much of a junior resume.... he was not impressive at all to me on the range at Riviera this year. But congrats to him on the Ben Hogan award. Recognizes grades as well as golf. He's had to jumble a lot....
Tiger got to the top by winning tournaments at every level. Baby steps.
The way Tiger is playing tee to green right now, he's doing about as well as you can do.
The last hole he birdied, the fourth, that second shot is so tough visually. I think it's the toughest approach on a par four out there, since 17 is no longer a 4. You don't know how good that is until you see where he was from ground level. Excellent.
Remind you of anyone? Tiger drops a big curver. That's purr-ddy.
Those are some incredible crowds out there...wow!!
2:22 CT... C.A. Schmidt
I'll bring this Tiger group home... Tiger, Phil and Bubba are in the logjam that is the 7th tee box. Been there about 10 minutes already, still waiting. That's what a driveable par-4 -- and everyone can get there today -- will do to you.
A couple of other thoughts on today while we're waiting...
Tiger looks great. A couple of wonky putts, but that's nit-picking.
Phil is... ummm... Phil? Are you there? He's probably mad he's not buying the SF Giants instead of the Padres. A lovely +6 thru 16.
Bubba... hasn't been into it all week. This was predictable.
David Toms -- seriously? How has he pulled his game together since last week? He was a million over at TPC Southwind thru two rounds, and he was terrible at Colonial too.
So Phil hooks it way left of the driveable No. 7 -- birdie is a 30/70 proposition for him at best. Tiger drill-cuts a 3-wood into the greenside bunker and should be able to knock it close. Bubba just wants to go home, and that shot showed it. Aimed 75 yards right of the green trying to play a bender with the driver and it didn't come back that much. Old Bubba would be screaming right now, but new Bubba doesn't seem to care that much.
I love it when Terry Gannon tries to create imaginative shots for the pros. You know, because of all of his experience as a golfer. Let Blackmar do that, pal.
That was just a shockingly bad bunker shot from Tiger. Missed the green. He taps in a par putt after a good up, however. Bubba makes his par, and Lefty whiffs a 10-footer that would've helped keep his interest. Phil appears to be grinding out there, but that might have broken his spirit. His next little par-3 tee shot will be interesting. Predicting a fore call.
I call it a design flaw when they have to tee off on the ninth hole to start a round. In my best Andy Samburg / Nick Cage voice: "THIS IS THE US OPEN! WE TEE OFF ON 1 AND 10!"
Phil predictions: 0-1.
How about Bubba taking a peek at the club Tiger hit there? That was funny. He should've pretended like he was LaCava and just taken the club from him to get a look.
All three are safely on the green or fringe, should be three pars here.
Assuming that par for Lefty, if he can shoot 68-69 the next two days, he's far from out of it. Winning score is going to be less than -3, you can book that. Tiger played great today and he's going to shoot 69, so he's got an over-par round coming. I don't think Michael Thompson is going to hold up at -4 (which leads by three shots right now). There are only four players under par.
The Big 3 group is in: Tiger (69, -1, and very bald now), Phil (76) and Bubba (78). Not what the USGA was hoping for across the board when they put these guys together.
6. Tiger (-1, very solid)
5. Peter Hanson (+9, shoot me now)
4. Dufner (yet to tee off)
3. Kuchar (yet to tee off)
2. Lefty (+6, not dead yet, but not good)
1. Westwood (yet to tee off, but as I said this tee time sets up well for him. He now knows anything around par will get him onto page one of the 'board.)
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