If you listen to the show regularly, you know that I am a huge golf fan. That's why I am so giddy today. My favorite tournament--the US Open--starts today at Torrey Pines near San Diego.
A lot of people think the US Open is boring because the conditions are so hard that par is a good--and often times a winning--score. But that is what I love about it. I like seeing the pros struggle with the very same things I do on the course. Why shouldn't pros be punished for missing the fairway and having to play out of four-inch thick rough? Why shouldn't they have to worry about carrying a huge water hazard or ravine from the tee? Why shouldn't they sweat out a slippery little downhill putt that breaks more than it looks?
The USGA gets a lot of grief for the lengths to which it goes to make it as hard as possible for the pros. All of the players will complain of the length of the course--a record 76-hundred yards--the speed of the greens--an estimated 13 on the stimpmeter (or about three times as fast as the greens you'll find a the typical public course)--and the rough so thick it requires a boy scout troop to find errant shots. But to me, the look of disbelief on Tiger or Phil's faces when they don't come close to pulling off a shot makes me feel great--because that look is on my face half the time I'm out on the course.
As for a prediction on this week's tournament--I don't think Tiger can come off such a long layoff due to his knee surgery to pull out a win. My dream scenario--since the tournament ends on Father's Day--would be Phil Mickelson making a tricky birdie putt on the 72nd hole with his father, Phil Sr.--the man who taught him the game and built a putting green and bunker in the backyard so he could develop his masterful short game--sitting at greenside to watch it happen and then giving his son a big hug. Get out the hankies for that one.