It's late Wednesday night, just enough time for me to make some last-minute calls for the week.
Biggest Surprise: Phil Mickelson. Phil will lumber to the first tee Thursday morning a la Kirk Gibson. Then to everyone's surprise, Bones will hand him the 3rd driver he's carrying this week which is actually right-handed and proceed to stripe one 320 down the middle. After an opening-round 67, Phil will point out that among the many things Butch Harmon has taught him, the most valuable was reminding him that he's not actually left-handed.
Strangest Moment: Aaron Baddeley given a slow-play penalty on #3 after stopping for thirty minutes to pray in the Church Pews.
Winner: Trip Kuehne (A). After becoming the first famous victim of Tiger's back at the '94 Amateur, Trip will be paired with Tiger again come Sunday and psyche out the world's number one by showing up to the first tee in a pink and white striped shirt and donning a big straw hat. He'll come from six down on the back to defeat Woods, the most amazing shot being when Kuehne elects to use a putter off the 18th tee, sinks the 484 yard putt for double-eagle and asks, "How do you like me now?" (Official Prediction: Aaron Baddeley).
Runner-up: Shaun Micheel. Anytime tour pros are up against a course this hard, I naturally go with the guy taking testosterone supplements. (Official Prediction: Justin Rose).
Biggest Tragedy: Rhys Davies gets lost walking from #1 to #2 and is run over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
2nd Biggest Tragedy: Fred Funk unable to reach the 288 yard par three 8th in not just one shot, but two.
How Hard Are Oakmont's Greens on Thursday?: Sergio Garcia tries to show his anger at #15 and takes three attempts to get his loogie in the cup.
Stay tuned for more thoughts as Round One unfolds...