Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
On Monday Brian said his computer was the only one that could get the feed from USOPEN.COM, so he became the go-to guy for updates on the Tiger/Rocco match. After a while, he just started posting the hole by hole scores on this whiteboard in his cube so he wouldn't have to recap all the action every time somebody new came up.
In other cube news, my friend Mike forwarded me what he deemed "the nerdiest Tiger story this week":
"Many US and Canadian ISPs thought they were under a massive denial of service attack yesterday — traffic spiked by hundreds of gigabits across North America. Turns out that the traffic was due to live streaming of the U.S. Open. and Tiger Woods' nail-biting victory."
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
DRIVING RANGE, MONDAY
What You Saw: Tiger on the range, warming up.
What You Didn’t See: How he got there. Every day of the week, Tiger hit balls in one of two spots, both near the far left side of the range. But on Monday the USGA decided to place Tiger and Rocco’s name placards along with two pyramids of golf balls and place them fifteen yards apart from each other on the far right side of the range. It was so picture perfect that a cameraman from ESPN was squatting down to capture the symmetry when Tiger entered the range from the putting green. He walks right past his assigned spot, says nothing, and just points to the left with his putter, toward his old spot on the far end. Two workers spring into action, one grabbing the placard and the other trying to pick up the pyramid without all the balls toppling. It’s too late. Stevie is already crossing in with a basket of balls in his hand, the whole episode a reminder that this isn’t Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf. It’s the U.S. frickin’ Open.
Torrey Pines' non-resident weekend rate for the South Course is $237.
Monday, June 16, 2008
So many great pieces have already been written about today, like:
Pat Forde's ESPN article...
Larry Dorman's NY Times piece...
and Gene Wojciechowski's "Tiger and Rocco save sports" piece...
There's another story I'd love to hear, but only you can tell it -- where did you watch Monday's round?
I heard from a good friend in Dallas who said his 200-employee office came to a complete standstill Monday afternoon. Their CEO had the only TV but, tragically, he's not a golfer. So everyone switched to USOPEN.COM's streaming coverage, a move that completely clogged the company's network. The only solution was to designate a handful of computers as the golf hubs, converging the office into these little clusters of ten or twelve people from upper management to assistants. It did more for office camaraderie than any trust walk or corporate retreat.
I'm guessing his story's not the only one. What's yours?
**As for what it was like for ME, I'm working on a new piece for ESPN.com. I'll link to it when they post it.
**In the meantime, check back this week for some funny and most likely not even kinda true post-Open stories...
**And yes, as a reader pointed out, time to lift the June Gloom backdrop on this site and get something a little brighter up for a few days before reverting back to the standard black.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
"I like the dark horse out of the blue picks. Is this course just way to long for the short hitter to win? I’m thinking guys like Rocco Mediate."
Nice call, Andy. I responded by saying:
"Rocco? Hmm... he's usually good for a round but then fades."
Selfishly, I can only hope Rocco's been saving that round where he fades for tomorrow.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
An original draft of Round 3 was written by Emmy-winner and 24 Creator Joel Surnow and called for Tiger to birdie all eighteen holes while uncovering and eliminating a terrorist plot. In the end, NBC thought it was too dark and the USGA felt 18-straight birdies didn't reflect the "fair but tough" test they try to bring to the National Championship.
"I was just told we were just making a new Gillette razor commercial," said Sweden's Robert Karlsson, who was cast to play "Man #1" in Round 3. But Karlsson became suspicious when after three-plus hours on set, no one had mentioned shaving.
In the end, it was Tiger's two eagles and chip-in within six holes that ultimately proved too much for viewers to buy, millions of whom called their friends with the same comment, "That did NOT just happen!" They were right.
In the actual U.S. Open, Kenny Perry currently leads Joe Durant by three strokes heading into Sunday.
7:13 p.m.: Look, I'm not one to throw out superlatives and when it comes to overemphasizing a Tiger Woods accomplishment as compared with something else he's done in his career, I think we need to be very careful. But the last six holes of today's round may have been the most compelling six rounds of golf in Tiger Woods' career. Not as groundbreaking as the 1997 Masters, not as dominant as the 2000 U.S. Open, not as dramatic as the 2000 PGA Championship. But compelling? Absolutely.
Also can you find me in the picture on the right from #16? I'm wearing my red TW hat and shielding my eyes from the sun.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tiger: "Psst... I didn't really have knee surgery."
Tiger: "Seriously, if the Olympics won't take golf, what do you say you and I give synchronized swimming a shot?"
Tiger: "You could have just told me what time it was, we didn't have to do this whole complicated maneuver."
Phil: "Just hurry up, I can't hold this position very long."
Tiger: "I clearly called 'Green shirt -- Friday.' Why was that so hard to remember?"
#3 -- Makeable birdie. Uphill, right to left. Plus he had the read off Mickelson's par putt.
#6 -- Makeable birdie. Uphill, and again had the read off Mickelson. Just short.
#7 -- Downhill, left to right. Had a chance but fell off. The drunk guy in front of me said he was going to run down the hole nude if it went in. On second thought, maybe I should be okay with this one not falling.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
It reminded me of The Office episode where Michael Scott wraps his foot in bubble wrap after burning it on his George Foreman Grill. His explanation:
"I enjoy having breakfast in bed. I like waking up to the smell of bacon. Sue me. And since I don't have a butler I have to do it myself... most nights before I go to bed I will lay out 6 strips of bacon out on my foreman grill. Then I go to sleep. When I wake up I plug in the grill. I go back to sleep again, then I wake up to the smell of crackling bacon. It is delicious, it's good for me, it's a perfect way to start the day. Today I got up, I stepped on to the grill and it clamped on to my foot. That's it. I don't see what's so hard to believe about that."
Monday, June 9, 2008
Pat's most famous for giving his ball the finger a few years ago, one of many not so friendly incidents that have limited the amount of TV coverage producers are willing to risk on him.
Woody is well, animated as well. There's this famous you tube worthy moment back in 1997... And this one too...
At first glance Levet, a Frenchman, doesn't quite fit the mold of these two. But a little research revealed he's no monk. This story about Levet from the UK Guardian tells of a few blow-ups, the best being this one:
"His finest explosion on a golf course came when Levet hit a wedge to 10 feet, marked and cleaned his ball, studied the line and then missed the putt. Patiently he went through the routine again and missed again. And again. And again. After the fourth time he went up to his ball with malice in his heart and whacked it back down the fairway. He took the new yardage from his caddie, pitched back on to the green and eventually found the hole with his tenth shot."
Yes, that's Levet being sprayed down after winning the Andalucia Open. Maybe officials should have a little bubbly on hand in case this group gets out of hand.
I'm heading down to the Open on Tuesday and hoping to be on the course a bit Wednesday. If you don't hear anything from me, I've been swallowed alive in the graduated rough.
Also, I should have a short piece in the San Diego Union Tribune mid-week sometime. I'll link to it when it's up.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Despite the Pope being one of the planet's most recognizable figures, the USGA's Mike Davis is not concerned that his presence might clog an already crowded golf course. "If anything, we believe the Pope will bring a sense of peace and calm to the Open."
Father Federico Lombardi, official Spokesman for the Vatican, talked about the Pope's golf game at a Friday morning press conference, saying that "His Holiness is definitely a finesse player but has the strength to pull off more of a bomb 'n gouge approach when he feels it's justified." Lombardi also noted that Benedict won the principality's annual 4-ball event last fall. Asked who he was paired with, Lombardi looked toward the heavens.
Tiger, for his part, said he is looking forward to meeting the Pope and finding out why God has refused to damn his ball despite his repeated requests to do so on the course.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
11:17PM PST: A couple of personal reactions to this news:
First, if I can't land some free tickets, I probably just lost another $500 for Thursday and Friday.
Secondly, how in the world am I going to navigate that crowd and keep up with Tiger? I mean, is it insane to think that if there's 60,000 fans there each day, that 45,000 of them will be trying to get a look at that group? Just imagine trying to watch a Dodgers game where every half inning they moved to a different field.
Third, what an obvious stunt by the USGA. #1, #2 and #3 (I didn't mention Adam Scott is rounding out the group). One of my first posts last year was about the not so accidental pairings the USGA traditionally puts together, and while this isn't as funny as putting Boo, Bubba and Nobu together for last year's first 2 rounds, it's a lot more noteworthy. As a golf fan, I love it.
But it leads me to 4. As a Tiger fan, I hate it. Tiger is intimidated by no one golfer. But can he be intimidated by two? Especially when they're both taught by his old coach who knows his tricks? And when the last time Scott played with him (at the CA Championship), Scott got him by 3? And when the last time Phil played with him (at the Deutsche Bank), Phil got him by one?
Besides, isn't there something more magical about the #1 and #2 meeting naturally on the weekend of a major in a head-to-head match up they've both earned by playing well? Course if they do play well, that just might happen too.
Now if you don't mind, I have to go sell my car for U.S. Open tickets.
"For a brief period of time Wednesday quarterback Tony Romo was knocked out of practice when a defender tripped over him and stepped on his left hand.
Romo appeared to have two fingers taped for precautionary reasons after being examined by head athletic trainer Jim Maurer. He took some snaps from center Andre Gurode before returning to work for the final parts of seven-on-seven and team drills.Romo did not speak after the practice, but he had the cuts cleaned out. It didn't look to affect his play at all."
Sure, getting your left hand stepped on doesn't affect your play so much as a right-handed quarterback, but he might need it at Torrey Pines...
In case you've missed GD's nine-month publicity push on this, last year at Oakmont Tiger said that a 10-handicapper couldn't break 100 under real Open conditions. The mag decided to challenge the statement and have put together a foursome of 3 celebs (Tony Romo, Justin Timberlake, and Matt Lauer) along with a no-name (cancer fighter John Atkinson) to put Tiger's statement to the test.
Golf Digest has a breakdown of the celebs and their chances, here, but a not-so-close look reveals one glaring problem -- none of these celebs are 10-handicappers. In fact, Romo is nearly scratch and actually attempted to qualify for the Open. Golf Digest editor Bob Carney defends their choice to field better players, admitting that the critique is "a fair one," but ultimately argues:
"The only pretty sure bet to break 100 in the foursome is Tony Romo."
So from this can we assume Carney has confirmed that Jessica Simpson will not be in the gallery?
As for the no-name 8-handicapper John Atkinson, Carney says they "wanted a bit of drama in this," a comment that seems to say they have serious doubts that anyone higher than an 8 could even stand a reasonable chance of pulling it off.
Or they're giving Tiger an out so that when they all do it, he can come back and say, "I said TEN handicap."
But bookies seem to be siding with Tiger. Here's the latest odds:
Odds of Breaking 100:
John Atkinson 3/1
Tony Romo 3/2
Matt Lauer 3/1
Justin Timberlake 5/4
John Atkinsons Score:
Over 109.5 5/6
Under 109.5 5/6
Tony Romo's Score:
Over 105.5 5/6
Under 105.5 5/6
Matt Lauer's Score:
Over 109.5 5/6
Under 109.5 5/6
Justin Timberlake's Score:
Over 104.5 5/6
Under 104.5 5/6
Will Anyone Break 100?
I'm no gambling wiz, but how can the odds be 3/2 for Romo to break 100 but 5/1 that ANYONE will break 100?
Anyway, the point is that the general belief seems to be this will be as big of a feat as Tiger claimed it would. And really, at this point shouldn't be know better than to question something Tiger says?
FYI, the U.S. Golf Digest Open Challenge is scheduled to air on NBC on Sunday of Open Week from 2-3PM.