GolfWRX Morning 9: US Open strikes back | Pro shoots 92 | Marquee carnage
Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note to start your day.
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Good Friday morning, golf fans.Yesterday, in discussing the PGA of America’s president’s DUI, I made an inappropriate remark about past president Ted Bishop based on rumor rather than established fact. it was a poor choice, and I retract my comment about his state of sobriety during the “lil girl” tweet.
1. Is this U.S. Open you were looking for?
Only four players broke par on a day when winds gusted as high as 32 mph, and the course dried out from the one-tenth of an inch of rain that fell on the property on Wednesday.
2. Putting troubles continue for Tiger
One of the longest and strongest player-putter relationships has to be under some serious strain. Tiger Woods carded an opening-round 78 that saw him throwing away strokes on the green.
3. Carnage among the top class
Things didn’t exactly go well for the morning’s marquee group–which will doubtless give featured group truther, Rory McIlroy, more ammunition.
4. Hope lives for Mickelson
While Phil Mickelson didn’t speak with the media following his opening-round 77, Tim Rosaforte was apparently able to catch up with Lefty later…probably thanks in part to how bad the afternoon scores were.
5. The cruelty of No. 11
While all eyes were trained on No. 7 following 2004’s mishandled treatment of the hole, No. 11 actually merits further examination this time around (which isn’t to say it’s being mismanaged…just really hard).
Scott Gregory turned in an opening-round 92 at Shinnecock–the first opening round in the 90s in a U.S. open in 26 years. Since World War II, there have been 43 scores of 90 or higher in the championship. John Battini’s 96 in 1955 is the highest.
7. Notable quotable
The USGA’s official remarks on the course in round one.
“The golf course is in excellent condition. We are extremely pleased with the agronomics and presentation. Today’s setup reflects the challenging wind conditions that have been forecast. Green Speeds – With the heavy wind forecast, putting greens have been appropriately prepared from a speed and firmness perspective. We expect putting green speeds to be in the area of 11 feet 6 inches by midday. Firmness – Damp conditions Wednesday resulted in a more receptive golf course for Round 1.”
CHARLES HOWELL III: I was most impressed with how the golf course was set up, to be honest. I thought this morning, with as hard as the wind was blowing, the balls would start kind of oscillating and moving by the middle of our round, and they didn’t. I think a lot of credit goes to the USGA and Mike Davis for what they’ve done today. I was here in ’04, my last competitive round here. I’ve still got some scar tissue from that. But they did a heck of a job today.
8. The Unfortunate Case of Johnny McDermott
Deviating from this U.S. Open in particular to U.S. Opens in general. Or, more specifically (confused yet?) the first American-born U.S. Open winner.
Playing in his first major, South African Dean Burmester stood on the 18th tee at seven over par. Burmester bypassed all trouble on the 18th, obliterating his drive 411 yards at the downwind 485-yard hole-he had but a finessed wedge left to the back left pin.