U.S. Open: Day 1

Shaved Areas With Scrub

You fucking pervert, that’s not in reference to what you’re thinking. Shaved chipping areas and scrub areas instead of rough are what anyone covering the U.S. Open is talking about right now. This of course is in reference to the 2011 renovations made to Pinehurst’s No. 2 course executed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The C&C team came to Pinehurst with the USGA’s blessing and removed the rough to restore the look of the course from circa 1940. Bill and Ben believed the images they recovered from 70 years ago reflected Ross’ original design, however, they adjusted some of the landing areas to play more to the equipment of 2014. The reviews are nothing but positive.

That’s an image of the 18th hole looking back to the clubhouse. In 1999 and 2005 this part of the hole was Bermuda grass rough. As you can see now, the same land is native grass and sand that is referred to as scrub. There is no actual rough on the golf course and the fairways only have minimal irrigation. The course will play firm and fast, the greens will be like hitting to a table top, and a players ability to hit a recovery shot from the scrub will depend largely on luck. The Open at Pinehurst should be a golf fan’s dream to watch, but it may feel more like a British Open than our traditional national championship.

Four Please!

Thursday can’t get here soon enough. By then it will be nearly 60 days since a shot has been hit in a major championship. I’m frothing at the mouth for some action so lets look at the pairings made by the USGA for the first two rounds.

Thursday (June 12), hole #1 / Friday (June 13), hole #10

6:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Daniel Berger, Jupiter, Fla.; Brett Stegmaier, Vero Beach, Fla.; TBD

6:56 a.m. – 12:41 p.m. – Marcel Siem, Germany; Brian Stuard, Jackson, Mich.; Andrea Pavan, Italy

7:07 a.m. – 12:52 p.m. – Matt Every, Jacksonville, Fla.; Roberto Castro, Atlanta, Ga.; Matt Jones, Australia

7:18 a.m. – 1:03 p.m. – Sergio Garcia, Spain; Jason Day, Australia; Brandt Snedeker, Nashville, Tenn.

7:29 a.m. – 1:14 p.m. – Henrik Stenson, Sweden; Matt Kuchar, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Lee Westwood, England

7:40 a.m. – 1:25 p.m. – Webb Simpson, Charlotte, N.C.; Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland; Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland

7:51 a.m. – 1:36 p.m. – Ian Poulter, England; Miguel Angel Jimenez, Spain; Thongchai Jaidee, Thailand

8:02 a.m. – 1:47 p.m. – Nick Watney, Sacramento, Calif.; Jonas Blixt, Sweden; Joost Luiten, Netherlands

8:13 a.m. – 1:58 p.m. – Billy Horschel, Ponte Vedra, Fla.; Billy Hurley III, Annapolis, Md.; Robert Allenby, Australia

8:24 a.m. – 2:09 p.m. – Aaron Baddeley, Australia; (a) Oliver Goss, Australia; Aron Price, Australia

8:35 a.m. – 2:20 p.m. – Tom Lewis, England; TBD; Justin Thomas, Goshen, Ky.

8:46 a.m. – 2:31 p.m. – (a) Robby Shelton, Wilmer, Ala.; Matthew Dobyns, Lake Success, N.Y.; Brady Watt, Australia

8:57 a.m. – 2:42 p.m. – Clayton Rask, Otsego, Minn.; (a) Brian Campbell, Irvine, Calif.; Nicholas Mason, Denver, Colo.

Thursday (June 12), hole #10 / Friday (June 13), hole #1

6:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Henrik Norlander, Sweden; Lucas Bjerregaard, Denmark; Rob Oppenheim, Andover, Mass.

6:56 a.m. – 12:41 p.m. – Chad Collins, Cloverdale, Ind.; Kyoung-Hoon Lee, Republic of Korea; Kevin Kisner, Aiken, S.C.

7:07 a.m. – 12:52 p.m. – Erik Compton, Coral Gables, Fla.; Pablo Larrazabal, Spain; Scott Langley, Jupiter, Fla.

7:18 a.m. – 1:03 p.m. – Patrick Reed, Houston, Texas; Ryan Moore, Las Vegas, Nev.; TBD

7:29 a.m. – 1:14 p.m. – Boo Weekley, Jay, Fla.; D.A. Points, Purcellville, Va.; Stephen Gallacher, Scotland

7:40 a.m. – 1:25 p.m. – Zach Johnson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Angel Cabrera, Argentina; David Toms, Shreveport, La.

7:51 a.m. – 1:36 p.m. – Justin Rose, England; (a) Matthew Fitzpatrick, England; Phil Mickelson, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

8:02 a.m. – 1:47 p.m. – Chris Kirk, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Russell Henley, Macon, Ga.; Brendon Todd, Atlanta, Ga.

8:13 a.m. – 1:58 p.m. – Jordan Spieth, Dallas, Texas; Hideki Matsuyama, Japan; Rickie Fowler, Murrieta, Calif.

8:24 a.m. – 2:09 p.m. – Kenny Perry, Franklin, Ky.; Jeff Maggert, The Woodlands, Texas; Kevin Sutherland, Sacramento, Calif.

8:35 a.m. – 2:20 p.m. – Wen-Chong Liang, People’s Republic of China; Maximilian Kieffer, Germany; Shiv Kapur, India

8:46 a.m. – 2:31 p.m. – Smylie Kaufman, Vestavia, Ala.; (a) Maverick McNealy, Portola Valley, Calif.; TBD

8:57 a.m. – 2:42 p.m. – Anthony Broussard, Addison, Texas; (a) Will Grimmer, Cincinnati, Ohio; Nicholas Lindheim, Satellite Beach, Fla.

Thursday (June 12), hole #1 / Friday (June 13), hole #10

12:30 p.m. – 6:45 a.m. – Garth Mulroy, South Africa; Steven Alker, New Zealand; Bobby Gates, Magnolia, Texas

12:41 p.m. – 6:56 a.m. – Niclas Fasth, Sweden; Kiyoshi Miyazato, Japan; Hudson Swafford, St. Simons Island, Ga.

12:52 p.m. – 7:07 a.m. – John Senden, Australia; Nicolas Colsaerts, Belgium; Brooks Koepka, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

1:03 p.m. – 7:18 a.m. – Dustin Johnson, Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Jimmy Walker, Boerne, Texas; Victor Dubuisson, France

1:14 p.m. – 7:29 a.m. – Stewart Cink, Duluth, Ga.; Justin Leonard, Dallas, Texas; Y.E. Yang, Republic of Korea

1:25 p.m. – 7:40 a.m. – Bubba Watson, Bagdad, Fla.; Adam Scott, Australia; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa

1:36 p.m. – 7:51 a.m. – Ernie Els, South Africa; Darren Clarke, Northern Ireland; Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa

1:47 p.m. – 8:02 a.m. – Jason Dufner, Auburn, Ala.; Keegan Bradley, Woodstock, Vt.; Martin Kaymer, Germany

1:58 p.m. – 8:13 a.m. – Hunter Mahan, Dallas, Texas; Francesco Molinari, Italy; Jamie Donaldson, Wales

2:09 p.m. – 8:24 a.m. – Bo Van Pelt, Jenks, Okla.; Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Spain; Seung-Yul Noh, Republic of Korea

2:20 p.m. – 8:35 a.m. – Danny Willett, England; (a) Cory Whitsett, Houston, Texas; Luke Guthrie, Jacksonville, Fla.

2:31 p.m. – 8:46 a.m. – Kevin Tway, Edmond, Okla.; James Renner, Plainville, Mass.; Chris Doak, Scotland

2:42 p.m. – 8:57 a.m. – Cody Gribble, Dallas, Texas; Chris Thompson, Lawrence, Kan.; (a) Andrew Dorn, West Chester, Ohio

Thursday (June 12), hole #10 / Friday (June 13), hole #1

12:30 p.m. – 6:45 a.m. – Alex Cejka, Germany; Graeme Storm, England; David Oh, Cerritos, Calif.

12:41 p.m. – 6:56 a.m. – Oliver Fisher, England; Casey Wittenberg, Memphis, Tenn.; Andres Echavarria, Colombia

12:52 p.m. – 7:07 a.m. – Joe Ogilvie, Austin, Texas; Mark Wilson, Elmhurst, Ill.; Ken Duke, Palm City, Fla.

1:03 p.m. – 7:18 a.m. – Jim Furyk, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Steve Stricker, Madison, Wis.; Bill Haas, Greenville, S.C.

1:14 p.m. – 7:29 a.m. – Brendon De Jonge, Zimbabwe; Kevin Stadler, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Shane Lowry, Republic of Ireland

1:25 p.m. – 7:40 a.m. – Luke Donald, England; Harris English, Sea Island, Ga.; Paul Casey, England

1:36 p.m. – 7:51 a.m. – J.B. Holmes, Campbellsville, Ky.; Gary Woodland, Topeka, Kan.; Graham DeLaet, Canada

1:47 p.m. – 8:02 a.m. – Retief Goosen, South Africa; Geoff Ogilvy, Australia; Lucas Glover, Sea Island, Ga.

1:58 p.m. – 8:13 a.m. – TBD; Hyung-Sung Kim, Republic of Korea; Toru Taniguchi, Japan

2:09 p.m. – 8:24 a.m. – Ryan Palmer, Amarillo, Texas; Rod Pampling, Australia; Kevin Streelman, Scottsdale, Ariz.

2:20 p.m. – 8:35 a.m. – Azuma Yano, Japan; Ryan Blaum, Champions Gate, Fla.; David Gossett, Austin, Texas

2:31 p.m. – 8:46 a.m. – Simon Griffiths, England; Fran Quinn, Holden, Mass.; Donald Constable, Excelsior, Minn.

2:42 p.m. – 8:57 a.m. – (a) Hunter Stewart, Lexington, Ky.; Jason Millard, Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Zac Blair, St. George, Utah

That Thursday 1:47 group is interesting. Goosen is playing in his last Open from his 10 year exemption for winning at Shinnecock in 2004. Similarly, Glover is doing the same as the exemptions were changed to 5 years for his victory at Bethpage in 2009. The third member of the group, Geoff Ogilvy will be in the same boat as his playing companions soon when his 10 year exemption from winning at Winged Foot in 2006 ends in 2016.

The 1:14 group of de Jonge, Lowery, and Stadler is obviously the group of fat guys (yes, the USGA has a sense of humor with these, no bull shit). Bubba, Adam Scott, and Charl Schwartzel in the same group is tasty even if you’re not a Bubba fan. Keegan Bradley playing with buddy Jason Dufner should provide for some good Twitter post-round commentary. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb are joined by another former PGA Champion in Martin Kaymer. I think the USGA put Furyk, Stricker, and Bill Haas together to remind them all that they haven’t won a major (or enough of them in Furyk’s case).

Young guns? Yeah, the USGA gave us that group too in Fowler, Spieth, and Matsuyama. All are under 24 and all have 1 tour win to their credit. The USGA also put the 2010, 2011, and 2012 champs all in the same group with GMac, Rory, and Webb Simpson. The two groups in front of them are tasty too. Sergio, Snedeker, and Jason Day in front of Stenson, Kuchar, and Westwood. Then there’s Pablo Larrazabal hanging out with Scott Langley and Erik Compton. Why do we care? Well….I told you about Compton’s back story after he qualified last week. Besides that, Larrazabal in any field playing golf stateside is a good thing because then we get to see model girlfriend, Gala.

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Want more Gala? Go back to my post from when Pablo won in the middle east from earlier this year. She’s worth the look.

Bored Tiger

Strangely absent from the tee times above is the name of Tiger Woods. Not strange because we expected him to play, we knew he’d be out after his March back surgery. It is just plain strange not to see him in the field. Remember, this will be the 24th straight major played that he has not won. It’s a shame that he’s sitting it out too. A U.S. Open with no rough is perfect for him. An open in which the winner will need a phenomenal short game, well….that’s even better. I think a healthy Tiger would have been right there with a chance on Sunday no matter what swing he showed up with, but we’ll never know for sure.

Clearly TW is getting bored with sitting around the house recovering from surgery. Just look at his latest tweet.

Huh? Yes, you read it right. He’s wishing his barber good luck in some competition. Was he hacked? And why does he even have a barber? TW is balding at a Furyk-like pace. A barber taking money from him is criminal.

The Answer Is Not Steve Williams Or Bones

Who’s the richest caddie at Pinehurst this week? Well, not either of the millionaires mentioned above. Shocking, right? The correct answer is the caddie for amateur Maverick McNealy. Mav is a freshman at Stanford and he qualified for the open last week fresh off his team’s final four appearance in the NCAA Championship.

Scott McNealy, Maverick McNealy

Maverick’s dad is Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy who is a billionaire. That’s not a typo, BILLIONAIRE with a B. I hear he’s not a bad player in his own right. For him to take a week away from his professional obligations to caddie for his amateur son in the U.S. Open is pretty fucking cool.

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