Mickelson gets best of Woods, Scott as all three have work to do
SAN DIEGO -- If you wanted to hang with the glamour group Thursday, you had to play hurt.
I'm not just talking about Tiger Woods' surgically repaired left knee, which left him grimacing by round's end. I'm not just talking about Adam Scott's broken bone in his right hand, which he described as "pretty miserable." And I'm not just talking about Phil Mickelson tweaking his wrist while fluttering one horrible shot all of seven feet through the rough.
I'm talking about the older fan who reportedly passed out amid the crowd before the marquee group of Woods, Scott and Mickelson teed off at 8:06 a..m. local time. And the guy who fell out of a tree behind the first green as that group went by, avoiding injury but not avoiding a mud bath. And the guy who was clonked by Woods' ball after an errant fairway wood sizzled past the ropes on the ninth hole.And the thousands of other fans who bumped, jostled and stepped on each other while chasing golf royalty around Torrey Pines. This was the true San Diego Zoo. It was rough out there. Rough enough that the world's top three players couldn't break par on a day when plenty of others did. And rough enough that the roving mob that passed for a gallery couldn't stay out of its own way.
"It was pretty loud at times," Woods said. "Overall, it wasn't as bad as I thought. I think there have been more people before, but I haven't seen this many people inside the ropes."That's where the media members are. Tiger estimated that throng at more than 100, surrounded by a big breakfast club outside the ropes. The fans were willing to endure predawn indignities to see one of the most-anticipated threesomes in U.S. Open history: perennial major favorite Woods, hometown favorite Mickelson, female favorite Scott. By 6 a.m., lines snaked endlessly around the bus staging area at Qualcomm Stadium just to get a ride to the golf course. By 7:55 a.m., after Joe Ogilvie, Mark Calcavecchia and Oliver Wilson had hit their first shots of the U.S. Open, the mob had engulfed the first tee.
Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at ESPN4D@aol.com.
108th U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
18-hole playoff• Tiger wins 3rd Open in playoff | Watch | Scores
• Forde: Tiger's win was greatest Open ever
• Harig: Haney puts Open No. 1 on Tiger's win list
• Wojciechowski: Tiger, Rocco save sports
• Watch: North's analysis | Reilly's take on Mediate
• Watch: On The Tee: Woods had to grind for win
• Watch: Woods, Mediate discuss epic playoff
• Watch: PTI's Wilbon, Kornheiser talk Tiger
• Photos: The playoff | Tiger's 14 major wins
• Sobel, Harig recap Tiger's victory
• Sobel's U.S. Open blog | Harig chat wrap
• Vote: Can Tiger overtake Nicklaus?
• Top performances of athletes play in pain | Rank
Fourth round• Tiger forces Open playoff | Watch | Photos
• Forde: Tiger's mind vs. his knee to decide Open
• Harig: Mediate finally 'back' on track
• Westwood odd man out of U.S. Open playoff
• Watch highlights: Tiger | Mediate | Westwood
• Jason Sobel's round 4 U.S. Open blog
Third round• Woods surges into U.S. Open lead | Photo gallery
• Forde: As others faltered, Woods held it together • Harig: Uphill battle for Westwood, Mediate
• Sobel: A plan for contenders | U.S. Open blog
• Watch: Rd. 3 analysis ... Highlights | Tiger
• Watch: Reilly's take | Sunday predictions
• Watch: Westwood | Mediate | Ogilvy | Lefty
• Chip Shots: Floundering Phil cards a quad
• Bell: Strong mind helps Woods overcome pain
Second round• Harig: In a blink, Woods changed everything • Appleby up 1 | Watch: Tiger, Phil highlights
• Harig: Love has 'major' plans | Watch
• Forde: No. 18 presents risks, rewards
• Watch: Highlights | Best of Rd. 2 | Rd. 3 preview
• Watch: Reilly's ode to the Open | Photo gallery
• Watch: On The Tee's second round recap
• Watch interviews: Phil Mickelson | D.J. Trahan
• 3 Up, 3 Down: First-round leaders fade fast
• Chip Shots: Cabrera makes early exit
• Sobel: Blog jinx working OT in round 2
• On The Tee: Is U.S. Open Tiger's to lose?
First round• Forde: Circus came to town for opening round • Watch: North, Ravech look ahead to 2nd round
• Watch: Forde, Sobel, Harig on round 1 leaders
• Watch: Reilly on who's cooler ... Tiger or Phil?
• Harig: Hicks (68) wants to extend his 15 minutes • Opening-round recap | Highlights | Photos
• Harig: Red numbers not endangered Thursday
• Chip Shots: Who needs a driver, right Lefty?
• 3UP, 3DN: Cabrera on wrong side of the list
• Jason Sobel's blog: Who got Romo'd?
• Sobel/Harig discuss unlikely Open leaders
Latest News• Heckler tangles with Scott's caddie at No. 9
• Fans outside ropes to face first smoke-free Open
• Woods says knee is sore, but he's 'good to go'
• Woods plays nine, shows no limp
• Report: Scott nurses broken finger, will play
• Tiger, Phil paired in star-studded groupings
• Tiger plays first round since Masters
• As Open nears, rehabbing Tiger hasn't gone 18
• Four players win playoffs to make U.S. Open field
• Round 1, Round 2 tee times
Podcasts• On The Tee: Sobel talks to Imada
• On The Tee: Sobel talks to Okla.. St.'s Fowler
Golf Digest• 'Philip' Mickelson knows Torrey Pines well
• 6 things to know about Torrey Pines
• Torrey Pines course map | More coverage
USOpen.com• Spectator info | U.S. Open championship history
• Player bios | USOpen.com | Golf blogs