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Friday, June 25, 2010
Too Short For A Column


Too much happened at this 2010 U.S. Open to fit into any 90-second TV essay, so let's catch up. Want to?

• If you're the wagering type, take some shekels and bet on Tiger Woods to win at St. Andrews. He's ready. And if there were ever a horse for a course, it's Woods for St. Andrews.

• Best moment: Late Sunday night, when winning Irishman Graeme McDowell was behind the bar at Brophy's -- a very Irish dispensary -- in Carmel, Calif., singing, quenching strangers' thirst with Guinness, and toasting Padraig Harrington and Lee Westwood on his even-par, last-man-standing win. Sláinte!

• I don't mind hard golf holes. I don't mind challenging golf holes. But when you set up a hole (the 17th) that only seven out of 83 guys can hit on Sunday -- and two of those were chunks -- that's not golf. That's a Turkish prison.

• The 14th was even stupider. From 100 yards and out, there was only an area the size of a bath mat you could hit that would allow you to stay on the green. Balls rolled off the back if they got 3 feet by the pin and all the way back into the fairway if they came up 3 feet short. What is this, Skee-Ball?

• I know. Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com and I played 14 Wednesday, and even after three days of watering, we still couldn't get a single shot to stay on the green.

• Then again, we suck.

• This is Tiger Woods' new post-fire-hydrant world. He's still the world's greatest golfer, but when he acts like a jerk, he gets called on it. Nobody is scared of him anymore. When he said the Pebble Beach greens were "awful," former USGA executive director Frank Hannigan ripped him sideways. Hannigan wrote that Woods' comments about the greens were "petulant and without meaning" and added, "Excuse me, but Tiger Woods has never done a hard day's work." Hannigan has obviously never met Gloria Allred.

• And Woods' taking veiled swipes at his caddie, Steve Williams, didn't play well in the caddie tent. He laid out Stevie for some club selections -- including on No. 10 -- but the man had a sand wedge in his hand for his second to that hole and made bogey. A sand wedge! Anyone else to blame, Tiger? Snoring sea lions, perhaps?

• Funniest moment: At the bottom of the packed grandstand at No. 7 Saturday, a guy was looking for his wife. "Susie! Susie! SUSIE!" he kept yelling. Finally, some guy in the back hollered down, "She's with Tiger!"

• At one point, NBC's Roger Maltbie called Dustin Johnson -- who blew a 3-shot lead with an I-can't-look-anymore 82 -- "Dustin Hoffman." Nah, even Rain Man can't count that high.

• Johnson is sick, though, and will win way more than his share. "Dustin Johnson at 26 is to golf what LeBron James was to hoops at 18," said Jim "Bones" Mackay, Phil Mickelson's caddie. "This kid is ridiculously, insanely talented."

• DJ's chances were fried by the third hole as he and his caddie -- local Pebble looper Bobby Brown -- looked for a tee shot that nobody would find until 19 seconds after the five minutes were up. The irony is that the jungle they were coming through is where some Pebble caddies secretly dump crappy balls that tourists have loaded into their bags, 10 and 20 at a time. "I was thinking about that when we were looking," Brown told one of his Pebble caddie pals. "I was thinking -- we've got no chance here."

• Coolest thing of the entire week: Ryo Ishikawa's driver head cover that is a replica of his own head, complete with all that salad under his visor, sunglasses, everything. Somebody needs to start a company making these things for anybody you want. Guaranteed winner. Wouldn't it be great to show up for your big men's club match with a replica of the head of your opponent?

See all of Rick Reilly's Too Short for a Column. More random mind dumps from the brain of Rick Reilly. Go fish! Be sure to check out Rick's Life of Reilly.