U.S. Open live blog
Throughout this week, ESPN.com golf writer Jason Sobel will be live blogging from the U.S. Open, bringing you inside information and analysis from Torrey Pines. Refresh this page often to keep track of all the entries during each round.
Have a question or comment for Sobel? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Teenyboppers are not the only ones disappointed we didn't get a glimpse of Adam Scott today.
- Horrendous putting display by Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey coming home. They all miss from four feet or closer.
Poulter three-putts from seven feet -- gives mock fist pump after first missed putt, then misses three foot comebacker. Casey three-putted also.. Donald missed a shot at shooting a red number. A grim display all around.
Q: What's the difference between fair and easy?
LEE WESTWOOD: Fair and easy? Well, this is fair and it's not easy. You look at the scoreboard to see the scores. If you hit it slightly off line, the golf course gives you a chance to get it up and around the greens. And then if you get it up and around the greens in the right position, you can get it up-and-down if you got the skill. Which is good. Q: [Fair.] That's the word everyone used, is it a synonym for easier or not?
ROCCO MEDIATE: No, it's not easier. Couple guys were talking yesterday, one or two of the instructors, how guys are saying the course is easy. I haven't seen easy out here. There's not one hole out here where you can fall asleep. You just have to, you got to really work upon what you're doing and more so than any other event, I think. In my opinion. It's just, it's just you have to have a much tighter tolerance here or you're going to get ripped to pieces, and I love that part about the U.S. Open. This is my favorite event.
• 2008: One round, 12 players under par (four still on the course) Players widely believed before today that this course would play easier. Looks like they were right. 5:47 p.m.: Kevin Streelman does indeed finish with a bogey at No. 9 to shoot a 3-under 68. Unless Ogilvy or Els gets hot over the final three holes, Streelman and Justin Hicks will be your leaders entering Round 2. 5:44 p.m.: A few more from the masses: • Stainless Streel
• Streel American Hero Gotta get 'em all out of the way before Streelman makes bogey (or worse) to close out his round. 5:29 p.m.: E-mail from Scott in Parts Unknown, though I'll assume he's located in Streelmanville:
- I'm 26 years old and I am convinced that Kevin Streelman is going to be the Freddie Couples of my generation. I called it in January at the Buick, when he was high-fiving fans and winking at the camera and I'm calling it again right now.
I saw him a month after the Buick when he was playing at Riviera in L.A. and he had a following of about 50 rowdy kids that was the closest thing I've seen to a Happy Gilmore gallery on the tour.
Be on the lookout for the "Nerves of Streel" t-shirts that will be selling like hotcakes in the parking lot this weekend.
This kid is legit.
- Scream from Streelman's folks after latest putting gem: "
Great read Mikey!!!"
• Nerves of Streel
• The Streel Deal Any more? The headline writers may need some help. 5:26 p.m.: As if the BLOG JINX on Ernie Els wasn't enough, I stopped watching right before Geoff Ogilvy made a bogey as well. Oops, sorry about that, fellas. 5:23 p.m.: Just going over some of the quotes from earlier today and found some interesting stuff on Adam Scott's finger -- er, his hand.
- Q: How is the finger first of all?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, it's broken. It's not my finger anyway it's my hand, but it doesn't really affect my golf swing, so I'm pretty lucky to be playing.Q: Do you have any good stories?
ADAM SCOTT: I got lots of good stories on how it happened, yeah. It's pretty miserable. But a friend slammed my hand in the door.Q: Of a car?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah.Q: Did it catch it like right here?
ADAM SCOTT: Right across the edge. Yeah, it's broken right here.Q: Where was it?
ADAM SCOTT: In London. It was the night of the Champions League final in Russia.Q: Do you normally overlap or interlock?
ADAM SCOTT: I overlap, fortunately, because I wouldn't have been able to play if I interlock, it would have been too much stress on it.
- So with Ernie Els and Geoff Ogilvy prodding along as the biggest names at the top, where do you rank each of their chances/games going into Friday, especially with them going out early for what we'd think would be more benign conditions?
- Is it too soon to start thinking of Retief Goosen as the 21st century version of Andy North/Curtis Strange/Lee Janzen?
- The only interesting thing I can tell you about right now is that out on Torrey Pines Rd., the city of San Diego is making bank pulling over anyone who dares to stop and pick people up from the Open. They literally can't get people fast enough.
- What was Phil Mickelson so upset about concerning the 13th tee? Biggest waste of money? I've been working all day so I haven't been able to see it myself -- any insight there? And do you agree with him?
- That new tee box is terrible. It's the biggest waste of money that I've ever seen. But it doesn't matter what I think, we're going to end up playing it and I've got to be ready for it. But it's terrible.
The reason it's so terrible is that before there was great risk/reward. There was great reward if you hit the fairway from the tee where you could go for it. Because it's such a tough shot from the bottom of that hill for birdie. But from the back tee nobody can reach it. Everybody's going to be laying up to the same spot, some with a 6- iron, some with a 3-iron, and everybody is going to have the same pitch, it's like a par-3 from the bottom of the hill. So there's no opportunity for a longer player to take advantage of his length. There's no opportunity for a guy who strikes it straighter to take advantage of his skill. And there's no opportunity for a guy who wants to take a little bit of risk and try to get it by the green and be rewarded. So it's just a terrible tee box.
- The world's No. 1 player said he had never heard of Streelman, and when told that he was No. 1,354 in the world ranking, Woods replied, "I think he might be going up."
- The defending champ is 8-over through eight holes. If he gets Romo'd, I'll throw in the first $10 for a carton of Lucky Strikes for him at California prices.
- All Sergio Garcia needs is for someone to dress him in a European Ryder Cup uniform at the majors. He'd be pulling off circus shots, sinking 50-footers and playing to the crowd. He'd probably have 4-5 majors in the bag if he did.
- Standing next to Streelman's wife as he puts one to 3 feet on 18. She yells, "What's up, Streel!!"
- As he makes the birdie putt, she says, 'Yeah, Mikey!' I thought his name was Kevin.
• 2006: Colin Montgomerie (Rank: 21)
• 2005: Rocco Mediate (Rank: Over 200); Olin Browne (Rank: Over 200)
• 2004: Jay Haas (Rank: 20), Angel Cabrera (Rank: 42); Shigeki Maruyama (Rank: 29)
• 2003: Tom Watson (Rank: Over 200); Brett Quigley (Rank: Over 200) 2:40 p.m.: Chris Devlin shoots a Romo, Brian Bergstol shoots 85 to join Michael Quagliano and Mike Gilmore above the dreaded mark. The wind has barely started blowing and we've already hit the over. 2:34 p.m.: Stuart Appleby hasn't finished in the top-10 at a U.S. Open since 1998, but he's off to a solid start, shooting 2-under 69 today. Of course, that score won't do much to help him shake off this unfortunate headshot, which officially helped him wrest away the Harry Dunne Award from Charley Hoffman. 2:25 p.m.: Kevin Streelman is still tied for the lead at 3-under, but fellow Dukie Michael Quagliano couldn't avoid getting Romo'd -- he shoots 85 today. A few more big numbers still on the course. 2:12 p.m.: E-mail from Matt in Atlanta:
- I see on Tiger's USGA page that he qualified for this year's U.S. Open through exemption codes 1,3,4,5,8,9,10,12,13 and 17. What USGA exemptions did Tiger not earn?
6. Winner of the 2008 Players Championship.
7. Winner of the 2007 U.S. Senior Open Championship.
11. From the 2007 final official PGA European Tour money list, the top 15 money leaders.
14. From the 2008 official PGA European Tour money list, the top two money leaders through May 26.
15. From the 2007 final official Japan Golf Tour money list, the top two money leaders provided they are within the top 75 point leaders of the World Ranking at that time.
16. From the 2007 final official PGA Tour of Australia money list, the top two money leaders provided they are within the top 75 point leaders of the World Ranking at that time.
18. Special exemptions selected by the USGA. Hey, you wanted to know. Basically, had Tiger played in and won the Players this year, he would have qualified in every category of which he was capable. Speaking of Woods, here's some of what he had to say after his round. On the knee: "Oh, I can walk 18 holes. I guess I don't need a cart yet. Totally different pain [than the Masters]. Augusta was a lot different than this one." On his opening-hole double-bogey: "Getting into the flow of the round it helps when you hit six shots on the first hole to get into the flow. That's a lot of shots to get into a flow. So, yeah. It's just a terrible way to start. It's one thing to hit the ball left off the first tee, that's fine, pitch out. But the wedge shot, I had all the room short of the hole and I fly it past the hole. That's just a terrible mistake." On his chances for the remainder of the week: "As of right now what, I'm four back? To make two double bogeys and a 3-putt and only be four back, that's a great position to be in. Because I know I can clean that up tomorrow. I hit the ball pretty good all day, had a couple misses left, but just need to clean up the round just a little bit. Just those two 6s there, I didn't take care of both par-5s on the back nine. I had one that had a 7-iron to 18 and a 6-iron to the other one and I played those holes even par." 2:06 p.m.: Quick check of the bottom of the leaderboard shows Not-So-Happy Gilmore got Romo'd, finishing with a 15-over 86, while some others are still on the course and hot on his heels. Hope you took the over. 1:56 p.m.: Just because there are a handful of players in red numbers (11 right now), don't expect some double-digit under-par score to win this thing. From a guy who shot 2-under 69 today:
- ROCCO MEDIATE: I'm ecstatic. It's day one. Anywhere around par for three or four days is going to be fine. Believe me, I don't know what the winning score is going to be, but when it all comes to the end it will be around par.
- Played the Black last Saturday with a fellow from San Diego who was a walk-up. He's played Torrey Pines 100 times. After the front nine at Bethpage, he said, "This is a bunch of b------t. It's 50 times more difficult than Torrey," and then proceeded to walk off the course. To use one of today's catchphrases, he could kind of go, too. He had some game.
With Torrey shaping up to what looks like could be a bunch of guys under par and maybe someone winning with an 8- or 10-under, next year could get ugly. Real ugly.
- JUSTIN HICKS: Who am I? Well, I think I'm another one of the guys out there playing the Nationwide TOUR trying to earn his PGA TOUR card. There's a lot of great young players in America, and we're all out there trying to get -- earn our way up to playing on this big level in front of the cameras and all the media and everything else.
A lot of times we can get lost in the shuffle down there because it's a difficult world down there. I finished 80th on the Money List there last year, and 80th on the Money List out there for this year. Probably would have got me maybe four or five starts, unless I played well enough to make money and get into the reshuffle. You finish 80th on the Money List on the PGA TOUR, the rest of the year, for the next year, is taken care of. You don't have to think about anything, you're in everything you want to be in.
So it's a very difficult world. It makes you play hard and always feel like that whatever you're doing in some ways is not necessarily good enough because you're trying to make as many birdies as you can and just keep going lower and lower.
- We're clearly no longer a basketball school when you consider the success of the men's and women's golf teams.
- Whats higher: Worst score in Round 1 or Lakers score in Game 4 tonight?
- The blog jinx remains in effect. Eric Axley bogeys No. 5 to go back to 2-under.
- What would Lorena Ochoa have shot (assuming an average day for her) if she had played with Romo & Co.?
- Enough with the anti-Phil comments. Guy's won three majors and 31 other tournaments and all you do is make your snide little comments about him.
- I think I love Angela. Seriously, I think I love her. First, she watches golf (my wife hates it -- and probably me -- with a passion). Second, she's anonymous (that's hot in itself). Third, she thinks like me (minus the whole "cute" thing). Actually, don't mention that
she may take offense to that.
- What are the odds that Mike Gilmore gets Romo'd? He's 10-over after 10 holes.
- Why did the USGA try to get cute with some of the pairings this week? You've got the recent Masters champions group (Weir, Johnson and Immelman), the cute Brits (Casey, Donald and Poulter) and the bombers (Holmes, Watson and Wetterich). I can't believe these pairings were accidental.
What's next? Creating pairings with funny names? I can see it now: Singh and Begay, Flesch and Bohn, Lickliter and Langer, Fischer-Price, Purdy-Gay
the possibilities are endless!!!
- The bio for this Justin Hicks does not match what this bio has. However, the Justin Hicks picture on the mini-leaderboard sure looks like the former, as opposed to the latter.
- Phil is a mo-ron.
- Yohann Benson says he often gets mistaken for Sergio Garcia. They look identical when their hats are pulled down. Colleen Dominguez saw numerous fans yelling "Sergio" yesterday at the putting green -- only it was Yohann. Benson told us he is pining to play a round of golf with Garcia.
- Celebrity sighting: Former Notre Dame and Seahawks quarterback Rick Mirer.
- If you shot a 63 in the Open -- and at Oakmont of all places -- wouldn't you be mentioning that every opportunity you could? I break 80 at the local muni and I'm telling everyone!
- Accidentally ran into Tiger/Phil gallery. Got pinned in between 9 green and 10 tee. Worst bottleneck since leaving Police concert at Wrigley Field. Couldn't move for 22 minutes.
- So, who's going to have the highest score for the day, a pro or amateur?
- A Stricker/Sheehan Best ball would net a 64.
- I see that Justin Hicks has yet to make a par through eight holes (five birdies, three bogeys). I wonder what the record is for number of holes played before a par is recorded? Just a hunch, but I'm guessing the dude that shot 157 also holds this record.
9:38 a.m.: File this under, "Who'd Have Thunk It?": Adam Scott, who has a broken pinky finger after reportedly slamming it in a car door, is leading his more ballyhooed playing partners. He's even through 5; Tiger and Phil are both 1-over.There was talk yesterday that Scott was going to WD, when he didn't show up for his scheduled press conference in the interview room. Had that happened, 17-year-old Julian Suri, who was originally the third alternate into this week's field, would have found himself playing with Tiger and Phil. (And would have led to countless Baby Suri headlines.) Instead, he's probably sitting near the practice greens hoping some guy starts having back spasms or something. 9:30 a.m.: E-mail from Brad in Harrisburg, Pa.:
- What are the pros doing after their rounds are over? Obviously, some are hitting balls and working on their game, but they have to do something to unwind at the end of the day.
- Yesterday during Pat Forde's chat I asked him how many times Ian Poulter's wardrobe would get mentioned in the blog this weekend. Since Pat set the line at 23, I feel the need to kick start that count. So, are the white pants "in" at the 108th U.S. Open?
- Steve Stricker holes another much tougher bird on 14. Drops in on last rotation of ball.
- I guess that Pat Perez as sleeper bandwagon is off to a bumpy start.
- Steve Stricker waves away a cameraman set up in his sightline, then calmly drills a 7-footer on 15 to go to 3-under.
- Based on the way the course is set up, if you had asked most players last night if they would be happy with a score of even par after four days, how many of them do you think would have taken that?
- Did some research and found that the highest score ever to be recorded is a 157 by J.D. Tucker in the first round of the 1898 championship at Myopia Hunt Club.
- When does the USGA get rid of the antiquated 18 hole p-word and copy the British and PGA and go with the four-hole playoff instead? I'm attending the Open on Sunday and I can tell you if there is a p-word, I won't be there. I already have a tee time lined up to play somewhere else. I know that thousands of others potentially won't be able to attend for myriad reasons as well. All it does is deprive a bunch of people who paid to see the winner not get to see the winner.
- K.J. Choi is on fire. Just missed holing out from the fairway on 12. Rattled the stick.
- Will you get to play Torrey Pines after the Open? If so, call your shot: Romo'd, Timberlake'd or Lauer'd?
• Patrick Sheehan: 0 career victories, 0 majors, $3,191,556 in career earnings. Where is the equality, people? 7:41 a.m.: First prop bet of the day from Scott in Parts Unknown:
- More rounds today that are Romo or worse (84)?
- You need to incorporate more Caddyshack lines into the blog -- like the Al Czervik Memorial Award to Sean O' Hair, for his best impression of "Oooh, my arm, I think it's broken!"
- I've heard a lot about the morning cloud cover and fog and a possible delay. What are the conditions like this morning?
• How will being paired with Phil affect Tiger? (Not one bit.)
• How will being paired with Tiger affect Phil? (Not one bit.)
• How will the course play? (Long, but not as difficult as recent Open venues.)
• How 'bout them qualifiers? (It's the American dream.)
• Who's your sleeper pick? (I like Pat Perez, but I'm always a sucker for the homer.)
• Who's your pick to win? (I like Phil Mickelson, but I'm about 0-for-40 trying to pick these things.) 7:03 a.m.: First spy report of the day comes from me. Entering the facilities at 6:42 this morning, I saw Tiger Woods heading toward the practice green on crutches before hopping on caddie Steve Williams' back for the final 10 feet or so. I'm kidding, I'm kidding. He looked fine. But seriously, if you were Tiger, wouldn't you just walk with a very noticeable limp every once in a while to throw people off? Or after hitting a tee shot during a practice round, just yell, "Owwwww!" before smiling and jogging down the fairway? Seriously, if everyone is going to scrutinize this knee injury to such a monumental degree, he should have some fun with it. 7:00 a.m.: Good morning from Torrey Pines, where the 108th U.S. Open Championship is getting under way right about now. My name is Jason Sobel and in case you haven't seen my major championship live blog before, what took you so long? Here's the deal: I'm at the course updating this thing every few minutes or so, speaking with players, tournament officials, on-course "spies" and just about everyone else who has something interesting to say about this tournament, either directly or indirectly. If that includes you, good news; I'll also be taking questions, comments, suggestions, threats and charitable contributions via e-mail, so hit me at the above address early and often. I guess the atmosphere that I've tried to create here is that I'm a friend first and a golf blogger second and probably an entertainer third. Keep clicking that little refresh button to stay updated throughout the day and feel free to live blog my live blog, if you're so inclined (wouldn't be the first time). Just don't live blog the live blog of the live blog or else the Internet will explode and I'd have to find a real job. OK, now I'm starting to feel like the starter on the first tee who explains the 90-degree rule in detail, informs you that blue flags mean deep pin placements and generally talks too much while slowing down play before you even tee off. So I'll shut up now. And with that, let's get going Jason Sobel covers golf for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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108th U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
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Fourth round• Tiger forces Open playoff | Watch | Photos
• Forde: Tiger's mind vs. his knee to decide Open
• Harig: Mediate finally 'back' on track
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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
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• 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
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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?
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Latest News• Heckler tangles with Scott's caddie at No. 9
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• 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
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Podcasts• On The Tee: Sobel talks to Imada
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Golf Digest• 'Philip' Mickelson knows Torrey Pines well
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USOpen.com• Spectator info | U.S. Open championship history
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