Don't fret, the Black will be back
Editor's Note: Jason Sobel's Live Blog will resume Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET, weather permitting.
6:00 p.m. ET: So … I went to the U.S. Open and the Bob Hope Classic broke out!
Once the continuation of the first round was taking place Friday morning, the festivities at Bethpage Black resembled any other USGA grindfest, with birdies at a premium and players feeling a sense of relief just posting pars. When the first wave of 78 players was done, only two were in the red -- Graeme McDowell and Drew Weaver -- and five others were at even par.
Yup, sure looked and felt like a U.S. Open.
And then the next wave of players hit the course … and the sun broke through … and some of the water on the course started to evaporate … and all of a sudden, the most brutal championship on the annual looked … easy.
Mike Weir fired a 6-under 64. Peter Hanson shot 66. The overall scoring average dipped nearly two full strokes from the players who had already completed their rounds.
Well, guess what? This kinder, gentler U.S. Open won't last through the weekend.
The deluge is coming -- and I'm not just talking about the rain. Expect the USGA to counteract the low scores by cutting holes closer to the edges of greens, playing the back teeing grounds -- anything to keep a barrage of red numbers from staying on the leaderboard.
And yes, the rain itself will play a part, too. Saturday's forecast is for heavy stuff throughout the day, which will render the Black a beast once again. Sure, something under par may win this championship, but it may not be as low as Weir's opening-round total.
Don't be fooled by those prime scoring conditions we had here Friday afternoon. Things are bound to get more difficult as the tournament wears on; the mentality of par as a good score will continue to prevail.
That will wrap up Friday's edition of the U.S. Open Live Blog. Thanks for all of the e-mails and tweets so far. I'll be back tomorrow morning with more reports from Bethpage. Until then, hit 'em straight …
5:55 p.m. ET: More good stuff from the ESPN Stats & Information staff on the scoring discrepancy between the first wave and second:
Players who started on Thursday
Best score: 69 (Drew Weaver, Graeme McDowell)
Players under par: 2
Players at even par: 5
Players over par: 71
Scoring average: 74.76
Players who started on Friday
Best score: 64 (Mike Weir)
Players under par: 11
Players at even par: 7
Players over par: 60
Scoring average: 72.87
An advantage to play later? Absolutely. Unfair? Not at all.
5:47 p.m. ET: Tweet, tweet …
Cbgolfer13@JasonSobel: Who is the one person besides Tiger that could make a comeback tomorrow? Someone that won't start their second round today …
I'm actually going to go with one of the guys playing with TW. Angel Cabrera had a pretty similar round, was doing some good things until bogeys on three of his last five holes. He may go lower than Woods.
JSchock7@JasonSobel: Adam Scott is one of my favorite golfers, and we all know his capabilities. Do you think he has what it takes to win the Open?
Yes … and no. What I mean is, I do think he has what it takes to win an Open -- but not this Open. Just too many injuries and illnesses, not enough good golf lately. Someday, though, he'll win one.
ContentCreator@jasonsobel: If David Duval wins, maybe he will buy a pair of pants that fit. I love the dude, but those are some baggy hammerpants!
Following a recent trend of those who play well in majors, Double-D isn't exactly the fittest guy on tour. Sure, the pants may be baggy, but the day he starts rockin' Camilo's duds is the day you may not want to to watch him anymore.
5:40 p.m. ET: E-mail from Nate in Sacramento:
How late will they let them play today? I was playing the other day, and we were still on the course at 8:40. Will they let them go until they just can't see the ball anymore?
Yes. The USGA's Jim Hyler said earlier today that the players would keep going until it was too dark to see the ball anymore. Best guess when that will be: around 8:20-8:30 this evening.
As for tomorrow, here is the weather report.
Strangely enough, it doesn't look too bad. In fact, this forecast only calls for a 20 percent chance of rain in the afternoon, while the USGA has been declaring a deluge is coming. Someone is way off; let's hope it's the guys in the blue jackets.
5:27 p.m. ET: Ominous note from the ESPN Stats & Information staff:
The biggest comeback over the final 54 holes in U.S. Open history is nine shots by Jack Fleck (1955, Olympic Club).
Tiger Woods (+4) was 10 shots back with 54 holes to play.
I still say he's not out of it. Not by a long shot. But like I wrote … that's ominous.
5:23 p.m. ET: Very early in Round 2, it looks like there are still some birdies to be had out here on the Black.
So far, Charl Schwartzel, Nick Taylor and Matt Bettencourt are 2-under in their rounds, while David Toms and Lucas Glover are among those at 1-under (and each is now 2-under for the tournament).
Looking at the pin placement sheet, though, it doesn't appear that the USGA has had to sacrifice and place any holes in the middle of a green to avoid any kind of saturation around the edges of a green. Every hole is cut less than 10 paces from the edge, and some are much tighter than that.
5:09 p.m. ET: ESPNEWS interview. Back in a few …
4:53 p.m. ET: Somebody in the ESPN Stats & Information department needs to give an internship to Charlie in Little Rock, Ark.:
Do you find it odd that there are only five players in the field of 156 with March birthdays? That's 3.2 percent -- or almost 10 percent below the average. Is it because conception would have had to take place in June, and their parents were more focused on the U.S. Open than each other?
Umm … yes.
4:46 p.m. ET: Getting a lot of e-mails about the "unfairness" of being on the side of the draw that had to play during part of yesterday morning and went out in tougher conditions today.
To which I have one statement, and one question …
The statement: It's not unfair. It's called "luck of the draw."
The question: What would be the alternative?
You simply can't have 156 players all tee off at the exact same time. Weather and course conditions are always going to play a bigger factor for one wave than the other. That's just the way it is.
And like I wrote earlier, this stuff has a way of turning itself around. This tournament is far from over. At some point, the situations may very well be reversed.
4:41 p.m. ET: One year ago, Bob Smiley was following Tiger Woods in his pursuit of a U.S. Open title, later chronicling the best moments in the superb book "Follow the Roar."
Now? Dude is sitting at home, blogging about gremlins. And quoting them, which is even stranger.
4:37 p.m. ET: E-mail from Paul in Fort Worth, Texas, updating his prop bet from yesterday:
"With the weather playing like it is, I would possibly give the advantage to the Europeans. With that said, Americans in the top 20 after Round 1: o/u 8.
You gave it a 10.5. After Round 1, there are 14 Americans and 13 non-Americans, including ties, in the top 20.
Well, I may have set that number a little higher had I thought the top 20 would really be a top 27. But good call for those who took the over.
4:33 p.m. ET: So, ready to hop the Mike Weir bandwagon and ride it all the way to the winner's circle? Be careful …
From the ESPN Stats & Information department:
Before this year, eight players have shot 65 or better in the first round of the U.S. Open. Only two of them won the tournament (Jack Nicklaus  in 1980; Tiger Woods  in 2000).
Two others have been runners-up: Colin Montgomerie (65) in 1997 and T.C. Chen (65) in 1985.
4:29 p.m. ET: David Duval -- sorry, Avidde Uvalde -- isn't the only surprise on the leaderboard right now.
Even though Todd Hamilton finished T-15 at the Masters this year, he has been mired in a Duvalian slump of his own for years since winning the 2004 British Open. He's at 3-under.
Former U.S. Amateur champ Ricky Barnes has only made six of 12 cuts in his PGA Tour rookie season and is 197th on the money list. He is 2-under.
One year ago, Adam Scott was playing this tournament as the world's third-ranked player. Now he's 42nd, having MC'd in seven of his last eight starts. He is 1-under.
Great stories, all of 'em …
4:23 p.m. ET: Two words: Bounce. Back.
After a double-bogey on No. 7 dropped him back to 4-under, Mike Weir dusted himself off and finished birdie-birdie to close at 6-under 64, in the lead by two strokes.
"I looked at it as similar to when I won the Masters in 2003," Weir told NBC. "We were rained out Thursday, the course was talked about being really long [then, too]."
Of course, knowing what we know now, had Weir simply made par on that seventh hole, he would now own the all-time major championship single-round scoring record with a 62. I'm guessing that having sole possession of the first-round lead is a nice consolation prize.
He'll now have a little over an hour before he has to get back out on the course at 5:28 p.m. for Round 2.
4:01 p.m. ET: It's about nine hours later than originally scheduled, but Round 2 of the U.S. Open is finally under way!
Matt Bettencourt, James Kamte and Kaname Yokoo have just teed off at the first hole; James Nitties, Peter Tomasulo and Martin Laird have just teed off at No. 10.
How many holes will they finish today? I'll set the over/under at 14.
3:58 p.m. ET: Whoops. E-mail from Rick in Northern Virginia:
Doesn't Uvalde still have to go back out for Round 2 today? Nice job outta you …
Hmmm … good point. If he starts out double-triple-double, don't blame me. Just chalk it up to David Duval being David Duval.
Sorry. I mean, Avidde Uvalde being Avidde Uvalde.
3:53 p.m. ET: After a great approach on the ninth hole (his 18th), Peter Hanson converts the birdie and closes out a round of 4-under 66.
Meanwhile, Mike Weir makes par on No. 7 to stay at 4-under as well.
Keep on eye on Sean O'Hair, too, at 3-under and with one birdie-able hole left on the back.
3:45 p.m. ET: So much for the history books.
Honestly, I'm not sure if it's a bad thing that Mike Weir made a double-bogey and lost his shot at the all-time major record, or a good thing that he could still post such a score and be leading by one.
A little of both, I suppose. Weir's double on No. 6 drops him to 4-under, one shot ahead of David Duval, Peter Hanson and Sean O'Hair.
3:34 p.m. ET: Avidde Uvalde!!!
Actually, since his round is over and the Blog Jinx no longer applies … David Duval!!!
What a terrific round for the 13-time PGA Tour winner. After two bogeys on his first three holes, Duval finished 5-under for the last 15 holes and is now in a tie for second place, with a 3-under 67.
Let's break down the numbers compared to his season averages:
• Driving accuracy: 78.57 percent (2009: 46.19 percent)
• Greens in regulation: 66.67 percent (2009: 57.84 percent)
• Total putts: 26 (2009: 28.38 per round)
Is this an aberration or is Duval turning things around? Remains to be seen, but clearly this was the best round he has played all season.
3:30 p.m. ET: E-mail from Craig in Pennsylvania:
Still think it's not over for Tiger? He'll be at least nine back at the end of the day. He's done.
Done?!?! It's the first round!!! And it's not even over yet!!! And I'm using up all of my exclamation points!!!
No, Tiger is not done. It's not over. Not even close.
I write this at the end of Round 1 in every major, but the opening round is akin to the opening quarter of an NBA game. Sure, it's nice to be in the lead, but trailing at this point hardly means you can't win in the end.
Plenty of time left for Tiger Woods. Don't count him out.
3:22 p.m. ET: Routine par for Mike Weir on No. 5 to remain at 6-under. He'll need to play the final four holes on the front side in 2-under in order to break the record.
Here's what he has coming up:
• No. 6: 4.253 scoring average (Rank: 6)
• No. 7: 4.229 scoring average (Rank: 4)
• No. 8: 3.152 scoring average (Rank: 11)
• No. 6: 3.904 scoring average (Rank: 17)
3:13 p.m. ET: E-mail from Rick in Parts Unknown:
What would be the bigger story: Phil Mickelson or David Duval … er, I mean, Avidde Uvalde?
Uh-oh. Rick just tempted the Blog Jinx fates. Could be fatal.
Uvalde is a great story, but remember -- he's been here before. Played in the second-to-last group at last year's British Open.
He's now 2-under through 16. Big par putt coming up on No. 8.
3:07 p.m. ET: From Meg in Kentucky, great insight about the two lefties on top of the leaderboard:
Little horse insight here, since you mentioned mudders. What makes a horse a good mudder is in fact having a very strong left lead. On a track, horses use their right lead on straightaways and left lead around corners. Mudders must have exceptional left-lead strength (same as people -- not usually the case) to stay engaged while banking in the slop and come out of the turn with a burst of speed to switch quickly to right and finish the stretch.
So I guess you could say that both Mike Weir and Phil Mickelson are horses for this course.
I like the theory. Lefties are mudders. Makes sense to me.
3:02 p.m. ET: Mike Weir is on fire.
After a birdie on No. 4, he's at 6-under -- three shots clear of the next-closest competitor.
And now we have to start looking at the record books. The all-time record for lowest score in a major championship is 63, which has been accomplished on 24 separate occasions. Of those 24, only four came in the U.S. Open -- Vijay Singh, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and … uh … hmm … oh, Johnny Miller. Sorry, needed a reminder about that one.
Weir could be on the verge of history.
2:49 p.m. ET: Great stuff from the ESPN Stats & Information department:
With Mike Weir at 5-under and others close, you might be interested to know: The last players to shoot 5-under in the first round of the U.S. Open were Brett Quigley and Tom Watson in 2003 (both 5-under 65).
No player has shot 66 in the first round since three players (Angel Cabrera, Jay Haas and Shigeki Maruyama) shot a 66 in 2004.
The first-round record is 63 (7-under) by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, both in 1980 at Baltusrol.
2:46 p.m. ET: What, you mean you didn't know Tom Lehman's 1996 British Open title was stripped due to recruiting violations?
OK, OK, in the infamous words of Phil Mickelson: "I'm such an idiot!"
Lehman has won a major. I must have had him confused with Stephen Leaney, who's on the opposite page in the PGA Tour media guide.
But seriously, though, thanks for those 129 e-mails correcting me. That was sweet.
2:41 p.m. ET: Phil Mickelson is feeding off the energy of this New York crowd right now. And in turn, the fan support is building with every great shot.
Mickelson posts another birdie -- his fourth of the day -- at No. 4 to move to 3-under, in solo third and just two behind Mike Weir's lead.
Could be an absolutely huge story developing over the weekend.
2:36 p.m. ET: E-mail from Todd in Chicago:
A piece of trivia information for you: When Mike Weir won the Masters in 2003, the Thursday golf had been cancelled because of rain and Weir had to play 30 holes on Friday.
And Weir looks like he's not going anywhere soon this week, either. Nearly just jarred one at the par-3 third hole, will have a tap-in from there. That will put him at 5-under, again passing Peter Hanson for sole possession of the lead.
2:25 p.m. ET: How about the USGA's "old guy" group? Rocco Mediate and Kenny Perry are each 2-under, while Tom Lehman is 1-over.
Let's break down the numbers a bit …
• They are a combined 144 years old.
• They've played a combined 71 PGA Tour seasons.
• They've won a total of 23 PGA Tour events.
• They've won more than $62 million.
• They've won zero major championships.
Not like each hasn't had his close calls, including a few recent ones. Could this finally be the week?
2:17 p.m. ET: E-mail from Derek in Parts Unknown:
The pig latin reversed the Blog Jinx! Uvalde to 1-under.
Who knew? Avidde Uvalde makes birdie at No. 4 and he's in red figures for the first time all day.
2:01 p.m. ET: In a tournament with so many club pros, mini-tour players and amateurs (15 of 'em this week), the bottom of the U.S. Open leaderboard usually looks like a Who's Who of, well … WHO?
That's not totally the case right now, as some recognizable tour players are way down there …
T-112. Ernie Els (+5)
T-112. Zach Johnson (+5)
T-112. Paul Casey (+5)
T-124. Padraig Harrington (+6)
T-132. Miguel Angel Jimenez (+7)
T-139. Jeev Milkha Singh (+8)
T-147. Boo Weekley (+9)
T-150. Chad Campbell (+10)
So those of you who have, say, the theoretically formidable squad of Els, Casey, Harrington and Weekley in your Fantasy Foursome, uh, probably aren't in contention right now.
1:54 p.m. ET: Camilo Villegas keeps rolling along without a Live Blog mention.
With birdies on two of his last three holes, Spiderman is now at 3-under through 11 holes, one stroke behind Peter Hanson and Mike Weir.
No surprise that he can go low. But can Camilo keep going without blowing up at some point this weekend? So often, that's been his bugaboo -- 15 really good holes spoiled by three poor ones.
It'll be interesting to see if he can avoid those big numbers.
1:36 p.m. ET: How about Avidde Uvalde at even par through 11?
Huh? What's that? Oh yeah, guess I should post this e-mail first …
From Jeff in Grand Rapids, Mich.:
I emailed you a few minutes ago telling you not to mention David Duval in your blog, as I am afraid doing so would subject him to the dreaded "Blog Jinx." But this is too good of a story to ignore -- there are too many of us pulling for him -- even par through 11!! If you refer to him in Pig Latin, I think we may be safe. Hence, Avidde Uvalde. Go with it.
Uh-huh, as I was saying … how about Avidde Uvalde at even par through 11?
Actually, it's even more impressive considering Uvalde bogeyed two of his first three holes, only to come back with two birdies later. Nice round going so far for Avidde.
1:30 p.m. ET: I've mentioned a few times this week that Mike Weir is a mudder.
"He's a mudder … his father was a mudder, his mother was a mudder …"
Weirsy is proving it right now, at 4-under through his opening eight holes, including back-to-back birdies on the last two.
With more rain in the forecast, beware the mudder.
1:26 p.m. ET: E-mail from Dave in Canada:
Mmm ... bop! I think you got your Hanson brothers mixed up ... do-wop. Peter's dropping bombs, not Soren.
Not so fast, my north-of-the-border friend.
Soren Hansen was up there earlier, starting birdie-birdie-bogey-birdie. Now it's Peter Hanson, who's gone birdie-birdie-par in his last three holes.
Just to make matters more confusing, they're playing together, having just made the turn.
If they were playing a Hansen/Hanson Best Ball, they would have been 5-under 30 for the opening nine.
1:24 p.m. ET: Some Phil Mickelson notes, courtesy of the ESPN Stats & Information:
• He birdied the 11th hole Friday (his second hole). In 2002 at Bethpage, Mickelson birdied the 11th hole in the first round, second round, and final round.
• He bogeyed the 13th hole Friday (his fourth). In 2002, he birdied it in the first, third and final rounds.
• He birdied the 17th hole Friday (his eighth). In 2002, he went par-bogey-birdie-bogey, scoring 1-over on the hole for the tourney.
1:17 p.m. ET: Wow. Loudness.
Phil Mickelson drains a 30-foot left-to-right breaker for birdie on No. 17 as the surrounding crowd absolutely erupts.
I've got to believe that's the loudest roar we've heard in two days so far, save for the thunder sweeping through the course at times yesterday.
Lefty is now back in red figures at 1-under, two shots behind Peter Hanson and Mike Weir.
1:14 p.m. ET: E-mail from Timothy in Harrisburg, Pa., who makes a point that I was alluding to, but may never have clearly defined:
Just read your statement about the morning vs. afternoon groups and the scoring averages. With the forecast tomorrow being rain, rain and more rain, couldn't we see a similar scenario occur as it did today; the morning group suffers and the afternoon group has more scoring chances? The only difference is that each group will be switched for tomorrow's round?
Yup, exactly. Almost identical situations, in fact, if this happens.
1:08 p.m. ET: You know what I hate about the U.S. Open? It's just too easy. I get bored watching the game's best players just draining birdies from all over the place.
European Ryder Cup member Soren Hansen just snaked in a long bomb to take sole possession of the lead at 3-under, but maybe not for long. Mike Weir has a kick-in birdie on 15 coming up to join him.
Players are lighting it up right now. Of the 35 players at even-par or better, 28 are currently on the course.
1:06 p.m. ET: I've decided to make the live blog a place where smart people can match wits while I just dart my eyes back and forth as if watching a tennis match.
From Christian in High Point, N.C.:
People who think they're smarter than they really are like to bring up regression to the mean. The problem is that it doesn't apply as specified. If regression to the mean worked as advertised, every player would finish around the same score, with only a three or four stroke difference between first and last place. If you apply it just to an individual player, then regression to the mean assumes they'll always hit within a few strokes of the same score, which, as we know, simply isn't true. Math works in sterile environments. A golf course is one of the least sterile environments for mathematical analysis.
The Blog Jinx is real ... and its fabulous.
Christian is definitely invited to the party.
12:59 p.m. ET: OK, I explained this earlier, but based on the volume of e-mails I'm getting it still needs more explanation, so let's try it one more time …
The original afternoon wave of players is currently on the course. When Round 1 is complete, these guys will go right back out, beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing to 6:12 p.m. (The reason the USGA isn't sending the original morning wave out later this afternoon is because, well, that's just how it's done. It's actually more fair this way; otherwise, the morning wavers would be on the course for three straight early mornings.) No player will conclude his second round today.
Ostensibly -- if the weather allows -- the afternoon guys will be on the course to continue their second rounds at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow. When that round is complete, the morning guys will then tee off. Not sure when that will begin, but likely late morning/early afternoon on Saturday.
Again, this is all based on it being nice enough to play golf tomorrow. If play is suspended, we'll keep this same format, but everything will back up.
12:55 p.m. ET: ROCCO!
Last year's runner-up just made his second birdie in his last three holes and is now one of seven -- seven! -- players in the lead at 2-under.
If Phil Mickelson is the fan favorite here, Rocco Mediate is a close second right now. The New York fans would love to see a repeat performance, with Rocco getting into a playoff once again this year.
And he loves these fans, too. I spoke with him recently:
Q: You know there are going to be New York fans chanting "Rocco!" the entire time from outside the ropes.
A: I just need to ask them, are they prepared for me? [Laughs] I am so prepared for that. I loved the '02 Open. I love the way they are. They're into it. They'll boo you if you screw up. They'll go crazy if you hit a good shot. In every other sport they do the same thing, but New York fans -- I love 'em. I've always loved playing at Westchester for The Barclays. I've always loved it up there. I have a lot of good friends there. I just hope the weather is good so they can all flock out there. It will be great.
And yes, I'm gonna keep linking to my own Hot Seat interviews until you read them all. So there.
12:52 p.m. ET: E-mail from "Aubrey Clayton, Ph. D":
Your "Blog Jinx" is also known as "regression toward the mean." That is, each player's performance is due to a combination of luck and skill, so if you pick the best performing players over the last few holes to observe, the chances are that they will do worse than they had been previously. To see the effect in reverse, try highlighting the worst performing players over the last few holes and I bet you'll see them get a "blog bump." In other words, it's not you, it's just math.
Thanks a lot, Debbie Downer. Are you available for parties, too?
12:46 p.m. ET: Tweet, tweet ...
AHunterMelia@JasonSobel there a chance Tiger finds himself fighting to make the cut if some afternoon guys go LOW?
Wayyyy too early to start the MC talk. Never even address it until halfway through the second round -- at any event -- because until then, it's all just a guess.
douglasburr@jasonsobel So far, you're the only news source talking about the US Open who has not made a comment on players' attire. Care to end that?
The only one? Really? They're all wearing golf shirts and pants. Not really sure what I'm supposed to analyze here.
CHADWICK_C@JasonSobel David Horsey finished round 1 strong. Will he make the cut?
So what you're asking is: Will everyone beat a dead Horsey or will a dead Horsey beat them? Sounds philosophical.
sportspickleJason Sobel is a handsome and intelligent man.
12:40 p.m. ET: Rough day for Tiger Woods.
First he shoots an opening-round 4-over 74. Then he comments that the players in the afternoon wave may actually be at a disadvantage due to the fact that they will have more mudballs to contend with.
That's not the case so far.
I don't have a breakdown of scoring averages for the two separate halves of the field, but just by eyeballing the leaderboard, it's easy to see the guys currently on the course are having a much easier go of things.
Four of 'em are currently at 2-under and 10 more are at 1-under. That's a lot more than we ever saw from the other wave.
I'm still not ready to say it's a "huge" advantage for the current players. These things have a way of evening themselves out, so let's hold off until, likely, Sunday before making a final assessment.
12:32 p.m. ET: E-mail from Sean in Bellevue, Wash.:
Everyone knows Anthony Kim is a wild card ... can shoot 65 or 75 on any given day. Think he has what it takes (between the ears) to win a major at this point in his career?
Well, I do know that AK isn't exactly a history buff when it comes to golf. So whereas some players would think about the gravity of the situation if they were in contention, I think he would simply keep playing see-ball, hit-ball golf without worrying too much about any implications.
On a related note, I asked him recently when he'll get that first major championship title.
"The next one. Always," he said. "You know, I go into every golf tournament thinking I can win. There's no reason to stop now. Whether it happens or not, I don't know, but I know my mentality has to be, I'm here, I'm going to give it my best shot to win the golf tournament and whatever happens happens. But I want to go in there thinking the same thing I have been since I was 5 or 6 years old, playing basketball or football or soccer or golf."
On his 24th birthday, Kim is giving it his best shot right now, at 2-under through six holes. That puts him in a share of the lead with David Toms, Soren Hansen and Sean O'Hair.
12:24 p.m. ET: Speaking of jinxes ...
E-mail from Jordan in Detroit:
Of all the players that should be exempt from your Blog Jinx this week, Lefty should be immune. Bogey on the long par-5 to drop to even maybe 10 minutes after your post.
That's what happens when you lose your drive, as Phil did on 13. Actually, nice job to card a birdie on his second ball, making bogey to only drop to even-par.
12:17 p.m. ET: Hmmm ... is there a tangible, walking version of the Blog Jinx?
Just checked my voicemail and had a message from SportsCenter's John Anderson, my occasional On The Tee podcast partner who is doing some work for ESPN's coverage here at the course this week. John told me that he picked up Tiger Woods on the 15th hole, right after a birdie that got him to even-par. From there, Woods played the final four holes in 4-over-par.
"My golf is so bad I just rubbed off on the world's No. 1 player," Anderson said on the voicemail. "I have that kind of power. Even over a guy like that. I can put his game in tatters, just by walking by."
12:13 p.m. ET: Sean O'Hair on the fourth hole with a birdie putt to become the first player to move to 3-under at any point in the tournament ...
And he misses.
If O'Hair continues the solid play, though, how long will it be until his fellow competitors are hoping that his wife goes into labor this weekend? And at what point does he get to a place on the leaderboard where he decides he can't afford to leave and not try to win the Open?
12:03 p.m. ET: E-mail from Joe in Omaha, Neb.:
I see Sean O'Hair is now tied for lead. You mentioned throughout the week that he is expecting another child. Is he wearing a beeper and/or prepared to leave the course if his wife calls? I suppose chances of getting that call during the Open increase with every weather delay.
From what I've heard, O'Hair has friends outside the ropes who are carrying his cell phone. (Umm, do people really wear beepers anymore? I mean, besides doctors?) If his wife, Jackie, goes into labor at some point, well, according to this AP story, he says he would leave right away:
She had back spasms Sunday, and O'Hair took her to the hospital near their home outside Philadelphia, believing she had gone into labor. It was a false alarm, so he left for Bethpage with great uncertainly. "I'll deal with it as it comes," he said.
Will there be a pager in his bag, like Phil Mickelson at Pinehurst No. 2 in 1999? O'Hair shook his head.
"I'm not that dramatic," he said. "I'm not carrying a beeper."
The ideal scenario would be for her to go into labor sometime Wednesday, allowing him to get home for the birth and back to Bethpage in time for the start. But that didn't seem likely, and O'Hair said he would leave the U.S. Open when -- or if -- he got word.
"I would love to be there, and I would love to play the U.S. Open," he said. "But sometimes, you can't have it both ways. But you get one chance to be there for the birth of your baby. And don't they have a U.S. Open next year?"
11:54 a.m. ET: As expected, the crowds here at Bethpage are firmly backing Phil Mickelson -- and so far, he's feeding off that energy.
Mickelson just barely missed a lengthy birdie attempt on No. 12 (his third hole), but he cleans up for par and remains at 1-under, just a single stroke behind leader Sean O'Hair.
As I've been saying throughout the week, if Lefty can remain in contention here, the fan support will only continue to swell. Would be a huge story if Mickelson is still on the leaderboard come Sunday -- er, Monday -- evening.
11:44 a.m. ET: Scorecard of the week so far belongs to Kevin Sutherland.
Starting on the back nine, he shot a 1-over 71, which is nice. But it's how he got there that's really intriguing. Let's take a look at the scores:
Back nine: bogey-par-bogey-bogey-bogey-bogey-bogey-par-par
Front nine: birdie-par-birdie-par-birdie-par-par-birdie-birdie
That's right, after shooting a 6-over 41 for his first nine holes, Sutherland came back with a 5-under 30 for the second nine.
11:38 a.m. ET: In a response to a question from my colleague Bob Harig about whether the original morning wave of players was at a disadvantage since they had to start in poor conditions yesterday and continue when it was really wet today, Tiger Woods said, "You would say yes, but if you look at it, no. The guys teeing off later are going to have more mud balls."
That's the prevailing feeling around here, too.
Most players believe that when a course is really wet, the mud tends to slide off the ball and doesn't have much of an effect on shots. When it starts to dry up, however, that's when the mud will start to stick to the ball a little more. And when there's mud on the ball, shots can go anywhere; it makes it so much tougher to hit it exactly where you're aiming.
Let's definitely keep an eye on this for the remainder of the day and see how often mud affects these shots.
11:23 a.m. ET: I wrote earlier that I would get back to the USGA news conference from this morning, so let's get back to that.
First, here's Jim Hyler, chairman of the championship committee on what the next 48 hours may bring:
"We will start the second round at 4. We will play all the golf we possibly can today. We'll play just as late into the late afternoon, until people can't see. We would plan to resume in the morning at 7:30, just like we did this morning, and that will be the Round 2 AM wave, and then the PM wave we would plan to start around 9 to 9:30. And we'll play all the golf we possibly can.
"Let me note that the weather forecast for tomorrow is 80 percent chance of rain, three-quarters to an inch and a quarter of rain possible. And obviously if we get hit with that kind of rain, that will severely impact our plans. But if we get lucky on the weather, maybe somehow we dodge a lot of that. There is a chance -- there is a chance that we could finish Round 2 tomorrow. I think beyond that, anything would be pure speculation, just based on the forecast and also the size of the cut. If we had a small cut, say 60 or low 60s, we'd have more flexibility than if we had 100 people making the cut. So I think any speculation beyond tomorrow, that is what it is, speculation."
You read that right. The USGA is hoping -- hoping -- it can complete Round 2 by the end of tomorrow. The weather report sounds awful, as bad as yesterday, if not worse. Very conceivable that no golf is played tomorrow and we go into Sunday with no one having finished their second rounds and many having not even started yet. What a mess.
As for the ticket situation, that was addressed by David Fay, executive director of the USGA: "We're sorry those 34,000 fans who came out yesterday didn't see more golf. And since that time we have been talking about a solution, a possible solution. And we were factoring in a lot of things. Let's get some things right out on the table right away. We understand that our ticket policy is -- it's both vague and rigid, and I think some people were upset with the vagueness of it and some people were upset with the rigidity, they didn't like the message. Certainly in the future we're going to have to amend our policy to provide more information to the ticket purchasers as to what our policy is. We looked long and hard as possible solutions to accommodate those people who saw three and a half hours worth, three hours and 16 minutes worth of golf yesterday."
I suppose it's a good thing that the USGA now understands this problem and feels the need to amend it in the future.
11:19 a.m. ET: Wanna hear something crazy?
The guys in the final groups of the original afternoon wave could have shown up at the course for the first time all week right now, get in nearly an hour on the practice range and still be ready to tee off at 12:12 p.m. -- more than 29 hours after the first group started yesterday morning.
11:11 a.m. ET: E-mail from Nicholas in Parts Unknown:
I didn't know the Geico Cavemen qualified for the Open (Ryan Moore and Johan Edfors). Or maybe they are sporting playoff beards. Yikes.
Oh. Yeah. Good call.
10:58 a.m. ET: Maybe it's appropriate that my buddy Chris Berman is doing the play-by-play right now, because Tiger Woods was rumblin', bumblin' and stumblin' down the stretch.
After a par on 17, Woods missed another short par attempt on 18 -- by my count, his fourth this morning of 10 feet or less -- playing the last four holes in 4-over-par to shoot 74.
I know I posted this in yesterday's blog, but it's worth sharing again. Here are Tiger's opening-round scores at the U.S. Open since 2000 (end of round result in parentheses):
• 2009: 74 (??)
• 2008: 72 (T-19)
• 2007: 71 (T-5)
• 2006: 76 (T-68)
• 2005: 70 (T-10)
• 2004: 72 (T-40)
• 2003: 70 (T-25)
• 2002: 67 (1)
• 2001: 74 (T-63)
• 2000: 65 (1)
You'll notice that today's score is tied for his second-worst opening-day total at the U.S. Open. In 2001, his 74 led to a T-12 finish and in '06 his 76 was paired with another one the next day when he missed the cut.
Leads to this e-mail from Rob in Dallas:
Is 74 too many for Tiger?
No way. Not even close. Look at the leaderboard and he's only five shots back with 54 holes to play. He won't be happy about that score, but it hardly takes him out of the mix, either.
10:52 a.m. ET: And down the stretch he comes!!!
So much for beating a dead Horsey.
After a front-nine 45, David Horsey recovers with a back-nine 36 to tie Ben Roethlisberger with an 81.
Uh-oh, he'd better watch out. I hear Big Ben is pretty good in playoffs.
10:43 a.m. ET: Leaderboard appearance by The Judge!
David Smail is now 1-under through 11 holes in the opening round.
He considers himself a contender for this title, telling reporters, "I'm no slouch myself."
Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're a tremendous slouch.
With the tough conditions, Smail will need to remain hydrated throughout the round.
How about a Fresca?
There are so many groundskeepers working on this course right now. They even asked Smail to help out on the Black.
How would you like to come over and mow my lawn?
If he wins this week, Smail already has his victory speech ready to go.
It's easy to grin / When your ship comes in / And you've got the stock market beat. / But the man worthwhile / Is the man who can smile / When his shorts are too tight in the seat.
It's likely, though, that Smail will be left without a title when it's all said and done.
You'll get nothing, and like it.
10:40 a.m. ET: Spy report from the course ...
A woman fainted on the 17th tee box just as Tiger was walking up to the tee. EMTs on scene and she is OK.
Hmmm ... wonder if she fainted just being in Woods' presence? Or because she couldn't believe he played his last two holes in 3-over-par?
10:26 a.m. ET: Earlier this morning, Tiger Woods pushed a few 8-foot putts.
Perhaps that was in his head, because Woods just pulled one for par on 16.
That's now three dropped shots in his last two holes after fighting to get back to even-par.
Discussion about Tiger's game entering this week revolved around his driving, but if he continues missing putts from the 8-10 foot range, it's going to be a long week for him.
10:24 a.m. ET: Though amateur Ben Martin is now in the lead at 2-under, another am is our new clubhouse leader. Drew Weaver just finished his round at 1-under 69.
And it appears some of you think that "Dream Weaver" headline is a little too easy. So let's see what our other options are ...
From Mac in Memphis:
I'm going with "Unbeweaverble!"
From Matt in Washington D.C.:
"Eager Weaver" ... "Leave it to Weaver" ... "Weaver Feaver" ... "Drew Good to be True"
"Leave it to Weaver!" I like it. Succinct, to the point, cute ... everything you could ever want in a headline.
By the way, Weaver needed just 21 total putts, which is fantastic for any player, anywhere ... but pretty unbelievable for an amateur at the U.S. Open.
10:12 a.m. ET: If he's going to finish at even-par, Tiger Woods now has some work to do.
After driving right on No. 15 and chipping one onto the green that rolled back to his feet, Woods makes a double-bogey to fall to 2-over.
And that's great news for TW fans.
If you believe in history repeating itself, that is.
In last year's opening round at Torrey Pines, Woods carded two double-bogeys. And, of course, he won the tournament four days later.
With doubles now on 5 and 15, he's replicated last year's first-round total. Let's see where he is four days from now.
10:07 a.m. ET: The USGA is making many friends in these parts this week.
Officials have now stated that those with Thursday tickets may use them on Monday, but no concessions have been made for those with Saturday tickets, as that round -- or much of it, at least -- may get washed away, too.
Meanwhile, the volunteers are feeling the shaft, too. From Lloyd in Nassau County:
In the greatest snub since the Great Rain Check Disaster of 2009, more popularly known as "Sucks to Be You Thursday," the USGA now finds it necessary to mistreat its VOLUNTEERS. Today's early release by the USGA reads:
"Due to Thursday's storm and recent rainfall at the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park, parking lots D, F and R will be closed Friday and for the remainder of the championship ... volunteers with parking passes for Lot R should proceed to general spectator parking areas at Jones Beach."
They really expect people to drive to Jones Beach, then take a 30-minute shuttle, only to VOLUNTEER at 6 a.m.? I couldn't imagine the parking lots will be flooded for three days, considering they have drainage.
Another poorly planned and executed effect of yesterday's rain. The USGA needs these volunteers more than they need the USGA, so let's hope most of them don't leave.
10:01 a.m. ET: It took nearly 22 hours more than originally scheduled, but the original Thursday afternoon wave of players has now teed off, with James Nitties, Peter Tomasulo and Martin Laird off the first tee and Matt Bettencourt, James Kamte and Kaname Yokoo off the 10th.
9:55 a.m. ET: Somewhere, Bobby Jones is smiling.
Of the three current co-leaders, two are amateurs, as Ben Martin of Clemson and Drew Weaver of Virginia Tech are alongside Graeme McDowell at 1-under.
Leads to this e-mail from Brock in Minneapolis:
What are the chances if Drew Weaver is at the top after Round 1, the headline will be "Dream Weaver"? I'm calling it right now.
I'll say 95 percent. Maybe more. Almost a lock. Odds are off the table. That one's too easy.
9:51 a.m. ET: He's not exactly emulating his all-fairways, all-the-time prowess like he did at Memorial, but Tiger Woods is hitting the ball pretty well off the tee, reaching seven of 11 fairways so far.
Oops, make that 7-of-12.
TW uses driver on 15 and pushes it to the right. Looks like the ball nestled down in the thick stuff.
9:41 a.m. ET: Rejoice, New York fans!
The USGA just minutes ago announced that anyone with a Thursday ticket will be allowed entry to the tournament on Monday.
That should save some of the terrible PR they've received during the past day. But the question remains: If they were going to make this decision anyway, why not announce it yesterday and avoid the huge public backlash against the organization?
When I have full quotes from USGA officials, I'll pass 'em along.
Oh, and there's some bad news, too: If they're issuing tickets for Monday, that means, well, there's going to be a Monday finish -- if not later.
9:37 a.m. ET: Birdie for Tiger Woods on No. 14. That brings him back to even-par, which could be a very good score at the end of the day.
Leads to this e-mail from Daniel in Birmingham, Ala.:
I believe Jeff Brehaut could be leading tonight at even-par when the second-round tee times have already started. Agree/disagree?
Disagree. I think there are some birdies to be made, especially once the greens dry up just a little bit.
Then again, if Brehaut is in the lead, perhaps Woods will be as well, right now at even with four holes to play.
9:32 a.m. ET: After spending about 21 hours as one of four clubhouse leaders, so to speak, Jeff Brehaut is once again in that role -- for a little while, at least.
Brehaut shot an even-par 70 in the first group off the 10th tee and likely won't have to hit another competitive shot for a full 24 hours or so, if not more due to the weather.
9:25 a.m. ET: About time I mentioned Ben Martin, an amateur from Clemson University who is now 1-under through nine holes, playing the back first.
With highly ranked Kyle Stanley also in the field, Clemson keeps churning out really good players seemingly every year.
According to his bio, Martin actually had a better spring scoring average than Stanley, who won this year's Ben Hogan Award that goes to the top college golfer.
9:15 a.m. ET: E-mail from James in New York:
Is it possible that the USGA planned to put a pin somewhere for Round 2 that is now not a good location because of the rain, and so they have to change the plan? Or are the yardage books and pin positions pre-printed, thus forcing them to put a pin where they would now rather not have it?
Absolutely. In fact, I would think that many of the originally proposed pin positions may have to be changed for this afternoon's round. Of course, the hole locations for the opening round, which is still being played, must remain the same as yesterday; once they've set the holes for a round, they cannot be changed after a suspension in play.
9:05 a.m. ET: Reverse Blog Jinx!
Wow, I thought Graeme McDowell was destined to card a septy after that last post. Instead, he makes birdie on No. 4 to move to 2-under, up by two strokes on five other players.
8:57 a.m. ET: Look, this isn't an I-told-you-so or anything, because there's still a whole lotta holes left to play. But my buddy Brian just forwarded this user comment that appeared after my 1-156 ranking in which I listed Graeme McDowell at No. 7:
this analyst is a fkin ####... All i need to say is Graeme McDowell... im not even going to get in the discussion about the others.
After starting par-bogey-bogey yesterday, McDowell has played his last nine holes in 3-under and currently stands as the sole leader; he's the only player in red figures.
Not too surprising, considering he's coming off a T-7 in Memphis and always seems to get off to a strong start in the majors.
"All I need to say is Graeme McDowell." Ha.
8:43 a.m. ET: E-mail from Bill in Ann Arbor, Mich.:
Guaranteed Blog Jinx bogey coming up in the next three holes for Jeff Brehaut.
That didn't take long.
Look, I know it's the U.S. Open and guys are gonna make bogeys, but Brehaut hadn't carded a bogey since his first hole Thursday ... and then I mentioned him, and he dropped a stroke within minutes.
Bogey for Brehaut on No. 6. He drops to even-par, one behind sole leader Graeme McDowell.
8:37 a.m. ET: Not to beat a dead Horsey, but check out the bottom of the leaderboard.
David Horsey currently is 11-over through 12 holes, meaning he might be on his way to losing to not only Ben Roethlisberger, but also Michael Jordan and even Justin Timberlake.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Different conditions. Big Ben wouldn't shoot 81 today. Doesn't matter. You don't want to lose to an NFL quarterback or a retired basketball player. And you definitely don't want to get beaten by a pop singer.
8:30 a.m. ET: How about Jeff Brehaut?
After sleeping on the "overnight" lead, he's posted three straight pars to remain at 1-under, tied for the lead with Graeme McDowell.
As for the other former co-leaders? Johan Edfors and Ryan Spears now are at even-par, while Andrew Parr has dropped three strokes and now stands at 2-over.
8:25 a.m. ET: Great shot by Tiger Woods on No. 11.
Hitting his approach from the fairway, the ball hit 5 feet short of the hole, bounced right over it and spun back a few feet. He nearly jarred that one for eagle and will have a short birdie attempt coming up.
8:20 a.m. ET: E-mail from Grant in Atlanta:
It is just me or does sending the second flight of players right back out for Round 2 this afternoon give that group a significant disadvantage? Assuming no more rain (fat chance, I know) basically that means that a lot of guys will be playing close to 36 holes in one afternoon, while the other flight will play 36 holes stretched out over three mornings. I know the rains make the course soft, but it's still more difficult in the afternoon, right?
You know, I've been kicking around the question of which players have the advantage for nearly 24 hours now, and I'm calling it a draw. Those who played some holes in dreadful conditions Thursday were then forced to wait out the delay in the players' lounge, while many of the afternoon wave guys stayed in their houses or hotel rooms and never even had to go to the course.
That said, those players now have a long day coming up and an early morning Saturday, whereas the original morning wave guys will finish their first rounds and then take the rest of the day off.
Honestly, there might be some personal preferences as to which wave is better, but I'm not sure the waves will account for major differences on the scorecards.
8:17 a.m. ET: After driving into the bunker on No. 10, Tiger Woods sinks a big par saver to remain at 2-over.
He's laboring a bit out there, but that's a big putt. He needed to make one of 'em.
8:13 a.m. ET: And yes, I believe that would qualify as a Blog Jinx!
Justin Leonard is just the latest to fall victim to the dreaded curse ...
8:12 a.m. ET: Well, Justin Leonard finally broke that birdie/bogey streak.
But he didn't make a par.
After two consecutive birdies, Leonard made double-bogey on No. 10 to drop to even-par. That's now nine straight holes without a spar.
8:08 a.m. ET: Since it's such a hot-button issue right now, let's discuss the USGA's no-raincheck policy a little more. From Jay in Parts Unknown:
I've included a portion of the USGA mission statement below. I'm not sure these actions are preserving the "best interests for everyone who enjoys the game." How many other kids were denied their only shot to see the U.S. Open yesterday? Let's compare this with Augusta National, which is allowing badge holders to brings kids with them for free to the Masters. Who seems to be doing a better job of growing the game?
"Our Promise: Based on a shared love and respect for golf, we preserve its past, foster its future, and champion its best interests for everyone who enjoys the game."
Great point. I'm not sure how denying fans a chance to watch competitive rounds at the U.S. Open is in the "best interests" of everyone. I know there are other logistical problems, but this seems to completely negate the mission statement.
8:01 a.m. ET: Those 8-foot putts might be tweeners for you and me, but they usually are gimmes for Tiger Woods.
Not so much today.
After missing one from that length on No. 7, TW misses another 8-footer -- this one for birdie -- on the ninth hole.
Don't blame it on the greens, though. As soon as the ball missed the hole, Tiger knew why. "Pushed it," he said.
7:56 a.m. ET: Are there scores to be had out here? Absolutely -- and not just from the long hitters, either.
After posting three birdies and three bogeys Thursday, Justin Leonard came out this morning and converted a birdie putt on No. 8 and made another birdie on No. 9 to move to 2-under, in sole possession of the lead.
They say the U.S. Open is all about making pars and not getting too up or down, but check out Leonard's scorecard so far: par-bogey-birdie-birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie-birdie.
That's a front-side 33, which is impressive in any conditions, but especially these and especially from a player who doesn't hit the ball a mile.
7:43 a.m. ET: When was the last time a U.S. Open venue featured slow greens?
Well, that's the case right now, as these putting surfaces -- which were supposed to run 14-14½ throughout the week -- are still saturated with water.
The biggest problem for the players won't be adjusting to slow greens; it'll be the fact that the greens likely will be inconsistent, based on just how much water is being retained on each green and in each spot on the green.
I still think this allows players to take dead aim at the flagsticks, but don't expect too many 15- to 20-footers to be holed this morning. We'll see whether that changes once the course dries out more later in the day.
7:41 a.m. ET: The big news on the talk shows and among the fan base here in New York was the USGA's decision that it wouldn't honor Thursday tickets for any other round this week.
I've gotten a ton of e-mails on the issue from spectators -- well, potential spectators -- and before I give my thoughts on the matter, allow me to post the one e-mail that I believe summed up the frustration and disappointment as well as any.
From Roger in Rhode Island:
How can the USGA offer no refund or rain check for Thursday's ticket. I bought eight tickets for Thursday (because it is my day off) and drove all the way from Rhode Island. We got to Bethpage around 10:30 a.m. We did not see one player hit a ball. We spent 2-3 hours in the merchandise tent (and spent big $$$$$). As the rain worsened, we left around 3:30 p.m. Then we drove all the way back to Rhode Island (in awful traffic) and just arrived home around 10:30 p.m. to find out the USGA is taking my $800 ($100 per ticket) and saying, "Tough!"
Did I mention I took my kids out of school to see their first Open? Now they hate golf.
If they offered a rain check, then I might consider driving back down; if I didn't, then the loss would be mine. But to offer neither is unacceptable. $800 is a lot of money to get stuck in traffic, take two bus rides, spend money on clothes, get REALLY wet, then get stuck in more traffic ... only to see NO golf!!! At this point, I want my refund.
Gotta feel for Roger and everyone else who basically got screwed Thursday.
In my opinion, this was a big-time shank by the USGA. I know the fine print stated that once ticket-holders were inside the gates, those tickets wouldn't be good for another round, no matter how much play was suspended.
The organization had a chance to build some great PR and do something special for the fans like Roger who spent the day in the rain and spent money in the merchandise tent. After all, unlike a football or baseball game, there is no "maximum capacity" on a golf course. Yet rather than build up goodwill with these fans, the USGA has left them frustrated and upset. Bad move, in my opinion.
7:33 a.m. ET: Rough start for Tiger Woods. After blasting out of a bunker to about 8 feet on the seventh hole right before calling it a day Thursday, Woods just missed his par attempt.
He's now gone double-birdie-bogey in his past three holes and stands at 2-over, 3 strokes behind the leaders.
7:30 a.m. ET: Safe to say there have been plenty of mulligans taken at Bethpage Black over the years, but none like the USGA needed after rain washed away all but three hours and 16 minutes of the U.S. Open first round Thursday.
So let's call that one a breakfast ball -- well, a breakfast round, I suppose -- and let's hope more golf can be played today here at the course.
Here's the plan: The 78 players (the entire original morning wave) who were on the course when the horn sounded Thursday are back out there right now and ready to continue their opening round. The original afternoon wave of players will commence their tournament at 10 a.m. ET. Upon finishing the first 18, those players then will head right back out, starting at 4 p.m. ET and continuing through the day's final tee time at 6:12 p.m. The other half of the field, the ones out on the course right now? They aren't even scheduled with tee times for Round 2 later today.
Of course, that's assuming there are no delays today. Here is the official weather report:
After nearly 1.25 inches of rain on Thursday, a weak area of high pressure will build over our area today allowing for relatively drier conditions. A few areas of drizzle are possible this morning and a few light showers may develop during the afternoon hours but most of this activity will remain to our north. Expect winds to be light and variable today with significant cloud cover expected for most of the morning and a few pockets of sunshine possible this afternoon.
All good news. Until you read further ...
The next system to affect our area will move in late tonight bringing a chance for showers and thunderstorms by morning, but becoming likely between the mid-morning and early-afternoon hours. This system will likely produce rain into Sunday before moving further off the coast Sunday afternoon/evening.
Settle in, folks. We might be here for awhile.
As always, send your questions, comments, suggestions and "other stuff" to me at email@example.com or Twitter account JasonSobel. And keep your fingers crossed. Would be nice to see a full day of golf, huh?