Thursday, June 14, 2007

U.S. Open Underway

The 2007 United States Open is underway as of this morning. The US Open is a special and unique test of golf that also always happens to finish on Fathers Day, making it special to golfing fathers and sons from sea to shining sea. This is the one tournament each year where "Old Man Par" is a great score, and the best players on planet earth will struggle just to achieve that.

The biggest story this week amazingly isn't Tiger Woods but rather the course, Oakmont Country Club in Western Pennsylvania. Specifically how difficult a test it will be. In addition to the always diabolical US Open rough, Oakmont has the fastest greens in the world, faster even than the famous slick surfaces of Augusta National, and more sloped as well. So look for lots of crazy-ass shit on the greens this week. Note also that in the seven prior U.S. Opens held at Oakmont, a grand total of only 23 players have finished under par. Look for more of the same this week, with the winning score being close to par or even over par, depending on the weather.

Most notable this week will be the par 3 8th hole, which is clocking in at a longest in the history of major championships 288 yards. Most players are hitting 3 woods in, and some will even be hitting driver into this par 3. Also keep an eye on the par 5 12th hole, which is 667 yards and features a crazy green that slopes straight downhill {away from the players and their incoming shots}. A rarity in modern professional golf, this hole 1) will be a 3 shot hole for every player in the field 2) is a par 5 that players will be happy, rather than pissed at their wastefulness, for making a par.

TV coverage today and tomorrow on ESPN and NBC, and on Saturday and Sunday on NBC {10 a.m.- 4 p.m. PST both days}. You can also follow online at

The last 2 U.S.Opens have been won by non-household names {except golfnut households}, Geoff Oglivy last year and Michael Campbell in 2005. Something makes me think that this week will be three in a row for the non rock stars of golf.

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