The mailbag had many presents for me: Bank statements, money for surveys and two magazines with enticing covers.
Rolling Stone had Charlie Sheen gracing its front page, and the feature by Erik Hedegaard had some great quotes from Sheen’s father, yet the piece went into a condescending closing tone, so I casually rolled my eyes and sighed as a journalist, one whom I respect, took a bite of the low-hanging fruit where he could have had a superb ending to a memorable and timely cover story.
ESPN The Magazine was the other publication to grab my eyes. Not with their cover boy Matt Kemp, but with text running down the left-hand side: “Will Tiger Win Another Major?” Now you’ve got my attention.
Scott Miller breaks this topic down mathematically—with a shiny graphic that takes up more of the page than the text—but none of it matters. Essentially, Tiger’s been inching his way back “as the chart shows”, yet if you’ve watched the 112th US Open, you wouldn’t need some fancy graph to tell you that.
Tiger Woods has played the first two rounds of this Major well, better than I’d thought he would actually, and it’s obvious not just because of his share of the lead with David Toms and Jim Furyk at (-1). Woods was one of only six people under par after Day One; then he became one of the three to stay under (the co-leaders), and these three guys have more in common this weekend than a share of the lead: They’re the only three without a round of golf over par.
Toms, Furyk and of course Woods have all won Majors.
Tiger and Jim Furyk are set to tee off at around six o’clock on the east coast, giving the PGA a prime-time television audience for sure with Mr. Woods in the hunt.
And he’s been awesome television. Woods’ second shot on Hole 4 during Day One, setting up a birdie putt to put him in the red, was nothing shy of amazing.
At the end of Day Two yesterday, Hole 17 displayed its ugly side, testing Tiger and his short game with a third shot on the par 5 that the people on ESPN talked about ad nauseam—the difficulty, whether it was fair or not to have the chance of a shot this hard, on and on.
Then Tiger hit the shot like the greatest golfer ever to live would: Perfect.
It, also, should be noted, if Tiger Woods takes this US Open, he’ll have four of them for those of us counting such things, and I’d be willing to bet he’ll take his fifth within the next five years if his fourth happens this weekend.
Victims of the Cut and Those That Remain
The cut line has changed. No longer is it within ten shots of the leader; now the chopping block leaves only the top sixty, along with the ties.
Members of that cut included: Rory McIlroy (last year’s winner), Bubba Watson (Masters champion), Luke Donald (the number one golfer in the world), Vijay Singh (Major winner), as well as the guy I happened to pick to win the whole thing: Dustin Johnson. Oh well…
How about the guys remaining, shall we?
The leader after Day One was Michael Thompson at (-4), but Day Two he shot (+5), yet Thompson being at (+1) only puts him two shots back from the leaders. Not bad.
With him at two strokes back is Graeme McDowell, another Major winner, and Nicolas Colsaerts, a man from Belgium who’s playing well enough to make a move this weekend.
Just some names to keep your eyes on
Water Cooler Talking Points
Andy Zhang is fourteen years old, the youngest ever at a US Open; so what? He shot 79 on Thursday, which is (+9). Every ESPN boob—Chris Berman not included—for he’s great—cleverly stated what they were doing at 14. And laughs ensued. Ha ha.
Well, I was trying to score alcohol, and other self-destructive vices, while trying to ride my BMX bike instead of doing schoolwork; you happy? I answered it, too.
By the way: Rick Reilly has become way more than just an annoying and therefore terrible writer for ESPN; he’s awful television. Just saying…
Nick Watney had a double eagle on Hole 17; 53-year-old Michael Allen eagled Hole 14, a par 4.
...a member of the E-Street Band running a bag as a caddy (fyi)…
Stanford teammate of Tiger, and Oregon college’s golf coach, Casey Martin played on one leg
On Friday, an amateur, seventeen-year-old Beau Hossler, had a share of the lead after a birdie on Hole 17 and took sole possession of the whole thing following a birdie on Hole 1; however, when he hit the rest of the front nine, the kid yet to finish high school floundered a bit.
Nevertheless, Hossler will play the next two days, because he posted a 73 for his second round, after an even par 70 on Thursday.
“I got my feet on the ground and I don’t go to sleep to dream…”
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