Friday, June 28

Playing Golf With Parkinson's



GOLF IS HARD. GOLF WITH PARKINSON'S, a neurological disease that causes shaking and other symptoms, is harder. This video made by the Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI) profiles three men and a woman who haven't let Parkinson's stop them from enjoying the game.

I enjoyed their stories. Betsy is my favorite. She says you have to live your life and move on. Tom has benefited from the long putter. I like how he has adapted so he can make those three-footers.

The course setting is Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado, site of the 2007 Senior PGA Championship and 2013 Solheim Cup, coming in August. The 14th CNI Golf Classic will be held there on Monday, July 29 to raise awareness about neurological conditions.

Thursday, June 27

Youth Serve Notice at AT&T National

By Matthew Wurzburger

Ben Kohles
TONIGHT THE EYES OF THE BASKETBALL community are focused on Brooklyn, New York, for the 2013 NBA Draft. Draft night belongs to the next wave of talented players entering the league; young players who represent the future of the sport.

Earlier today, at Congressional Country Club some 230 miles south of Brooklyn, the day also belonged to the next wave of talent, a more youthful side of the PGA Tour.

With round one of the AT&T National complete, the upper echelon of the leaderboard is peppered with players who are only a few years removed from college. Billy Horschel, 26, a University of Florida product, and 23-year-old Bud Cauley of University of Alabama are tied for second place two strokes behind Roberto Castro’s five-under performance.

Two other youngsters shot opening-round 69s and are tied with six other players for fifth place. Ben Kohles, 23, from University of Virginia and Russell Henley, 24, from University of Georgia are three strokes behind Castro.

Congressional did not treat the players with kid gloves. It was tough out there. The damp conditions made the greens very soft, and also killed the roll in the fairway making the course play even longer than advertised. “The greens are very receptive,” said Kohles. “Then again, the fairways are too, so it is playing pretty long out there.”

In both golf and basketball, today has been a look at the future. As current stars age and fade out, a void will be left at the top of the sport. Do not be surprised if the talented young players currently at the top of the AT&T National leaderboard are among the game’s next stars.

Matthew Wurzburger is a University of Virginia student who covers sports for The Cavalier Daily.

Wednesday, June 26

WTAE (Pittsburgh): 'Jack Fleck Still Passionate About Golf'

Jack with a USGA intern.
HERE'S A NICE PIECE ON 91-YEAR-OLD Jack Fleck, the oldest-living U.S. Open champion, by WTAE ABC Pittsburgh.

Jack is in Pittsburgh for the Constellation Senior Players Championship. In the segment, you'll see Jack swing the golf club and answer a few questions about his historic upset over Ben Hogan in 1955.

WATCH Jack Fleck yesterday at Fox Chapel Golf Club
(via WTAE)

The $2.7 million Constellation Senior Players Championship begins on Thursday. Colin Montgomerie will make his Champions Tour debut.

Tuesday, June 25

The Hottest Golfer on the Planet

Inbee Park after winning Open in 2008.
THE 67TH U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN BEGINS on Thursday at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, New York, and Sports Illustrated's Michael Bamberger makes the case that a win by Inbee Park will mean she'll be three quarters of the way to the elusive Grand Slam. (Sorry Evian Championship.)

"It's a lovely event," Bamberger writes about the Evian tournament. "It's in France. It has a big purse. But it is not a major. A major is declared by decree, not by a marketing department."

With five LPGA Tour wins in 2013, two of them the year's first two majors, Park is the hottest golfer on the planet. Woods gets headlines for nursing a sore elbow (or for anything, really) while Park is mostly anonymous as world No. 1 and a player on the LPGA circuit. But Tiger's golf doesn't compare, at least not at the moment.

Bamberger's tale of the tape:
Woods has four wins this season, which is amazing, but you can't even talk about him and Park in the same breath. She has five wins, and is 2 for 2 in majors, while Woods is 0 for 2. She's the golfer of the half-year. 
Also, the 5'6" Park is loaded with a sort of modest and endearing charm. At the LPGA Championship she talked about steak dinners as a reward for hitting fairways with her driver. 
When was the last time you heard a PGA Tour player talking about a steak dinner as some special treat? Eisenhower's second term.
Na Yeon Choi is the defending champion of the U.S. Women's Open. Park won it in 2008. ESPN2 has the Thursday and Friday TV coverage. NBC will air the third and fourth rounds on the weekend.

Monday, June 24

Duke and Stads Bag Long-Awaited Victories

Ken Duke
IT TOOK 187 PGA TOUR STARTS but 44-year-old Ken Duke finally got that coveted first title on Sunday by beating Chris Stroud on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff at the Travelers Championship. Duke lofted a gorgeous pitching wedge shot just over a bunker that stopped three feet from the hole. Stroud failed to birdie, and Duke, a man who has seemingly played every tourCanadian, Asian, South American, Web.com, you name ittapped in for the long-sought victory.

"You have to be patient," Duke said. "You can't make things happen out here. You can't win by pushing everything. You just have to be patient. And that's kind of the way I live life. I'm an easy‑going kind of guy, just kind of a go‑with‑the‑flow kind of guy, and that's the way I play golf."

Bubba Watson looked like he was cruising to a second win in Cromwell until he triple bogeyed the par-3 16th hole. His public dress down of caddie Ted Scott over club selection and yardage has perhaps received as much attention as Duke's triumph, which is a shame, really. Caught on camera, it was a bad moment for Bubba, no doubt.

The caddie took the blame.

"I convinced him to hit the wrong club," Scott told PGATour.com. "I 100 percent take responsibility for it. It's totally my fault. I got in the way of the painter on that one."

Craig Stadler
It's not as if Craig Stadler had never won like Ken Duke, but it had been eight years and nine months between victories (not that anyone was counting). Stads, who is 60can you believe it?had to sink a 12-foot curling par putt to do it, and stroked it home for a one-shot victory over Fred Couples at the inaugural Encompass Championship in the Chicago suburbs.

"It looked really familiar to the putt I made a billion years ago at Akron," Stadler said about the tournament winner at North Shore Country Club. "Kind of left to right, just kind of dripped it in the low side.

"When's the last time I had anything to win a golf tournament?" he added about his ninth title on the Champions Tour. "It was a while ago. So be it. I missed every putt on the back nine and finally made one that counted."

Good for him. And Ken Duke. It's another thing that's cool about this game. Old(er) guys are good.

Saturday, June 22

Kangaroo Course

Kangaroos at Nelson Bay Golf Club in Australia. (Via 9 News National)


I'D LOVE TO GO TO AUSTRALIA. I'd love to play golf there. But I'd probably stay away from the Nelson Bay Golf Club north of Sydney if the above "large mob of kangaroos" was roaming the course and making it somewhat unplayable.

The above photo was taken by a golfer and posted on Reddit, an online message board, about a week ago. It reportedly went viral and prompted 1,600 comments.

There's a sign (below) at the golf course that warns about kangaroos and wallabies. It reads:

"WARNING: The kangaroos and wallabies on this course are wild and should not be approached as serious injuries could result."

(Via 9 News National)


Friday, June 21

Ernie Els Leads in Munich

open 47
Ernie Els at the 2009 British Open. (scotchollie / Flickr)
ERNIE ELS FOLLOWED UP AN OPENING 63 at the BMW International Open in Munich, Germany, with a 3-under 69 to take the halfway lead in the European Tour event. Els, the reigning British Open champion, made six birdies but also had a double bogey and bogey on his card. The "Big Easy" has a one-shot lead on Matthew Baldwin and Alexander Levy.

"There's so much golf to be played," Els said. "If you fall out of the lead, if you're not leading after three rounds, it doesn't really mean much at all late Sunday. So you just want to stay in the race and keep trying to go forward."

Els said he lacked energy on Friday, especially on the front nine, but was still able to salvage a good score despite making an "absolute mess of two holes."

Bubba Sets Pace

Bubba Watson is the 36-hole leader at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, after rounds of 63 and 67.

"I love this place," said Watson, the 2010 champion. "I always play well here."

Wednesday, June 19

Steve Stricker: 'I'm a Savage'



STEVE STRICKER IS A GOOD SPORT. We know that. Now there's another example. Stricker was a good sport in the above Avis "I'm a savage" commercial. Fun stuff.

Asked about the spot last week at the U.S. Open, Stricker said, "I hear that a lot from the galleries. And I'm not a savage by any means. I guess that's the funny part of the commmercial. I felt like a dork making it, but it was all good, all in good fun."

Starting one stroke behind Phil Mickelson's lead going into the final round at Merion Golf Club, Stricker got off to a rocky start and faded to a T8 finish. The tour veteran shot a 6-over 76 on Sunday after rounds of 71, 69 and 70. Despite going 4 over on his first three holes, Stricker said he was in a good place when he teed off.

"I didn't feel that nervous," Stricker said.

"I had a good warmup session. I felt good. I felt relaxed. I was excited for the day. Just the nature of the game, I guess. It puts you in place rather quickly at times. But still a good week. I competed well this week. I did a lot of good things. Surely not what I was looking for today, but still things I can build on."

Too bad about the missed opportunity. Along with Mickelson, Stricker, at age 46 and without a major, was a sentimental favorite. He knows he's running out of chances to break through.

Tuesday, June 18

Prep Golfer's 63 Earns Spot in Rex Hospital Open

Carter Jenkins is happy after a 63.
(Yes, that's Billy Casper at left.)
CARTER JENKINS OF LEESVILLE HIGH SCHOOL in Raleigh went low on Father's Day. Playing in the Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational at The Player's Club (TPC) at Wakefield Plantation, Jenkins carded an 8-under-par 63 to win low medalist honors and earn a spot in the field of the Rex Hospital Open, a Web.com Tour event that begins on Thursday.

"I had high expectations for the tournament today," Jenkins said. "I wanted to win this one pretty bad."

The round impressed the Tarheel Golf Foundation's Eric Murray, who knows a good score when he sees one, especially at TPC Wakefield Plantation.

"This was the lowest score I have seen in at least nine years," said Murray. "A 63 on this course is outstanding. Carter is not only ready to play, but ready to compete ...."

Now Jenkins will get the chance to tee it up with the pros in a tour event. Grayson Murray, a former teammate and past Junior Invitational winner, will caddie for him.

Jenkins, who also won the event in 2011 as the third youngest to play in the event at the age of 15, topped a Junior Invitational field featuring dozens of North Carolina's top prep golfers, many of whom will be playing for college programs next year.

Jenkins will attend UNC-Greensboro in the fall.

Monday, June 17

Justin Rose: 'Dad Was Inspiration the Whole Day'

By Brian Keogh

Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.

(© USGA/Joel Kowsky)
JUSTIN ROSE PUT ON A DISPLAY of sheer class as a golfer and a sportsman to consign his early career struggles to history and capture his first major championship with a two-stroke US Open victory over eternal bridesmaid Phil Mickelson and Australian’s Jason Day at a punishing Merion last night.

The 32 year old Englishman, who first rose to fame as a 17-year old amateur when he chipped in at the final hole to finish fourth in the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale, carded a level par final round 70 to win the title with a one over par total of 281. His win, the first by an Englishman in a major for 17 years, meant a heart-breaking sixth US Open runner up finish for Mickelson on his 43rd birthday.

But not only did Rose have comforting words for the left-hander, the manner in which he closed out his victory by tapping in from a couple of inches for a closing par before gesturing to the heavens in tribute to his late father Ken, was spine-tingling and an example to youngsters everywhere.

“Yes, the look up to the heavens was absolutely for my dad,” Rose said. “Father’s Day was not lost on me today. You don’t have opportunities to really dedicate a win to someone you love. And today was about him and being Father’s Day.

“I got a beautiful text [from coach Sean Foley] that said go out and be the man your dad taught you to be and be the man that your kids can be proud of and look up to. That’s how I tried to carry myself out there. My dad was the inspiration the whole day.”

Rose also paid tribute to Mickelson the man.

“This is definitely a tough defeat for Phil. Five times or something, I guess now six times second in the U.S. Open. He’s such a great guy to play golf with and to have for the TOUR. I love the way he plays the game. He plays fearless golf. He keeps everybody guessing. He’s entertaining. And I feel fortunate to have been able to beat a world class player that he is on a day like today.

“He’s also on Father’s Day. I mean, he really showed the true spirit of fatherhood being at home for his daughter’s graduation earlier in the week and putting a tournament as his second priority and that’s very admirable.”

Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.

Luckless Lefty

A promising U.S. Open again turned tragic for Phil Mickelson. (© USGA/Jonathan Kolbe)


By Matthew Wurzburger

PHIL MICKELSON ENTERED THE FINAL ROUND of the 2013 U.S. Open, and quickly faltered. Lefty bookended a birdie on the 4th hole with double bogeys on holes 3 and 5, and saw his lead evaporate. Then came the par-4 10th hole where Mickelson miraculously holed his approach shot for eagle and a share of the lead.

At that moment, as Phil retrieved his ball from the cup, you had to wonder if this would finally be his year. It wasn’t.

Mickelson lost all momentum by bogeying the 13th and 15th holes, yet found himself only one shot behind leader Justin Rose. It would come down to the 511-yard, par-4 18th hole for Phil; a birdie would force a playoff and 18 more holes on Monday. It was not meant to be as Phil’s second shot from the rough fell short of the green and his potential tournament-saving chip rocketed past the cup.

Feel free to stop me when this sounds familiar.

The stars appeared to align for Phil this time. The final round would occur on his 43rd birthday and, of course, on Father’s Day. His opening-round 67 following a redeye flight from his home in California seemed to suggest that this might be his time. But fast-forward to Sunday evening and you realize the stars were instead seemingly aligned to produce more U.S. Open heartbreak for Phil.

NBC’s Johnny Miller stated that Mickelson had “a million missed chances” during Sunday’s round at Merion. If Miller was correct, it is likely Phil missed as many chances during his other five runner-up finishes. Six million chances missed by Mickelson: putts that lipped out, drives that barely missed the fairway, approach shots left short, and chip shots hit with too much pace.

They all add up to tragic missteps such as a triple bogey on the 17th hole at Shinnecock Hills in 2004, a double bogey on the 18th at Winged Foot in 2006, and yesterday’s early double bogeys and costly late bogeys, leaving a people’s champion standing on the outside looking in for a record six times at the U.S. Open.

Sometimes it is not meant to be.

Matthew Wurzburger is a University of Virginia student who covers sports for The Cavalier Daily.

Sunday, June 16

Tiger's Quest for 15th Major Continues

Tiger Woods studies a putt at Merion Golf Club on Sunday. (© USGA/Joel Kowsky)


TIGER WOODS SHOT A 4-OVER 74 in the final round of the 2013 U.S. Open. Woods posted rounds of 73, 70, 76 and 74 to finish at 13-over par. Putting was his primary downfall.

"I struggled with the speed all week," Tiger said.

"These greens are grainy. It's one of the older bent grasses, creeping bent. So it's a little bit grainy. I struggled with the speed, especially right around the hole, putts were breaking a lot more. I gave it a little more break and then it would hang. That's kind of the way it was this week."

2013 U.S. Open: Final Round Course Setup

Getting Merion ready for weekend play. (© USGA/Darren Carroll)


(Course setup notes provided to the media by the USGA.)

The following are details on the course setup for Round 4 of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, from Mike Davis, USGA Executive Director.

Green Speeds – The final round’s green speeds are in the 13- to 13½-foot range on the USGA Stimpmeter.

Fairway and Rough Grass – All fairways were mowed this morning. The rough’s first cut (18 feet in width of drive zones; 9 feet in width around greens) was mowed immediately after play last (Saturday) night.

Total Course Yardage for Sunday (tee marker settings to flagstick) = 3,646 yards out; 3,207 yards in = 6,853 total yards

Hole-by-Hole Information:

Hole 1 – 360 yards; the hole location is in the back-left portion of the green.

Hole 2 – 525 yards; tee markers have been moved forward to the penultimate teeing ground, which will give players a better opportunity to reach the green in two shots; the hole location is in the front-left portion of the green.

Hole 3 – 266 yards; tee markers are placed on the back tee; the hole location is two-thirds of the way back on the right; properly played tee shots should “feed” into this area.

Hole 4 – 571 yards; tee markers have been placed forward on the penultimate teeing ground; the hole location is in the front-center portion of the green.

Hole 5 – 495 yards; the hole location is in the front-center portion of the green.

Hole 6 – 477 yards; the hole location is in the back-right portion of the green.

Hole 7 – 490 yards; the hole location is on the front (first) left plateau.

Hole 8 – 353 yards; the hole location is in the back-right portion of the green.

Hole 9 – 246 yards; the hole location is in the back-left quadrant of this kidney-shaped green.

Hole 10 – 280 yards; tee markers are placed on the penultimate teeing ground, giving an opportunity to drive the green; the hole location is in the left portion of the green.

Hole 11 – 356 yards; the hole location is in the front-right portion, hugging the edge of the water hazard.

Hole 12 – 419 yards; the hole location is in the far back-right portion of the green.

Hole 13 – 121 yards; tee markers are placed on the back-right side of the lower teeing ground; the hole location is in the center, to the far right of the green.

Hole 14 – 452 yards; tee markers have been placed on the back teeing ground; the hole location is in the front-center of the green; putts played from beyond the hole are very fast.

Hole 15 – 422 yards; tee markers have again been moved slightly forward, giving a few more options off the tee; the hole location is back right, tucked behind the bunker that fronts the right side of the putting green.

Hole 16 – 423 yards; the hole location is in the front-left portion of the green, just above the front right “bowl.”

Hole 17 – 213 yards; the tee markers have been moved forward to the penultimate teeing ground; the hole location is in the back-right portion of the green in an area where balls will “feed” if the proper shot is played; birdies are a much better possibility in the final round.

Hole 18 – 511 yards; given the southerly headwind prediction, the tee markers are moved forward to the penultimate teeing ground; the hole is in the back left “bowl” in the traditional final-day championship location; balls should “feed” to this area.

Weather Forecast for Sunday (provided by Jake Swick of Thor Guard Weather)
Look for more clouds than sun this morning with a shower or few sprinkles possible as the first wave of the next storm system weakens heading into our existing drier air from yesterday. Southwesterly winds will pick up by this afternoon though, with gusts past 15 mph at times. Combine that with a bit more sunshine projected to start this afternoon and we should become warm enough and humid enough to get some shower and thunderstorm activity started with the second piece of energy. Fortunately because of all the extra cloud cover, the latest indications are that the atmosphere may not be as unstable as previously thought. Therefore expect a shower or storm to be possible from 2 p.m. on with the best chance for scattered showers (60 percent) and maybe a storm (30 percent) by 5 p.m. through 8 p.m. A shower or storm is possible as well this evening, however most of the action should die down after sunset. Monday should start out muggier than this morning and it will also be hotter as well with just the slimmest risk of a shower or storm.

Merion Is Like Boxing Great Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier and Merion pack a powerful punch.
IN A PIECE AT LOCAL KNOWLEDGE on GolfDigest.com, former USGA Executive Director David Fay compared the East Course at Merion Golf Club where the 2013 U.S. Open is being staged this week to boxing great Joe Frazier.

"There was a headline this morning. After two rounds the winner is Merion," Fay said.

"I think it's held up well. You have a historic masterpiece here, and it is proving it is up to the challenge and taking everything that contemporary golf can dish out. We're in Philly. Joe Frazier. That's how I look at Merion. It's a compact heavyweight. It's relentless. There are some times when you think you can let your guard down you might get a whistling left hook and wonder what hit you."

So true.

For example, Merion's 17th and 18th holes are a fierce combination, able to knock out any player in the field. Which means the winner of the 113th U.S. Open championship will probably be in doubt until the final bell sounds. Anything can happen.

Saturday, June 15

'Dejected' Graeme McDowell Focuses on Future

2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell struggled at Merion. (© USGA. All Rights Reserved.)


By Brian Keogh

Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.

WE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE NOTED the warning signs last Tuesday. Graeme McDowell, one of the hot favourites behind Tiger Woods to win his second US Open this week, hemmed and hawed about the conditions, about possible mud balls and even about being heavily tipped. In summary, he sounded like a man who was distinctly uncomfortable with the pressure of being regarded as the man most likely to throw a spanner in the Woods works.

As it turned out, it was the change in the course from last week’s firm running practice rounds to this week’s sticky wicket that clean bowled the 2010 champion as he added a 77 to his opening 76 to miss the cut on 13 over par.

“Pretty far over par,” said McDowell who signed off at the 10th by making his fourth double bogey of the round. “It’s that hard, it’s that difficult, it’s that long. I’m disappointed, of course. It’s not the way I wanted to play the last couple of days. But this place is very hard.”

Not even the thought of the upcoming Irish Open or Open Championship could cheer up the Portrush man.

“I’m temporarily dejected,” he said.

“You’re trying to prepare yourself as well as you can coming into weeks like this so I’ll shake it off and I’ll get ready for The Open Championship in a few weeks time. That’s my next target. The Irish Open and the French Open between then. I’ll be competitively sharp going into Muirfield and I’ll continue to draw on this season.”

Already three over par with five holes of his opening round to complete yesterday morning, McDowell bogeyed the 16th and then double bogeyed the 18th from the middle of the fairway to move one step closer to the airport.

He was still optimistic about his chances of clawing his way back, insisting: “The beauty of the US Open though is that it’s not over. I can go and shoot 3, 4 under par this afternoon...So all is not lost.”

But it didn’t quite work out that way.

Starting at the bijoux 11th where Bobby Jones closed out his Grand Slam in 1930, McDowell ran up a double bogey six for the second day in a row. His tournament was all but over, yet while he birdied the 12th, he bogeyed the 15th and then double bogeyed the 17th and 18th to balloon to 12 over par. He hit back with birdies at the par-five second and fourth but bogeyed the sixth and limped to the finish.

“I struggled the last couple days, but that’s golf and that’s the US Open,” he said. “And this golf course will do that to you, but it will be a short‑term dejection ... we’ll soon check that off and get ready.”

Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.

Not-So-Sweet Merion Produces High Scores

Merion was unkind to Tim Clark on Friday. (© USGA/Michael Cohen)


THE CONCERN AT THE BEGINNING of the week, as biblical rains fell in Ardmore, was this: How would poor little Merion fare against the world's best golfers? One glance at the leaderboard as we await the start of the third round tells the story. Merion is a brute, a smallish one perhaps, but a brute nonetheless. Only Billy Horschel and Phil Mickelson are under par at the halfway point of the 2013 U.S. Open. Both are 1 under and will play in the final group along with Luke Donald on Saturday.

I am reminded of a few things. This is a U.S. Open, after all, and it's playing like one. The USGA are the masters of setting up a golf course to play tough, even one that has seen six or so inches of rain fall on it in a week's time. Another thing: A U.S. Open course need not play long to play hard. This is one hard-playing short golf course.

We also know it's the U.S. Open because some of the happy talk early in the week has turned into pointed and angry talk as the weekend approached. Case in point: Zach Johnson, the usually diplomatic Masters champion from Iowa. Zach made some un-Zach-like comments about the Merion setup after posting an 11-over total.

"I would describe the whole golf course as manipulated," Johnson said in a story by Randall Mell at GolfChannel.com. "It just enhances my disdain for the USGA and how it manipulates golf courses."

Asked if it was a fair setup, he said, "Not when luck is required. I think Merion is a great golf course, if you let Merion be, but that is not the agenda."

Welcome to the U.S. Open. No one protects par like the USGA.

Others also made comments, somewhat veiled, but you got their drift. The hole locations on Friday had players grumbling to themselves, and occasionally aloud.

"They moved the tee up on 17," said Rory McIlroy, who is in contention at 3-over par. "But they put the pin in a place that's virtually impossible to get to. I felt like I hit a career shot and I hit it to about 60 feet."

"They've really tried to ... protect the golf course with it being as soft as it is," said Tiger Woods, who is tied with McIlroy. "And they've given us some really, really tough pins."

That was Friday on a saturated golf course. This is Saturday, the sun is shining and not-so-sweet Merion is drying out. Who, if anyone, will be under or near par at nightfall?

Friday, June 14

Billy Ball

Billy Horschel fired a 67 at the U.S. Open. (© USGA/Hunter Martin)


BILLY HORSCHEL HIT ALL 18 GREENS in regulation in the second round of the U.S. Open on Friday at Merion Golf Club. Horschel's impressive ball-striking exhibition resulted in a 3-under 67, tying him with Phil Mickelson for low round of the championship. Horschel's 36-hole total of 1-under 139 makes him the leader in the clubhouse. Several groupings are still playing their second round on Friday evening.

Horschel was patient on Friday. Horschel was also prudent, not firing at pins. But, as he said about his consistent long game, "I wasn't in the zone.

"I was just focused on what I tried to do. I didn't know I hit every green until I walked off 18. It's a cool thing."

David Graham had a similar round at Merion, also hitting 18 greens and carding a 67. Graham took home the U.S. Open trophy. That was in 1981, more than five years before Horschel was born.

McIlroy and Woods Trade Jabs and Match Scores

Rory McIlroy on Friday at Merion Golf Club. (© USGA/Joel Kowsky)


THEIR DAY BEGAN EARLY. RORY MCILROY and Tiger Woods resumed their first round at 7:13 a.m. on Friday and both finished with a 3-over 73 on Merion's East Course. A short while later, along with Masters champion Adam Scott, they were on the tricky layout again to play their second round. They both went around in even-par 70, a tidy score on a breezy, mostly sunny day.

"I played well," Woods said. "I just made a couple mistakes out there today, but I really played well. Maybe I could have gotten one or two more out of it, but it was a pretty good day."

"I really like it," McIlroy said about playing in the U.S. Open. "You're under pressure from that first tee shot and you got to put your ball in the fairway every hole .... And when you do, there's some holes that you can take advantage of and there's some holes that you just have to try and make par and move on. So it's a great test and it's a test that I am enjoying this week."

Merion is playing tougher than expected. The first-round scoring average was a shade over 74. Besides a 67 by Billy Horschel, no one else has cracked par as of late Friday afternoon. Scott, the other member of the star grouping, struggled to a 75 in the second round after opening with a 72. The Aussie is in jeopardy of missing the cut.

How did Rory enjoy Tiger's company for the first two days at a U.S. Open?

"We still get on well and there was still a good bit of chatter out there and a good bit of needling every now and again. I said something at the last that I was trying to make that putt so I didn't have to play with you [Tiger] tomorrow .... [I]t's always good fun with them out there."

At 3-over 143, McIlroy and Woods will be around for the weekend. Moreover, they're in contention to put their name on the U.S. Open trophy yet again.

U.S. Open Spectator Report: For the Love of Golf

Golf fans flock to the U.S. Open. (© USGA/Hunter Martin)


PEOPLE, AS IN SPECTATORS, LOVE the U.S. Open. I believe it because I've seen it. Yesterday's dire weather forecast did not keep golf fans away from Merion Golf Club or significantly diminish the crowds, at least not as far as I could tell. We don't have weather anymore. We have "weather events." This area's Thursday forecast had a little bit of everything: severe thunderstorms, rain, more rain, possible tornadoes, possible hail, you name it.

But it did not deter thousands of spectators who were determined to be a part of America's national golf championship. They tromped along muddy paths in all kinds of footwear, many wearing rubber boots, to watch the world's best golfers. You know what? The "weather event," as forecasted, didn't come off. Thursday turned out far better, with more golf played, than anyone could have hoped for. The USGA must have breathed a huge, collective sigh of relief.

One man who I heard interviewed on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio had a ticket for Thursday and was on a personal mission to get here. He had never been to a U.S. Open. He lives in Rochester, New York. He drove seven hours from his upstate New York home and planned to park at the Rose Tree lot. Upon learning that particular lot had been closed for the duration of the championship due to weather-related issues, he parked his car, hopped on public transit and arrived at Merion's doorstep. On Thursday evening, he was on the road home to Rochester, brimming with enthusiasm.

Opening in 1912, Merion wasn't built for an event such as this, with its tented villages, massive USGA infrastructure, worldwide media presence and tens of thousands of spectators. The U.S. Open has taken over this quaint Ardmore neighborhood. USGA shuttles loop through driveways of residents. The scoring trailers and flash media area where players are interviewed when they come off the course are on the McNeil's property. (It's a nice place with a rather large garage.)

U.S. Opens might typically host approximately 40,000 spectators per day. Because of Merion's petite size, this U.S. Open can accommodate 25,500 golf fans per day. Routing and flows make certain parts of the golf course inaccessible to spectators on foot, but there are bleachers galore. In fact, there are enough bleachers to seat 15,000 folks. (One prime viewing spot that I've taken advantage of is the generous bleacher seating at the 17th green.)

For those determined to park their cars close to Merion, it will cost $30 to $45 per day based on the signs I've seen. There are plenty of residents and local businesses hawking parking spots on the edges of the East Course.

The weather forecast looks good for today's second round, which was delayed about three hours as several groupings still had to finish round one. It is overcast and cool. It will only reach the low 70s. Rain showers and thunderstorms are possible late this afternoon.

Thursday, June 13

Phil Mickelson Plays Like It's 1999 to Grab U.S. Open Lead

(© USGA/Darren Carroll)
ON THURSDAY AT MERION GOLF CLUB, Phil Mickelson played golf like it was 1999. Mickelson fired a 3-under 67 on the soggy championship layout, his lowest first round in a U.S. Open since he battled Payne Stewart down the stretch at Pinehurst fourteen years earlier.

Apparently, crisscrossing the country to attend his daughter's eighth-grade graduation and arriving back in eastern Pennsylvania in the early morning hours didn't bother the charismatic veteran still searching for his first U.S. Open title. Mickelson had command of his game as he carded four birdies and made just one bogey on the storied East Course.

Mickelson was comfortable with his prep work, so a quick trip home to San Diego had no ill effects on his game.

"I got all my work done on Merion when I was here a week and a half ago," he said. "I knew exactly how I wanted to play the golf course, given the conditions ... clubs I was going to be hitting, where I was going to be and the shots I was going to have."

After completing his round, Lefty was sounding like Lee Trevino, who said he loved Merion after beating Jack Nicklaus in an 18-hole playoff to win the 1971 U.S. Open.

"I told [USGA Executive Director Mike Davis] that this is the best setup I've ever seen for a U.S. Open. I think what I loved about Merion and what they did to Merion in the setup is they made the hard holes even harder .... [I]f you're playing well, you're going to be able to make pars and you're going to be able to separate yourself from the field."

That's exactly what Mickelson did on Thursday. He made birdies where they're expected, but he also played par golf through Merion's punishing stretch of five finishing holes. Afterward, he explained why Merion wasn't more vulnerable to low scores on what is likely to be the easiest scoring day of the tournament.

"We are all struggling because it's such a penalizing golf course," he said. "It's penalizing if you miss fairways, very difficult if you miss greens, and it's not a given to two-putt on these greens. They're some of the most pitched greens we have ever seen and they're very quick."

Not long after Mickelson completed his round, the grouping of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott teed off. The marquee grouping and several others will not complete their first round by nightfall, but at least they're progressing nicely after a weather forecast that had everyone wondering if Thursday would be a disaster.

UPDATE: Play has again been halted due to weather.

2013 U.S. Open: Round 1 Course Setup

Changing skies over Merion on Thursday. (© USGA/Darren Carroll)
FIRST-ROUND PLAY OF THE U.S. OPEN resumed after a nearly four-hour suspension due to thunderstorms. Here's how the USGA has set up Merion's East Course for Thursday, taking into account the anticipated storms.

(Setup details were provided by USGA Executive Director Mike Davis.)
Green Speeds – Today's green speeds before the rain were in the 13- to 13½-foot range on the USGA Stimpmeter. They will likely settle out in the mid-to-high 12s when play resumes.

Rough Grass – In anticipation of today's weather event, the closer-in (roughly 18 feet in width) rough grass in the drive zones, as well as the closer-in (9 feet in width) greenside rough on some of the holes, was mowed last night. 
Weather Affecting Course Setup Decisions – Hole locations for Round 1 were chosen based on the forecast for heavy rains. Further, teeing grounds and hole locations that have more slope were chosen based on the forecast for winds predominantly out of the south for Thursday. However, winds will switch to predominantly from the north on Friday (when we will likely still be playing Round 1). The intent is to provide fair conditions with the knowledge that there will likely be wind in opposite directions for Round 1. 
Total Course Yardage for Thursday (tee marker settings to flagstick) = 3,760 yards out; 3,206 yards in = 6,966 total yards
Based on the current forecast at Weather.com, it looks like there could be a window for extended play this afternoon. Severe thunderstorms are in the forecast for late afternoon or early evening.

2013 U.S. Open TV Schedule and Tournament Notes

THE 2013 U.S. OPEN began early Thursday morning at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Play was suspended at 8:36 a.m. due to a severe storm that is expected to disrupt play for much of the day. Ian Poulter is the early leader at 3 under par. Starting on the 11th hole, Poulter carded three consecutive birdies before play was suspended.

(© USGA/Darren Carroll)
Purse: $8 million
Winner’s share: $1.44 million
Defending champion: Webb Simpson

2013 U.S. Open Leaderboard

The field
Groupings and starting times
The course
Championship overview
Tour report
Interviews
Live video

TV SCHEDULE

TV coverage of the 2013 U.S. Open is on ESPN and NBC.
All times ET.

Thu, Jun 13
9:00a-3:00p ESPN
3:00-5:00p NBC
5:00-7:00p ESPN

Fri, Jun 14
9:00a-3:00p ESPN
3:00-5:00p NBC
5:00-7:00p ESPN

Sat, Jun 15
1:00-7:30p NBC

Sun, Jun 16
1:00-7:30p NBC

SIRIUS-XM PGA Tour broadcast times

Raining Birdies (and Rain) Early at Merion

IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG DAY at the U.S. Open. The first round teed off on schedule but was suspended at 8:36 a.m. as the first band of a severe storm approached Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Thunder is rumbling overhead as I sit in the media center.

Several groupings starting on the 1st and 11th tees were on Merion's East Course when play was suspended.

Ian Poulter began his round at the 11th, joined by Jason Dufner and Boo Weekley, and posted 3-3-2 to start his U.S. Open with three consecutive birdies. Poulter is the early, and I mean early, leader at 3 under par. Four players are at 2 under: Nicolas Colsaerts, Charl Schwartzel, Tim Clark and Charley Hoffman, who started his round birdie-birdie.

How much golf will be played today is an open question. When I will evacuate the media tent is also an open question. The most severe weather is expected this afternoon.

Wednesday, June 12

2013 U.S. Open: Wednesday Images from Merion

(All images courtesy USGA. All Rights Reserved.)

Volunteers
Spectators
USGA Executive Director Mike Davis
Distinctly Merion
Lee Westwood
Keegan Bradley
2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson
Luke Donald
Zach Johnson
Dustin Johnson
Tiger Woods

Stormy Start Ahead at Merion

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at Merion on Wednesday. (©USGA/Darren Carroll)


IF ONLY IT COULD STAY LIKE THIS. By this, I mean sunny, warm, breezy. Merion Golf Club is gorgeous this afternoon, 80 degrees, a light wind drying out these golf wetlands. But, alas, the weather is supposed to take another dramatic turn on Thursday. More on that in a moment.

I took a walk a little while ago along the 16th, 15th, 14th and 11th holes. The ground underfoot is damp, even wet, in places, but it's also surprisingly dry at the surface where the thick, lush grass that borders the fairways is growing before one's eyes. Or so it seems. I reached down to brush the grass in spots. It's not wet. If the rain could stay away for a few days, this 113th U.S. Open might not be overly influenced by soggy turf.

The weather forecast is ominous, though. The early morning USGA update said this: "Showers to our west today will clip us at times tonight and Thursday morning before potentially severe storms march through Thursday afternoon. Strong winds Thursday night will help usher in drier air for Friday."

Merion, what I've seen of it, looks immaculate. The rough will be a serious issue. It it tall. It is thick. And, with more rain likely, it will be wet. A trip into the rough will cost a stroke or more. Ernie Els said a player can figure on advancing the ball about 120 to 140 yards out of the rough, at best.

Players: DO NOT GO INTO THE ROUGH.

They will, of course. The ones who visit the rough the least will be the names you see on the leaderboard.

Tomorrow I hope we're talking about the 150-plus players and their starts after all the pre-championship buildup, but I'm afraid much of the conversation will be about the weather. A wicked storm is bearing down on poor Merion from the west.

Hey, Tiger, Clint. While We're Young



THE USGA TODAY UNVEILED A NEW public-education campaign around the theme of "While We're Young" to raise awareness across the golf community of the challenges and solutions to the game's pace-of-play issues. Borrowing the iconic line from the character played by Rodney Dangerfield in the classic 1980 film Caddyshack®, the campaign takes a lighthearted approach to encourage golfers of all skill levels and golf course facilities to join a movement to improve pace of play and reduce the time it takes to play the game.

The USGA will debut five public-service announcements (PSA) featuring Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood, Annika Sorenstam, Paula Creamer and golf instructor Butch Harmon. The five PSAs can be viewed at www.usga.org/whilewereyoung.

Hello, Merion

(© USGA/Darren Carroll)


I'M HERE. I'M EXCITED. OK, SO I'm not actually on the grounds yet, but I will be soon. In fact, I just wrote this in an email to a friend in England: "I'm in Philadelphia for the U.S. Open, and will lay eyes on Merion for the first time in a couple of hours. Excited!"

This is my third consecutive U.S. Open. My first as a credentialed media member was Rory McIlroy's record romp at Congressional in 2011. I was at Olympic last year, and with my book coming out at that time and my association with giant-killer Jack Fleck, I can't imagine anything topping that. If all goes as planned, I'll also be at next year's U.S. Open in Pinehurst, which is only about four hours from my Floyd, Virginia, door.

I consider myself fortunate to be able to attend our national championship. As I was telling my wife the other day, this, in a golf sense, is my annual conference. I don't go to a lot of tournaments. I'm grateful that the USGA has given me a credential. The media tent has opened to bloggers like me, and now I'm a golf author, too.

I drove up from Virginia yesterday and listened to U.S. Open coverage the entire way. I heard most all of the media conferences: Tiger Woods, Adam Scott (recorded), Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Steve Stricker and more.

After winning the 1971 U.S. Open at Merion, Lee Trevino said, "I love Merion, and I don't even know her last name." I think all the players I listened to on the way here also want to love Merion, but she hasn't been that easy to get to know, especially with five-plus inches of rain falling on her since last Friday. This will be a very interesting U.S. Open, but they all are, aren't they?

I'm fearful of Thursday's forecast. This Merion doesn't need any more moisture.

I'll be getting my bearings today, getting out on the historic golf course where Jones and Dutra and Hogan and Trevino and Graham have walked and won, finding my way around the not-so-vast grounds and the media center. I'll be doing a lot of radio this weekat least a lot for me. I did a show late last night as I watched the San Antonio Spurs three-bomb the Miami Heat.

And I'll be blogging, of course.

There is a second book, by the way. It's in the works and will be out next year. I'm looking forward to telling you more about it when the time is right.

Tuesday, June 11

Remembering Francis Ouimet 100 Years Later

IT'S THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF FRANCIS Ouimet's amazing playoff victory over Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in the 1913 U.S. Open. Ouimet, of course, was an amateur. Vardon and Ray were professionals, arguably the world's two best players of that time.

The Golf Channel's Al Tays wrote a long, fine piece that puts Ouimet's shocker into historical perspective. It's titled, "Remembering Ouimet: How his win changed U.S. golf." A taste:
Before there was Bobby Jones, there was Francis Ouimet. 
Ouimet was the first amateur to win the U.S. Open. Others would soon follow – Jerome Travers in 1915, Chick Evans in 1916. World War I interrupted the tournament until 1919, and in 1923 the greatest amateur of all, Bobby Jones, won his first of four U.S. Opens (to go along with three British Opens, five U.S. Amateurs and one British Amateur). 
Only 9 when Ouimet won the U.S. Open, Jones later admitted he was inspired by the feat. “That is the first golf I remember reading about in the papers,” Jones wrote in his 1927 book, “Down the Fairway,” “and I began to feel that this was a real game.”
If you love golf history, settle into a comfortable chair and read the whole thing.

World No. 1 Inbee Park Is on Major Roll

Inbee Park (Allison)
INBEE PARK WON HER THIRD MAJOR and second in a row in a playoff on Sunday at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. With four wins this season, two of them majors, the 24-year-old South Korean is burning up the circuit.

Golfweek's Beth Ann Baldry reported:
The last time a Grand Slam buzz surrounded a World No. 1 was back in 2005, when Annika Sorenstam headed into the U.S. Women's Open at Cherry Hills looking to make history. Sorenstam came up short that year, but Inbee Park has earned the chance to pull off the grandest of Grand Slams. 
Park's playoff victory at the Wegmans LPGA Championship on Sunday makes her two-for-two in 2013 majors. Any other year she'd be halfway home to the coveted Slam. But this year, it's harder than ever to accomplish the feat. This year, there are five trophies to collect. 
"I just love playing in major championships," said Park, who has won three of them.
The next major is the U.S. Women's Open at the end of June, followed by the Ricoh Women's British Open and The Evian Championship.

Monday, June 10

Ben Hogan's Miracle Comeback at Merion

When Ben Hogan turned up at Merion Golf Club for the 1950 U.S. Open just 16 months after a near-fatal automobile accident, Cary Middlecoff called him "a walking miracle." Following is a short excerpt from my book (THE LONGEST SHOT: Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf's Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open) that tells about Hogan's agonizing 36-hole Saturday (the third and fourth rounds were played on the final day until 1965), his famous 1-iron shot and the Sunday playoff.

[Ben] Hogan arose at 5:30 a.m. to prepare himself for his 9:30 a.m. tee time. By noon, cramps again viciously attacked his legs. The hobbled champion gamely played on, finishing with a 72 that left him 2 behind leader [Lloyd] Mangrum with 18 holes to go. When Mangrum and others fell back on the outward 9, Hogan took the lead. The pain in his legs had become so acute that his caddie took his ball out of the hole and playing partner Middlecoff marked his ball at times. On the 12th tee, Hogan reached out and grabbed an arm to keep from falling after hitting his drive.

"I thought he was going to collapse," Middlecoff said.

By the time he reached the 72nd hole, Hogan had surrendered his three-shot lead and needed a par on the challenging 448-yard finishing hole to get into a playoff with Mangrum and George Fazio. He hit a solid drive in the fairway but still faced a wood or long iron shot from a slight downhill lie to the 18th green. The fairway was lined by thousands of spectators as he reached for his 1-iron, a difficult club to play under the best of circumstances. The Hawk made perfect contact. Directly behind Hogan, Hy Peskin, who had set his camera on a spectator's shoulder, snapped one of golf's most famous photographs. As the masses craned their necks, Hogan's 1-iron shot rocketed through the air and landed safely on the distant green, stopping 40 feet left of the cup. He limped up the rise to the putting surface and surveyed his long putt. His first effort was too strong, leaving a nervous four-footer. He took little time and holed his par to tie Mangrum and Fazio.

(Courtesy of Golf Channel)
The next day, against all reasonable odds, Hogan won the 18-hole playoff and was crowned national champion. Penalized two shots on the 16th green, Mangrum posted a 73. Fazio had a disappointing 75. The Hawk shot a 69.

Hogan had completed what some considered to be the greatest comeback in the history of sports. A stone plaque in Merion's 18th fairway marks the spot where he struck the famous 1-iron shot. It was the last shot Hogan hit with the club, which, along with a pair of his shoes, was stolen moments after his playoff victory.

VIDEO: Ernie Els Predicts Good Scoring at Merion



ERNIE ELS TALKS TO ESPN'S Michael Collins about what to expect at the 2013 U.S. Open.

Weather Forces U.S. Open Parking Changes

BY USGA

DUE TO THE CURRENT WEATHER CIRCUMSTANCES, the United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced the temporary closure of parking lots that were scheduled to be used by spectators attending the 113th U.S. Open Championship at Merion Golf Club.

The Rose Tree Park (RED Lot) in Media, Pa., is closed to general spectators until further notice. All U.S. Open spectators should utilize the PPL Park (BLUE Lot) in Chester, Pa., where complimentary shuttle buses will transport spectators to and from Merion Golf Club and will run continuously from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.

Spectators are also encouraged to utilize one of the two convenient transportation options provided by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), using the Regional Rail and the Norristown High Speed Line.

Visit SEPTA at www.septa.org for complete schedule, fare and station location information, or call Customer Service at (215) 580-7800.

A Brief History of Merion

By Matthew Wurzburger

THE UNITED STATES OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS to the historic Merion Golf Club nestled in Haverford Township, Pennsylvania. Merion’s East Course is no stranger to major championships after hosting the U.S. Open in 1934, 1950, 1971, and 1981, in addition to multiple amateur championships.

Architect Hugh Wilson designed the par-70 course in the early 1910s and Merion’s East Course was open by the end of 1912. Wilson spent much time in the British Isles to study the finest places to play golf on the other side of the pond. The features of Merion are direct evidence of Wilson’s trip. While standing in one of many bunkers so famously dubbed the “white faces of Merion,” a golfer might believe his errant shot had landed in Scotland, not Pennsylvania.

Total yardage at Merion has fluctuated from year to year. The 156-player field for the 2013 U.S. Open will play on a course which measures 6,996 yards. Merion East might be short by modern standards, but it still remains a very difficult course. The United States Golf Association will ensure Merion is as difficult as possible in the hopes that Rory McIlroy’s complete dismantling of Congressional in 2011 is never duplicated.

Special Moments

U.S. Open tournaments held at Merion tend to invite special moments. Consider the 1950 U.S. Open. Three players found themselves tied for first at +7 at the end of play on Saturday. On Sunday, Ben Hogan shot a 69 to win the three-way playoff with Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio and claim his fourth major title and second U.S. Open. Hogan was lucky to be competing at Merion since he nearly died after colliding head-on with a bus just 16 months earlier in February of 1949.

In 1971 two of the game’s best players dueled for the U.S. Open trophy. Lee Trevino shot a 69 on Sunday to post even par for the four days. Jack Nicklaus would finish Sunday with a 71, placing Jack with Trevino at the top of the leaderboard. Yet another playoff would be required to determine a winner at Merion.

The legend of Monday’s playoff began before either player teed off. Trevino famously pulled a rubber snake out of his bag and tossed it to Nicklaus, inciting several screams from the gallery. Nicklaus did not begin on a high note, finding bunkers on both the second and third holes. The famous bunkers confounded the Golden Bear as he needed two strokes to get out both times. Jack would bogey the second and double bogey the third. The strokes lost on the two holes would prove to be the margin as Trevino bested Jack by three shots.

If history is any indication, this week’s action at Merion should prove compelling. The world’s best golfers have assembled to take on one of golf’s great championship courses. Expect a winning score near even par (or perhaps much lower if rains continue to soften the course), expect some well-played golf, as well as some ugly shots, and do not be too surprised by anything out of the ordinary—like a rubber snake.

Matthew Wurzburger is a University of Virginia student who covers sports for The Cavalier Daily.

Saturday, June 8

VIDEO: Lee Trevino on 1971 U.S. Open Victory at Merion



"BEATING NICKLAUS IN ANY GOLF TOURNAMENT is very high on my list. Beating Jack in a major is extremely high."

So begins Lee Trevino in this USGA video about his 18-hole playoff win over Jack Nicklaus at Merion Golf Club. The 1971 U.S. Open was Trevino's second major title and second U.S. Open victory. He won his first in 1968 at Oak Hill. The win at Merion against the game's best player, Trevino said, was validation.

The year 1971 was Trevino's best year in golf. In the space of three weeks, "Super Mex," as he called himself, won three national titles. After the U.S. Open, Trevino beat Art Wall Jr. in a playoff to claim the Canadian Open. A week later he won the British Open at Royal Birkdale. (He successfully defended his title at Muirfield in 1972.)

Trevino won six times in 1971 and was named "Sportsman of the Year" by Sports Illustrated and "Athlete of the Year" by ABC's Wide World of Sports.

Friday, June 7

2013 U.S. Open Groupings and Starting Times

By USGA

THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION (USGA) announced groupings and starting times for the first two rounds of the 2013 U.S. Open Championship on Thursday (June 13) and Friday (June 14) at the par 36-34--70, 6,996-yard Merion Golf Club (East Course) in Ardmore, Pa.

The U.S. Open is a 72-hole, stroke-play competition. A field of 156 players will play 18 holes of stroke play on June 13 and 14, after which the field will be cut to the low 60 scores and ties. Those players making the cut will play 18 holes on June 15 and 16. If there is a tie upon the completion of 72 holes, an 18-hole playoff will be conducted on Monday, June 17.

(All times ET.)

Thursday (June 13), hole #1 and Friday (June 14), hole #11

6:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Cliff Kresge, Heathrow, Fla.; Roger Tambellini, Scottsdale, Ariz.; TBD
6:56 a.m. – 12:56 p.m. – TBD; Yui Ueda, Japan; John Parry, England
7:07 a.m. – 1:07 p.m. – Nick Watney, Henderson, Nev.; Peter Hanson, Sweden; Hunter Mahan, Dallas, Texas
7:18 a.m. – 1:18 p.m. – Lucas Glover, Sea Island, Ga.; Paul Casey, England; Bill Haas, Greenville, S.C.
7:29 a.m. – 1:29 p.m. – Aaron Baddeley, Australia; Rory Sabbatini, South Africa; David Lingmerth, Sweden
7:40 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.– George Coetzee, South Africa; Martin Laird, Scotland; Marcel Siem, Germany
7:51 a.m. – 1:51 p.m .– Jerry Kelly, Madison, Wis.; Charley Hoffman, San Diego, Calif.; John Huh, Lewisville, Texas
8:02 a.m. – 2:02 p.m. – Henrik Stenson, Sweden; Ryan Moore, Las Vegas, Nev.; Robert Garrigus, Phoenix, Ariz.
8:13 a.m. – 2:13 p.m. – TBD; Simon Khan, England; Ted Potter Jr., Silver Springs, Fla.
8:24 a.m. – 2:24 p.m. – Shawn Stefani, Baytown, Texas; a-Michael Kim, Del Mar, Calif.; Nicholas Thompson, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
8:35 a.m. – 2:35 p.m. – Chris Doak, Scotland; Andrew Svoboda, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Douglas LaBelle II, Mount Pleasant, Mich.
8:46 a.m. – 2:46 p.m. – Kevin Sutherland, Sacramento, Calif.; Matt Weibring, Dallas, Texas; Randall Hutchison, Traverse City, Mich.
8:57 a.m. – 2:57 p.m. – a-Cory McElyea, Santa Cruz, Calif.; Ryan Nelson, Charleston, S.C.; John Hahn, Hudson, Ohio

Thursday (June 13), hole #11 and Friday (June 14), hole #1

7 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Bubba Watson, Bagdad, Fla.; Dustin Johnson, Jupiter, Fla.; Nicolas Colsaerts, Belgium
7:11 a.m. – 12:41 p.m. – Phil Mickelson, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Steve Stricker, Madison, Wis.; Keegan Bradley, Woodstock, Vt.
7:22 a.m. – 12:52 p.m. – Matt Kuchar, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Justin Rose, England; Brandt Snedeker, Nashville, Tenn.
7:33 a.m. – 1:03 p.m. – Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Tim Clark, Scottsdale, Ariz.
7:44 a.m. – 1:14 p.m. – Sergio Garcia, Spain; Stewart Cink, Duluth, Ga.; Padraig Harrington, Republic of Ireland
7:55 a.m. – 1:25 p.m. – Ian Poulter, England; Jason Dufner, Auburn, Ala.; Boo Weekley, Jay, Fla.
8:06 a.m. – 1:36 p.m. – Rickie Fowler, Jupiter, Fla.; Matteo Manassero, Italy; Jason Day, Australia
8:17 a.m. – 1:47 p.m. – Y.E. Yang, Republic of Korea; Fredrik Jacobson, Sweden; Hiroyuki Fujita, Japan
8:28 a.m. – 1:58 p.m. – Scott Stallings, Knoxville, Tenn.; John Peterson, Baton Rouge, La.; Robert Karlsson, Sweden
8:39 a.m. – 2:09 p.m. – Jay Don Blake, St. George, Utah; Brandt Jobe, Argyle, Texas; Michael Campbell, New Zealand
8:50 a.m. – 2:20 p.m. – David Hearn, Canada; TBD; Jaco Van Zyl, South Africa
9:01 a.m. – 2:31 p.m. – a-Kevin Phelan, Republic of Ireland; Wil Collins, Rapid City, S.D.; TBD
9:12 a.m. – 2:42 p.m .– a-Cheng-Tsung Pan, Chinese Taipei; Mackenzie Hughes, Canada; Geoffrey Sisk, Marshfield, Mass.

Thursday (June 13), hole #1 and Friday (June 14), hole #11

12:30 p.m. – 7 a.m. – David Toms, Shreveport, La.; Darren Clarke, Northern Ireland; Jose Maria Olazabal, Spain
12:41 p.m. – 7:11 a.m. – Geoff Ogilvy, Australia; Angel Cabrera, Argentina; Paul Lawrie, Scotland
12:52 p.m. – 7:22 a.m. – Luke Donald, England; Lee Westwood, England; Martin Kaymer, Germany
1:03 p.m. – 7:33 a.m. – Jim Furyk, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland; Zach Johnson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1:14 p.m. – 7:44 a.m. – Tiger Woods, Hobe Sound, Fla.; Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland; Adam Scott, Australia
1:25 p.m. – 7:55 a.m. – Thongchai Jaidee, Thailand; Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Spain; Thorbjorn Olesen, Denmark
1:36 p.m. – 8:06 a.m. – Webb Simpson, Charlotte, N.C.; a-Steven Fox, Hendersonville, Tenn.; Ernie Els, South Africa
1:47 p.m. – 8:17 a.m. – TBD; Joe Ogilvie, Austin, Texas; Luke Guthrie, Quincy, Ill.
1:58 p.m. – 8:28 a.m. – Josh Teater, Lexington, Ky.; Yoshinobu Tsukada, Japan; Eddie Pepperell, England
2:09 p.m. – 8:39 a.m. – Edward Loar, Dallas, Texas; Morten Orum Madsen, Denmark; Jung-Gon Hwang, Republic of Korea
2:20 p.m. – 8:50 a.m. – a-Max Homa, Valencia, Calif.; Russell Knox, Scotland; Matt Bettencourt, Spartanburg, S.C.
2:31 p.m. – 9:01 a.m. – Adam Hadwin, Canada; John Nieporte, Boca Raton, Fla.; Jim Herman, Palm City, Fla.
2:42 p.m. – 9:12 a.m. – Brandon Brown, Shelbyville, Ky.; a-Grayson Murray, Raleigh, N.C.; Jesse Smith, Barrington, N.H.

Thursday (June 13), hole #11 and Friday (June 14), hole #1

12:45 p.m. – 6:45 a.m. – Justin Hicks, Wyandotte, Mich.; David Howell, England; Brian Stuard, Jackson, Mich.
12:56 p.m. – 6:56 a.m. – Brendan Steele, Irvine, Calif.; Estanislao Goya, Argentina; Peter Hedblom, England
1:07 p.m. – 7:07 a.m. – Marc Leishman, Australia; John Senden, Australia; Marcus Fraser, Australia
1:18 p.m. – 7:18 a.m. – Scott Langley, Manchester, Mo.; a-Chris Williams, Moscow, Idaho; Morgan Hoffmann, Jupiter, Fla.
1:29 p.m. – 7:29 a.m. – Michael Thompson, Birmingham, Ala.; a-Michael Weaver, Fresno, Calif.; Casey Wittenberg, Memphis, Tenn.
1:40 p.m. – 7:40 a.m. – K.J. Choi, Republic of Korea; Francesco Molinari, Italy; Carl Pettersson, Sweden 1:51 p.m. – 7:51 a.m. – Scott Piercy, Las Vegas, Nev.; Kevin Chappell, Fresno, Calif.; Jamie Donaldson, Wales
2:02 p.m. – 8:02 a.m. – Bo Van Pelt, Tulsa, Okla.; Kevin Streelman, Scottsdale, Ariz.; D.A. Points, Windermere, Fla.
2:13 p.m. – 8:13 a.m. – Branden Grace, South Africa; Sang-Moon Bae, Republic of Korea; Russell Henley, Macon, Ga.
2:24 p.m. – 8:24 a.m. – Hideki Matsuyama, Japan; Billy Horschel, Jacksonsville, Fla.; Jordan Spieth, Dallas, Texas
2:35 p.m. – 8:35 a.m. – Mathew Goggin, Australia; Steven Alker, New Zealand; Alistair Presnell, Australia
2:46 p.m. – 8:46 a.m. – Matt Harmon, Grand Rapids, Mich.; a-Gavin Hall, Pittsford, N.Y.; Bio Kim, Republic of Korea
2:57 p.m. – 8:57 a.m. – Zack Fischer, Wake Village, Texas; Ryan Sullivan, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Brandon Crick, McCook, Neb.

a=amateur

USGA Releases 'Great Moments of the U.S. Open'

THE USGA HAS PUBLISHED A NEW BOOK, Great Moments of the U.S. Open, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of amateur Francis Ouimet's stunning victory over top British professionals at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., and the return of the U.S. Open in June to Merion Golf Club, site of Ben Hogan's 1950 comeback from a near-fatal car accident.

Great Moments of the U.S. Open features 27 stories that provide readers a unique and authoritative view on America's national golf championship. From Horace Rawlins' improbable victory in the inaugural U.S. Open in 1895, to Jack Nicklaus' narrow defeat of Arnold Palmer in 1962 for his first professional win, to Tiger Woods' triumph on a broken leg to capture the 2008 U.S. Open, Great Moments of the U.S. Open uses the USGA Museum's extensive collection of archival images and artifacts to bring to life some of the most memorable U.S. Open victories.

The co-authors are Robert Williams, director of the USGA Museum, and Michael Trostel, the Museum's senior curator and historian. Rand Jerris, senior managing director of public services for the USGA, served as supervising editor. Among the contributors are Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA, and John Mummert, manager of creative services and senior staff photographer for the USGA.

The book also includes a foreword by four-time U.S. Open champion Jack Nicklaus.

"The U.S. Open helped to solidify golf's standing in America and has expanded the game's reach around the globe," said Trostel.

"This book celebrates some of the defining moments and iconic champions in the U.S. Open's rich history. While the championship has evolved dramatically since its origin in 1895, the critical ingredients remain the same. It is golf's most complete test, played on the country's greatest courses and is open to all who have the skill, passion and determination to compete."

Published by Firefly Books, Great Moments of the U.S. Open is available at www.usga.org/publicationsstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, June 6

2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic TV Schedule and Notes



THE 2013 FEDEX ST. JUDE CLASSIC is underway at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. Nathan Green is the clubhouse leader after a 66. The first round is still in progress.

Purse: $5.7 million
Winner’s share: $1.008 million
Defending champion: Dustin Johnson

2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic Leaderboard

The field
Tee times
The course
Tournament overview
Tour report
Interviews
FedEx St. Jude Classic website

TV SCHEDULE

TV coverage of the 2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic is on Golf Channel and CBS.
All times ET.

Thu, Jun 6
3:00-6:00p GOLF

Fri, Jun 7
3:00-6:00p GOLF

Sat, Jun 8
1:00-2:30p GOLF
3:00-6:00p CBS

Sun, Jun 9
1:00-2:30p GOLF
3:00-6:00p CBS

SIRIUS-XM PGA Tour broadcast times

Security Measures for 2013 U.S. Open Spectators

By USGA

THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION (USGA), in coordination with local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies, today announced its plans for keeping attendees at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club secure and safe.

“The safety and security of spectators, players, volunteers and staff are the utmost priority, and the USGA and its host clubs are committed to operating with a very high level of security at the U.S. Open,” said Reg Jones, the USGA’s senior director of U.S. Open Championships. “The added screening and security measures that we have in place for our national championship, combined with the expertise and collaborative efforts among local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies, reflect that commitment. With cooperation from everyone attending the championship, we can ensure an efficient and orderly entrance and exit procedure, as well as an enjoyable fan experience for all.”

As part of the increased security measures, the USGA and Haverford Township Police have enhanced the screening process prior to spectators entering Merion Golf Club.

“There will be metal-detection screening, similar to what you experience at airport security,” said Deputy Chief John Viola of the Haverford Township Police Department, who is overseeing the law-enforcement operations. “This screening process is designed to prevent spectators from bringing prohibited items onto the championship grounds. Our goal is to assure that everyone has a safe and an enjoyable experience at the U.S. Open.”

“We encourage all spectators to review the list of prohibited items and secure those items in a safe place or leave them at home. Of particular importance are any packages, bags, handbags and backpacks larger than 8x8x8 inches. They will be denied entry into the championship and bringing them to a screening area will only prolong the admission process,” added Viola.

After completing the screening process, spectators must present a valid ticket or credential to enter the championship grounds. All U.S. Open tickets and credentials have a unique bar code that will be scanned at the admission gate.

The following is a list of prohibited items. These items are also listed on the back of each U.S. Open ticket:

  • No Cell Phones (including cell phones with photographic capabilities)
  • No PDAs, Tablets and/or other Portable Email Devices
  • No Noise Producing Electronic Devices (including MP3 Players)
  • No Cameras and/or Camcorders (other than Monday to Wednesday for personal non-commercial photographic use only and without their cases; video recording is not permitted at any time)
  • No Bags larger than 8”W X 8”H X 8”D in their natural state
  • No Cases and/or Covers (such as chair or umbrella covers)
  • No Signs, Posters and/or Banners No Televisions and/or Radios unless provided by the USGA
  • No Food and/or Beverages except for medical or infant needs
  • No Containers and/or Coolers except for medical or infant needs
  • No Pets (other than service animals)
  • No Lawn and/or Oversized Chairs (only portable compact chairs permitted)
  • No Bicycles
  • No Ladders and/or Step-Stools or other similar items
  • No Metal-spiked Golf Shoes No Weapons (regardless of permit, including but not limited to, firearms or knives)
  • No other items deemed unlawful or dangerous by the USGA and/or Championship Security Personnel in their sole discretion

For more information on the 2013 U.S. Open and for regular championship updates, visit www.usopen.com.