I Don’t Like Mondays, Unless There’s Golf On The Tube

June 22

           The US Open was a mess.  A muddy, rainy mess. 

           It took a Herculean effort by the grounds crew at Bethpage Black to get this tournament finished.  Rain, rain and more rain.  I think it even rained inside.

           It sometimes takes a non-sports fan to put it all in perspective.  My wife took note of all the delays this weekend and said, “why do they play where it rains?” 

          It was like a lightning bolt of truth.  Not like we didn’t have enough lightning bolts already.

          NBC put up a graphic showing that 50 Opens have been played in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts, while only 10 have been played in California.  Pebble Beach is coming up next year.

          I found that ratio to be shocking.  Why are so many Opens played back east, where weather is always an issue, even in summertime?  Is it politics?  Do you mean to tell me there’s an eastern bias in golf, too?

         Granted, the Open has been around since circa 1900, so the country had not finished its western migration in the early years,  and California will be a host two out of three years, counting Torrey Pines last year and Pebble next year.  Nonetheless, I wouldn’t oppose California hosting every year for the next four decades to make up the deficit. 

         Having said that, I dug having golf on the tube when I woke up on a Monday morning.  Now THAT’s how you start summer.  Not only golf, but back nine golf of the US Open.  I don’t know about you, but waking up to Johnny Miller gets my juices flowing.

         Phil Mickelson got into the hunt, and as all of America waited for him to find a way to lose, he did.  It’s a harsh thing to say about a guy who gets so much love on the tour, especially now, but it’s true.  It’s also true that the guy showed terrific focus considering what is going on in his personal life.

         Golfwise, he’s a semi-tragic figure, but Mickelson says he has things in perspective now.  He will take the family on a vacation,  and Amy will return for the treatment that will hopefully bring her back to health.

         As often happens, a relative unknown flew under the radar to win.  Lucas Glover is from South Carolina and chews tobacco, but likes the Yankees and Sinatra.  I think he golfed at Clemson, and he was the sixth qualifier since 1960 to claim the Open.  Sorry, that’s all I know about him.

         There was probably some disappointment in the press tent.  Mickelson, or David Duval with a boiler, would have been much better stories, but obscure winners are nothing new at the Open.  Michael Campbell?  Steve Jones?  Golf is fickle.  I once heard someone say in a thick Scottish brogue that golf is a harsh mistress.  She’ll snatch you up with her thick fescue and spit you out like a wee beastie.  Bob’s your uncle.

          But why add rain to the mix?  California, here we come next year.  And let’s keep the Open here.

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One Response to “I Don’t Like Mondays, Unless There’s Golf On The Tube”

  1. Marty Says:

    Ray,

    “Why do they play where it rains?” Perfect!

    I know the media tried to play up the US Open this year. However, I must admit that I could not get into the whole rain thing. If Tiger Woods is not contending then I am not interested.

    Dan Jenkins may be onto something when he says “Tiger Woods is a bit over rated.” He doesn’t have much competition, and he plays in an era where the media over blows everything. Don’t get me wrong…Tiger is great, and has made a ton of money for all PGA members. He just doesn’t have competition like Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller and many others. Phil Mickelson is his greatest competition, and let’s face it; he is soft!

    Peace,

    Marty

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