Thoughts from day one at Bethpage: US Open
…A while ago, I anticipated attending at least 5 US Opens this decade. Having a daughter whose birthday falls on Bloomsday, June 16th, made Winged Foot and Oakmont impossibilities. Bethpage Black marks my third, following Shinnecock and Bethpage Da’ First Time. The bloom is off the rose.
…I stayed six days in 2002, four days in 2004, and only two days this year. Six days may be too many, while two are certainly too few. Four or five seems about right. In a perfect week, I’d come Monday and Tuesday, skip Wednesday and Thursday, and return for Friday through Sunday. Yep, five days.
…Bethpage is on my short list of places to come and play. When I went to St. Andrews in 1992, I was fortunate to play the New course in addition to the Old. As a result, I had something to compare the Old with. Same deal for Bandon – got to play all three courses, so I know which was representative of what. When I come to Bethpage, I’m playing all the colors of the rainbow. I want to know what every hole looks like here.
…Dan Jenkins is staring at me. He is a bobble head and is looking me in the eye and laughing. Jenkins celebrates an anniversary of majors this week, although the numbers don’t add up (some say 100 majors, others say 94.) I have a new book of his to read and review and a bobble head to keep me company. Hooray!
–Had a chance to shake hands with another author today. Jim Dodson was signing books in the main merchandise tent. I kept it quiet that I’m his love child, as I didn’t want to cause a commotion. Dodson is a fine writer who is not nearly as afraid to bare his soul as Dan Jenkins is. Jenkins hides behind a film crusty with myopic recollections, while Dodson shaves away the stubble of uncertainty to reveal his fears, hopes and dreams.
…Bethpage is the Ohio State Horseshoe of professional golf. Nothing is as big as the horseshoe that is Ohio Stadium, and no golf course rivals the Black for size, width, height nor weight. It ain’t heavy, it’s my brother!
…Watched Steve Stricker hit a crappy drive into the fescue, a terrible punch recovery from there into a trap, and a half-shank with a hybrid off an alternate drive, all in the space of five minutes on hole #13. He’s off my list of favorites.
…The 72nd hole will be played Monday at 5 p.m.
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