2007 U.S. Open Staff Predictions

You’d think we’d all just pick Tiger Woods and go home, but that’s not the case.

Thrash TalkThe 107th U.S. Open Championship returns to Oakmont, hosting the national championship for a record eighth time.

As usual, our staff has gathered our thoughts into an article. We’re putting our money where our mouths are, so to speak. More likely, we’re setting ourselves up for eventual ridicule, but hey, we can take it!

Read on to see how right – or how incredibly wrong – we may be as we predict the winner, score, and some surprises at the 2007 U.S. Open.

U.S. Open at Oakmont Journal: Tuesday

The Pelzmeter exists, and despite a ten-minute conversation on the fifth green with its inventor, Fred Funk ain’t buyin’ it.

2007 U.S. OpenWhen I arrived at lunchtime yesterday, Lot C was half full. Today, at 7am, I parked in the first row. As you might have guessed, the course was relatively empty as well, and in fact the last four or five holes didn’t even have new cups cut yet or flags installed.

Tiger Woods teed off today with Bubba Watson just as I arrived, and we eventually caught Tiger on the eighth hole as I walked the course backwards getting architectural shots. Read on for the rest of my journal notes from Tuesday at the U.S. Open.

Par is a Good Score

Would you believe that the average winning score at the U.S. Open since 1945 has been below par? You’d better.

The Numbers GameThe U.S. Open is notorious for its idea of par as a standard. The courses that host the tournament are usually set up to be quite penal. “Par is a good score” you’ll hear pros say, and this year’s event at Oakmont Country Club outside of Pittsburgh, PA is looking no different.

The typical U.S. Open course has pinched fairways, long holes, super-fast, super-firm undulating greens, and the nastiest, thickest, juiciest rough you’ll ever want to see.

And yet the U.S. Open typically plays to about even par, and is actually trending lower. Let’s have a look.

U.S. Open at Oakmont Journal: Monday

Birdie holes at a U.S. Open? Yeah, I believe there are.

2007 U.S. OpenI arrived at about lunchtime at the U.S. Open’s first official practice round today. Though, as a member of the media I am in a different lot than the one used by the majority of the fans (who are being scuttled off I-76 exit 39 to the “Red” and “Blue” lots), I must say how surprised I was at how few people were attending and how much room was available. Sunday will no doubt be mad crazy, but Monday and I would suspect Tuesday and Wednesday are great days to see some golf.

SeeMore Putters Make a Comeback

When Payne Stewart died, so did interest in the putter he used to win the 1999 U.S. Open. With new owners and another major win, SeeMore is news again.

Bag DropIt’s always great to see a golf club become popular without endorsement or bonus money. For a PGA Tour player to give up income just to use a putter he believes in is pretty refreshing in these days of logo festooned shirts, caps, and bags.

So when Zach Johnson won the Masters this year with his SeeMore putter, it said a lot. It said even more when he won the AT&T Classic a month later. It also doesn’t hurt that Vaughn Taylor, who led the PGA Tour’s top 50 money winners in fewest putts on greens hit in regulation, uses it.

So while no less than Nick Faldo cast aspersions on Johnson’s putting style during the Masters broadcast, it obviously works. And that’s really the story of the SeeMore putters. They promote a specific kind of stroke and technique. Here’s the story…

Volume One Hundred One

Adam Scott should start calling in sick on Sunday.

Hitting the LinksWoody Austin (funky shirt and all) throws up a 62 in the final round while Adam Scott implodes yet again while holding the Saturday lead. And I wonder if there isn’t a little part of Suzann Pettersen thinking about what might have been if only she had held onto her lead at the Kraft Nabisco.

This week we have a recap of the Stanford St. Jude Classic, a couple of great children’s charities, and memories of Arnold Palmer’s last U.S. Open round.

Nine Holes with Sam Snead

With perhaps the most enviable swing in the history of the game, Sam Snead captured the attention of the golfing world for more years than any player before him.

ProFilesSam Snead is a legend on the PGA Tour. Rightfully so. He had as much longevity in the game as anyone ever has and he has the win count to prove it. “Thinking instead of acting is the number one golf disease,” said Snead. He left an amazing record of action.

World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Snead was born May 27, 1912 and died May 23, 2002, just shy of his ninetieth birthday.

Inside the Ropes at The Memorial

Tag along with a media rookie at The Memorial.

Memorial LogoI had the opportunity to attend The Memorial Tournament last week at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH with our editor, Erik (who took about 2000 pictures over the week). After my experience, it’s going to be tough to go to another tournament as a regular spectator.

This wasn’t the first tournament I’ve attended. I previously attended the 2002 PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club and the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, but it being inside the ropes as a member of the media provided an entirely different feeling to the week.

Read along as I share some of my thoughts on being a media rookie at The Memorial.

Golf Talk [Episode 060]

B.J. Wie is trying to run his daughter’s life, but he’s getting too much “I” in there: he’s going to R-U-I-N it instead it.

Golf Talk PodcastZach K.J. Choi and Rory Sabbatini win, the LPGA institutes a drug-testing policy, and Michelle Wie and Phil Mickelson withdraw with wrist injuries, but only one of them seems legitimate. Find out which and a whole lot more in this episode of Golf Talk.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 060 as an MP4 file. For those who want to subscribe to us in iTunes, click here.

For this week’s Show Notes – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information – just read on.