Tuesday, June 10, 2008

US Open Golf at Torrey Pines

The 2008 US Open is at Torrey Pines this year, located in San Diego. Torrey Pines, named after the pine trees that are present on the course, is a municipal course. Bethpage, NY was the first public course to hold a US Open.

The USGA will make this course a long hitters paradise. It will be interesting to see if Tiger's knee can hold up to the test, since being in the rough will place a lot of demand on the knee. The odds are listed here:

Tiger Woods (7/4)

Phil Mickleson (7/1)

Sergio Garcia (15/1)

Jim Furyk (20/1)

Adam Scott (25/1)

Geoff Ogilvy (30/1)

Ernie Else (30/1)

The Field (5/1)

Tiger is again, almost even money. My bet would be Ogilvy or Sergio. I think Phil will blow up because this one means a lot to him as a native of the course.

Some side notes about the Open:
1. The USGA is pairing the players by their rankings, so everyone is buzzing about the Tiger-Phil-Adam Scott pairing for the #1,2 and 3 ranked players in the world. At first glance it seems like a great idea, but for the fans that will be there, it should be a nightmare, since the 40,000 will mostly follow this group, and anyone under 6 foot tall will not see any of the round. Great TV.

2. The USGA's choice of hosting its national championship at a public course does well to help shed the "aristocratic" image of the game, as well as help grow the game among the masses. However, there was a great article in Golf magazine that documents the fanatical love that the locals have for this gem in San Diego. The municipal status of this public course has cheap greens fees if you are a San Diego resident. But that is changing due to the greater publicity surrounding Torrey Pines. The South course is phenomenal, and for the price, cannot be beat. We tried to get on when I was out in San Diego for work in 2004, but you basically call and let them know you'd like to play on "Friday" and then wait for them to call. The course is beautiful.

3. Tony Romo and Justin Timberlake took on Tiger's challenge (indirect challenge) when Tiger stated that an amateur could not break 100 at a US Open given the way the USGA sets up the venue each year. Romo shot an 84, and apparently cards a 2.2 index. Timberlake shot 98, and cards a 6.0 index. I bet those two swapped some stories about the crazy relationships they've had over the years. Probably made the rough seem like a walk in the park.

Enjoy the Open, lead after 3 rounds, and you can beat el Tigre, who will be using all the talk about his knee to motivate him to get his 14th Major (not counting his US Amateur Titles.)