Thursday, June 22, 2006
My Round at Winged Foot
A day after Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie gagged at the U.S. Open, I did a little gagging of my own at Winged Foot.
As it does most years, the USGA held a lottery for the media for a Monday morning round, and this year I was among the lucky. I played with Peter Kessler, formerly of the Golf Channel, now of XM Radio. It was 90 degrees and I was exhausted from the week of 12-14 hour days at the Open, which came on the heels of a long previous week at the McDonald's LPGA Championship.
This, of course, is my way of explaining just how badly I stunk, starting with the snowman on the the first hole. The new graduated rough at the Open was universially hailed, but let me tell you, when you got into the deep stuff, there was no gettin' out.
I hooked my opening tee shot into the grizzly green gnarl. Before I found it, I walked past my ball, over my ball and around the ball about three times. Even with a sand wedge, it was all I could do to hack it 30 feet not-so-forward -- into more of the deep stuff.
I do agree with Tiger Woods that the greens were a bit slow by Open standards. I'd guess they were running at about 10 on the Stimpmeter, which is slow. But I didn't think the greens were as bumpy as I expected after all the complaining by players.
Bottom line: It is an awesome course, easily one of my favorite Open venues.