2010 US OPEN This place is a sea of tents with thousands of patrons clamoring about. As a rookie blogger, photographer, publisher, editor and journalist I am thoroughly enjoying my first 5 hours at the Open. Lets get to the meat of what I can tell you. I started off listening to an interview with Tom Watson in the media room, as always he was insightful, eloquent, humorous and confident. Tom simply said one of the keys to success will be the 17th the very tough par three that will be extremely difficult this week. We heard that NOBODY today kept a ball on the putting surface.
After the Watson interview, Pete Wlodkowski (founder of Amateurgolf.com) and I went to 18 to watch Ricky Barnes and Eric Axley finish the 18th hole. With our media badges we were able to go inside the ropes and closely inspect the conditions of the various grasses these guys will face over the next 4 days. The fairways are amazing with the Poa chopped down to the nub. The rough seemed reasonable until we got up near the green where a ball in the rough will be extremely penal. If short sided in the rough many doubles will result.
WHAT SCORE WILL WIN…..?
If the wind blows more than 10mph it will be over par, if it’s like today with only a slight breeze and sunny warm conditions I say -4 will win. Regardless there is going to be some really high scores as this course is going to play extremely fast and firm. Fast and firm in an Open means more balls rolling in the rough producing more chop out shots resulting in bogeys. The fairways appear quite narrow with the speed making them less likely to hold. The greens will be dictated by what the USGA decides to do with the amt of water they allow on them over the next 4 days. Will Lee Westwood win his first major..I say no, will Tiger win this week..I say no.
I think there will be some real surprises in store for us as we approach the back nine on Sunday. I think there may be 50 guys that could win the event as distance off the tee will NOT be a major factor in deciding this years champion. The guy that wins will make more 8-12 foot putts on these tiny green complexes. The winner will make these key putts while under immense pressure coming back in on the back nine on Sunday.
I’ve got a few shots on the 18th hole with Ricky Barnes and Eric Axley..much more coming tomorrow from Pebble Beach