Posted by: randyhaaggolf | June 16, 2010

PEBBLE BEACH 18th HOLE WITH RICKY BARNES AT THE US OPEN

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

Stay Tuned

Ricky Barnes teeing off the famous 18th hole at Pebble Beach

Ricky in motion on the 18th tee

Ricky with Stillwater cove behind him

Ricky laying up with a 3iron on 18

view from the middle of the fairway where many 2nd shots will be played

Ricky near the top of his swing

Eric Axley with a swing on 18 - Eric shot -17 in the sectional open qualifier and lapped the field to get in the Open

200 yards from the green

Ricky out of the rough for a 3rd shot into 18

This what a practice round looks like...lots of practice putting

Eric watching Ricky roll one in from 20 feet on 18

View back down 18 from the front of the green

Ricky Barnes and Eric Axley smiling after at the completion of their 5 hour practice round at Pebble

View across Stillwater Cove looking back at the 6th and 7th holes in the distance

View from behind the 18th green at Pebble


Responses

  1. Don’t feel so bad about not being able to be there, as we can look forward to your posts.

  2. Great take on the game with Ricky Barnes and Eric Axley. I enjoyed following your comments. I bet there will be some immense presure come Sunday. Pictures are fabulous, it would be a great golf game to watch that’s for sure.


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