The last Open I attended was the 1998 Open at the Olympic Club some 12 years ago. Since the Open has grown by epic proportions evidenced once you arrive into the massive entry area where the buses drop of the spectators. Having an Amateurgolf.com media badge, (thanks to Pete Wlodkowski) made the experience all that much more special. Additionally I had the opportunity to hang out at the Frys Corporate tent overlooking the 6th hole.
I did walk the entire course and I believe the BEST vantage point is the top row of the grandstand behind the 8th hole. There you can see the 2nd shot into 8, the action on and around the 8th green, the tee shot on #9 and #14. Walking around the course trying to watch golf is very difficult, you won’t see much unless you are following a group of relative unknown players. My spectating advice is to pick a good spot and don’t try getting food at the concession stands between 11:30-2:00 as it looked like an hour wait for food.
The course was set up fair, but very difficult on these poa greens. As the day progresses the poa buds grow unevenly making the greens especially difficult. With the greens rolling at US Open speed, hitting solid putts is very risky, but yet required if your going to hole your putts.
I still believe an over par score will win the Open and we are going to see a very exciting finish as NOBODY is going to run away and hide like Tiger did in 2000. Don’t be surprised to see Phil holding the trophy at the end as he seems to be picking up some serious confidence that makes him extremely dangerous.
Tough to get good photos behind the ropes, but tomorrow I’ll post the video I took of Rhys Davies hitting several tee shots on the back nine. Stay tuned for some video and a preview of the 2010 California State Amateur from Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla CC