'96 Open champ blames weather ... for 2004 Ryder Cup loss
Steve Jones, right, the winner of the 1996 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills, was hanging around the press tent Wednesday afternoon while in town for some USGA functions.
Jones, who will turn 50 in December, has tennis elbow and hasn't played golf in almost a year. He wears his hair long these days, kind of a laid-back 'do reminiscent of a rock star, and said he'd actually just had four inches taken off.
Since he was an assistant captain for Hal Sutton at the 2004 Ryder Cup, we got to talking about the Euro rout at Oakland Hills, and Jones offered an explanation I hadn't heard.
"We were playing great as a team," Jones said. "What people don't realize is the weather changed Thursday night, and all of the sudden Friday morning you just couldn't warm up. I'm sitting in the golf cart shivering going, I hate this weather! And of course the Europeans are used to it, and they start holing putts and they're off. I really believe, and I tell everyone this, that if the weather had stayed warm we would have won."
Well, I'm glad that's cleared up.
(Photo: Tom Pidgeon/AP)