Friday, June 18, 2010

Golf.com live-blogged the entire second round of the U.S. Open on Saturday. Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine and Golf.com9:43 p.m. Phil gets his kicks with 66. Now 1-under, tied for second behind Graeme McDowell, and the U.S. Open suddenly looks a lot more interesting.
We're calling it a day at the Live Blog. Thanks to everyone who read and commented in the Live Blog today. See you all tomorrow! 9:42 p.m. Yang went 34-49 today. As Bob Hope said, Pebble Beach is "Alcatraz with grass." 9:40 p.m. The birdie putt is short and Phil has about a Tim Clark left for par. 9:37 p.m. Phil hits his approach to about 30 feet on 18 as his round passes the SIX hour mark. Fans cheer because they get to home soon. It's freezing out there. 9:36 p.m. Mickelson's conversation with Bones over club selection here is the opposite of fascinating. 9:33 p.m. Mickelson makes the proverbial rescue from the fescue. Advances it nicely and he'll have a short-iron in.

9:32 p.m. My bad, Phil's in the fescue right, not the bunker. He never makes it easy on himself. 9:30 p.m. Mickelson plays 3-wood but still finds the fairway bunker on the par-5 18th. 9:27 p.m. Annika Sorenstam sighting at Pebble Beach. BTW, I haven't seen any really good celebrities yet this week. Where's Eastwood? 9:25 p.m. Harrington's putt just lips out. Now 4-over. Kind of the way it's been going for Paddy lately. 9:23 p.m. Another white-hat wearing par for Mickelson on 17. 9:21 p.m. The crowd is going wild for Phil on the 17th green. Makes you wonder what Sunday would sound like.
But don't get too confident, Phil fans. He'll still probably need to do it in the wind one day. 9:16 p.m. Mickelson finds back fringe of the green, Harrington in the bunker. Has anyone ever seen Phil eat on the course? Tiger's always got his peanut butter sandwiches, but you never see Phil gnawing on anything. Bones must be sneaking him Krispy Kremes or Five Guys. 9:15 p.m. Finally! Harrington, Mickelson and Yang on tee at the par-3 17th after 16 minute wait. 9:10 p.m. Reader Guy Gallant writes: I would like to see us amateurs, regardless of our handicaps, 2 or 24, play this 14th hole. Oh, yeah! No. 6 would be a great one too. I get vertigo just looking up at it. 9:05 p.m. Mickelson and friends will be lucky to finish this round in six hours. 9:00 p.m. Harrington makes his birdie and is starting to look pretty good at 3-over. Mickelson at 1-under, heading to 17. Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck been with Phil all afternoon: I've
been following Phil since #7 inside the roes, ergo no tweets. Dude is
playing beautifully, could be lower. Gonna be a fun weekend!
8:55 p.m. Mickelson is staring down another birdie chance at 16.....it's close and it....just misses. Somewhere Tom Watson (7-over) is ironing his shirt for tomorrow. 8:54 p.m. Even Mickelson is applauding Harrington's draw approach to about 15 feet on 16.
Golf.com deputy editor David Dusek checks in via Twitter. Props to Sports Illustrated's Damon Hack for picking Padraig Harrington this week. I don't think he'll win, but sometimes I forget just how good he is. Wow. 8:52 p.m. Smart-money pick K.J. Choi is still hanging around. He's one-over through 16. Early action on KJ made Las Vegas sportsbooks drop his odds from 65 to 1 down to 20 to 1 before the tournament. 8:50 p.m. Ricky Barnes in trouble on --- you guessed it! -- 14. He makes 7, now plus-4. 8:44 p.m. Another par for Mickelson on 15. It's going to be a fun weekend. 8:42 p.m. If you didn't notice the logo on his hat, his collar and his sweater, Derek Lamely (16-over)  is sponsored by Callaway. 8:39 p.m. Only Adam Scott could look great teeing off on No. 7 at 9-over. He sticks it close though. 8:36 p.m. Mickelson on 15. From the rough, he plays his approach to the front of the green. Remember, as Johnny Miller once said, at the U.S. Open "pars wear little white hats." 8:35 p.m. Ricky Barnes looks like he thinks poa annua is a particularly strong strain of marijuana. 8:31 p.m. Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods. Sorry, I have to mention him every 60 minutes or the hatch blows up. 8:29 p.m. Mickelson misses his birdie putt, tap-in par. Still 1-over. Yang makes his putt for 8, now 10-over. 8:26 p.m. I better mention that Matt Bettencourt has moved into a tie for second at 1-under. I don't want to get on the bad side of those Matt Bettencourt fans. 8:23 p.m. Yang is on his way to double or worse at 14. This is better than NASCAR. And I really like Yang. 8:20 p.m. Mickelson's approach to 14 spins past the hole, almost close enough to look in. He'll have another birdie putt. A USGA historian just started making his way toward the back nine. 8:18 p.m. Hey, Phil! Reader Chris Belisle is in your corner: You've got this reader right here Mike, and I'm certainly rooting for Phil! 8:14 p.m. Mickelson makes an expert lay-up on 14. If Phil makes a birdie here -- where Zach Johnson just made a 9 -- a lot of guys will start bagging their bags. 8:13 p.m. If you love all these shots of Pebble and are thinking about moving to the Monterey Peninsula, here's the lowdown...
Pros: Beautiful scenery, great weather, delicious food and wine, and nice people.
Cons: A lot of four-way stop signs.
So it's basically a wash. 8:09 p.m. Live Blog all-star Guy Gallant has noticed that Phil's great round isn't great news for everybody: Someone give Weirsy
a beer after that hole out from the trap! And I hope Phil doesn't go
all Stewart Cink on Tom Watson by posting -4. Phil is still a wonderful
story a would be happy to see him win
.
8:05 p.m. Mickelson on the tee at 14. This could be interesting. 8:03 p.m. Golf.com deputy editor Dave Dusek on the 14th green (via Twitter). Peter Kostis texted me today saying that the 14th green should be re-designed. I think Zach Johnson would agree right now. Dusek is such a name-dropper. I get texts from Tiger all the time, I just don't talk about it. Tiger DeLuca, that is. 8:01 p.m. ESPN's Chris Berman and Roger Maltbie must be able to do some real damage at a buffet. 7:55 p.m. Zach Johnson's (3-over) chip rolls about 20 yards off the green on 14. Sorry, Zach, but I love the U.S. Open. The ocean views are awesome at Pebble, but you can't beat the carnage at the inland par-5 14th. 7:52 p.m. Reader Guy Gallant: You should come to Canada for a visit, we'll give you a few good cold ones! You will not regret! Thanks, Guy. Canada's my second-favorite country. I might have to buy since you might be my only reader right now. 7:50 p.m. Mickelson saves his par. Still 1-under. 7:48 p.m. Mickelson's pitch from the rough rolls to within about five feet. Reader Cuttlefish Placedo and the Anyone But Phil crowd hold their breath. 7:45 p.m. Golf.com editor Charlie Hanger writes: Separated at birth: Brendon de Jonge and Danny McBride, a k a Kenny Powers from HBO's Eastbound and Down

Sorry, never heard of those guys.
7:43 p.m. 7:40 p.m. 7:38 p.m. 7:36 p.m. 7:33 p.m. Canadian reader Guy Gallant hopes the media doesn't ignore Tom Watson this week: I
really believe that, if Tom Watson makes the cut, and can finish
between +2 and +6 come Sunday, after what he did at the Masters, should
be a story for the media, don't forget, this guy is 60. Phil is 20
years younger, Ryo is 42 years younger! I'm happy we are giving this
guy credit, because he can play. Tom Watson can still play with these
guys, Dubai - T-8, Masters, he was leading after the 1st round...just
saying.
7:32 p.m. 7:27 p.m. 7:25 p.m. 7:21 p.m. Face/Off 7:20 p.m. Is the word pressure even in your Japanese vocabulary?
7:18 p.m. 7:16 p.m. 7:12 p.m. 7:08 p.m. 7:05 p.m.


7:02 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:58 p.m. 6:56 p.m. 6:55 p.m. 6:47 p.m. So much for Canada today...had high hopes for the Canuck! who is our biggest golf story in recent years. check it out here 6:45 p.m. I hope this is a
blog that gushes about whomever rattles off four birdies in a row,
whether it's Phil or anyone else. (And I don't care if he's a phony,
he's better entertainment than any other golfer playing today).
Don't worry, Jason. After five birdies, we're Phil Fanatics today.
6:42 p.m. 6:39 p.m. 6:37 p.m. 6:33 p.m. 6:28 p.m. 6:26 p.m. 6:23 p.m. 6:19 p.m.
I hope this isn't going to be one of those live blogs that gushes over Phil for five hours. You know he's a phony, right?
6:15 p.m. 6:11 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 6:09 p.m. Paul Mahoney Steve Williams (New Zealand) heckles Poulter (England) on the range as
the Englishman heads off for his 2nd round: "Hey, even WE'VE scored more goals than you.
6:08 p.m. 6:05 p.m. Connell Barrett, editor at large, Golf Magazine 6:04pm
6:01pm
5:56pm 5:53pm 5:47pm 5:44pm 5:39pm 5:35pm veddy maybe 5:31pm 5:27pm 5:24pm 5:15pm
5:14pm 5:10pm 5:08pm 5:05pm No major for Tiger this year. That magic with his putter is what saved him so many times and facilitated so many victories. His driving has never been particularly accurate, even when it was substantially longer than the rest of the field. Those days are long gone. Without the flat stick magic he is just another pro. Whether this has anything to do with him playing in fewer and fewer tournaments is the more appropriate inquiry then whether the personal issues are too hefty a burden, in my humble opinion.   Now watch, he'll win by five strokes at St. Andrews just to remind us all how little we know.
4:59pm A minute ago, McDowell, in his press conference, was asked if he thought that winning here would put him in a select company of winners. McDowell said no, because he hadn't a clue who else had won here, other than Tiger. He said, "I'm not a massive golf historian. I'd be lying if I said I was." Nicklaus, Watson and Kite will probably smile at that. Well, no -- Kite won't. 4:54pm 4:50pm 4:46pm 4:43pm Check out this video 4:38pm 4:35pm 4:32pm 
4:28pm 4:27pm Johnny, after Michael Campbell shot his second consecutive 7-over-par at the U.S. Open: "He's become consistent. Unfortunately, consistency is 78." 4:24pm 4:20pm 4:18pm 4:17pm 4:13pm 4:12pm 4:10pm horrendous 4:06pm 4:02pm

Tiger misses his birdie putt on no. 8. BUT [dramatic pause...] on no. 9 tee, he pulls driver, rips it, and catches the fairway's downslope and rolls and rolls and rolls... The 505-yard par-4 just became a (much needed) birdie hole for Tiger.

3:57pm 3:54pm 3:51pm 3:49pm 3:47pm 3:45pm 3:39pm 3:35pm 3:30pm 3:27pm 3:24pm 3:20pm 3:16pm 3:12pm 3:09pm 3:06pm 3:02pm 2:59pm
2:56pm 2:55pm 2:52pm 2:49pm 2:45pm 2:43pm 2:42pm 2:38pm 2:36pm Just came in from walking the back nine with Tiger's group (his front nine). No wind at all today and the ocean looks as calm as a bathtub. Woods is out there grinding and the galleries are starting to get thick. It's a great group -- Els and Westwoods are crowd favorites too so it's not just everyone watching Woods. No heckling yet, but 8 a.m. fans usually are still dazed from their 5 a.m wakeup calls. The beer is flowing freely at Pebble now -- seeing more than a few double-fisters -- so you'll hear louder cheers for the rest of the day.
2:33pm 2:31pm Damon Hack's piece
A five-shot deficit in the first round of the U.S. Open is hardly insurmountable, but Woods's task is herculean this week. Suddenly, he is just another player in the pack. Jack Nicklaus used to say that when he heard players complaining about the setup of a golf course, he could all but eliminate them from contention. Woods fell into that chorus Thursday on a golf course getting tougher by the hour. "It was so bouncy out there," Woods said of the greens. "I mean, the greens are just awful. It is what it is."
2:27pm 2:24pm 2:22pm 2:19pm 2:15pm Farrell Evans, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated Golf Plus 2:02pm 2:00 pm Passing it off to the great Connell Barrett from Golf Magazine, who will take us into the afternoon. See you tomorrow afternoon when the leaders tee off at around 3 eastern. 
1:56 p.m.   1:54 p.m.  To SJCISKE: It has nothing to do with the season. It has to do with the tide, according to my colleague Cameron Morfitt.   1:48 p.m. 1:45 p.m. That Johnson is contending early proves in part that the setup doesn't fundamentally change the DNA of Pebble Beach. Also with his length he might be able to hit 5-irons all the way around the course.  1:40 p.m. 1:38 p.m.  Dustin Johnson is right there at 1 under, two back of the leaders. A Three-peat at Pebble Beach. Now that would be a story. 1:36 p.m. To SJCISKE: The greens are obviously the same size as they are in February for the At & t. The critical difference is the pin locations, the weather and the rough around the fairways and  the greens. Plus Pebble Beach is a natural golf course: rustic and raw so the tiniest changes can make the simplest chip a much harder shot.
1:32 p.m. To Cam Hoy: Phil will predictability be on attack mode. I forgot for a moment who I was talking about. And yes definitely the front is an easier place to reel off some birdies, at least until he gets to 8 and 9. 1:30 p.m.  Tiger bogeyed the 17th hole to fall back to even for the day.  1:26 p.m. To "It's not Joe": No one is going after the fourth because an iron and a wedge is the prudent play. 1:23 p.m. To Cam Hoy: There is a 10-shot rule and who knows the cut could be +6 or 7 by the day's end. 1:20 p.m. The 208-yard par 17th, which is easily the hardest hole on the golf course, is going to send a lot of players to the insane asylum this week. Tiger just hit probably a five-iron way off target and he looked baffled by the result. Now that green is as small as any that you will see at your local muni. It's hard to imagine that it's the same place that Jack and Watson made such lasting U.S. Open history.
1:18 p.m.  De Jonge now shares the lead with  Graeme McDowell of  Norther Ireland. 1:15 p.m. 1:12 p.m.  The greens are the talk around Pebble Beach. I haven't heard this much talk about greens at an Open since Pinehurst. You have to be onsite to appreciate how small and undulating these things are.  1:07 p.m. To Cam Hoy: The mood is of players battling a tough golf course. It's early in the second round and the conditions are tough.  It's cold and windy. The inaction is a reference to how careful the players are being around the greens and with their approach shots. Inaction is not playing aggressive. The rough around the fairways is not as penal as the stuff around the greens. So play is extra slow.
1:01 p.m. 12:51 p.m. To reader Richard who is worried about TV ratings if Tiger and Phil don't play well:  I used to think the same thing until I happened upon Dick Ebersol, the NBC Sports boss, at the Open at Pinehurst. I asked him about the little-known Jason Gore topping the leader board and he told me that it was great for the ratings. So people love these underdog stories as long as the underdog is a nice fella. 12:46 p.m.  To reader Kris who calls the blog lame: It's friday morning of a four-day tournament and the greens are lighting fast and the wind is howling and the rough is high. All the players are cautious and slow over every shot and Tiger and Phil, the favorites, are playing not to make mistakes. Where the action? Right now it's inaction. 
12:41 p.m. Tiger just birdied the 14th hole to get to 2 over for the tournament. 12:36 p.m. To my man, "It's not Joe:" Phil will be Phil but every U.S. Open has a Cinderella story. De Jonge might be that guy.  12: 12:22 p.m.  A reader named "It's not Joe" wants us to get on the Phil bandwagon. I'll believe it when I see it. The guy forgot how to hold the golf club on Thursday. But I'm not betting against him.   12:18 p.m. 12:16 p.m. Ernie Els is 2 under for the day and now in the Top 10. He's won this thing twice. 12:12 p.m. Brendon De Jonge is a native of Zimbabwe who played college golf at Virginia Tech and lives in Charlotte. He's made almost a $900,000 this year. He's no Jason Gore. He's legit.
12:05 p.m. Who is Brendon De Jonge? He is in the lead alone at  4 under. 12:04 p.m. This is off the subject but Darren Rovell of CNBC has reported that IMG lost $4.6 million from Tiger's lost endorsement fees in 2009. That means that if Tiger is paying the firm a 15 percent fee, he lost $30 million in endorsements in 2009. 11:59 a.m. Paul Casey is at  2 under par and a shot off the lead. He's due to win a major. 11:54 a.m. The U.S. soccer team has salvaged a tie with Slovenia, so now the world and ESPN can turn their attention to golf. 11:52 a.m. The wind is blowing about 12 mph and along the Cliffs of Doom, holes 8, 9 and 10, it's never calm. It's commonly a two-shot wind along that stretch.
11:48 a.m.  To Reader David's question about the cut line possibly sending a 100 guys to the weekend. If this happens it really means that it's almost a new tournament starting on saturday with almost anybody left in the field with a chance to win. 11:42 a.m.   11:41 a.m.   Tiger has birdied the 11th hole and is now at 2 over. Maybe he makes a run this morning.  11:35 a.m.   It's way too early to call a cut line but I'm guessing with the 10-shot rule that it's probably going to be around 8-over par.  11:32 a.m. The other night I had dinner with Sean Foley, the hot new teacher on tour. I asked him how his pupil Justin Rose was dealing with not getting into the U.S. Open. Foley said half-jokingly that Rose had a million reasons (his Memorial payday) to be just fine and that the two went to a Hip Hop concert to celebrate his first PGA Tour win.
11:23 a.m. Dustin Johnson is 1 under for the day and two shots off the Friday morning lead. Johnson has won here twice on an obviously different course, but  he knows his way around the place. He's in the mold of a Lucas Glover, a natural swinger, easy going and naive enough to think that he can win the thing.   11:19 a.m. Ryo Ishikawa probably hit the ball better than anyone yesterday. He hit a few drivers which shows that he's confident about hitting these fairways. I wouldn't count him out.  11:13 a.m. To reader Jackie's comment about the USGA website: Let the USGA concentrate on the golf course. 11:08 a.m. 11:05 a.m. Shaun MIcheel has birdied the 11th to go 3 under for the tournament. The majors are made for guys like him. Throw out consistency and for a week just throw everything against the wall and hope it sticks.
11:02 a.m. Tiger is teeing off at 11:06 a.m. eastern. I expect more grumbling from him about the greens. By the way, I talked his advance man yesterday, Glenn Greenspan, and he told me that Tiger didn't hold grudges against the media for everything that's been written about him. He doesn't love the tone of some of the riffs against him, but he's a big boy.  10:56 a.m. Tiger wasn't the only person to get heckled on the course yesterday. Coming down the back nine a table full of beers told Duval that they "felt his pain" and that they understood why he had given up the elliptical. "Who cares," one said, "when your wife is hot." 10:52 a.m. Longtime Live Blog reader Jim wishes that during the first round the announcers would talk more about the cut line than who is on the leader board. I think that's a valid concern but I think the leaders do give us a decent gauge of what the course is going to give up and who is playing the best. 
10:46 a.m.   To reader Jackie's question about Duval's ball-striking.  D.D. looked solid. He hit most of his greens and fairways. He didn't look tentative on any of his putts. He looks like a major champion. He had one really bad swing on 16 off the tee but otherwise he played fine. 10:36 a.m. 10:35 a.m. 10:33 a.m. 10:29 a.m. 10:26 a.m. 10:24 a.m. 10:21 a.m. "YOU'RE ESPN broadcast?" Come on... a grammar syntax mistake this early? Weekend starting early? :)
Not early enough, D.S. Thanks for catching.
10:18 a.m. The Drudge Report 10:14 a.m. 10:12 a.m. 10:10 a.m.
Mike Walker here

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