The U.S. Open is ostensibly the national tournament, but
this year’s version has more accents than a James Bond movie. Sure Americans
like Tiger Woods, Rocco Mediate, D.J. Trahan and Davis Love III lurk near the
top of the leaderboard, but they share space with Australians Stuart Appleby,
Swede Robert Karlsson, Brits Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, South African Ernie
Els and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.
(By the way, is there anybody in golf cooler than Jimenez? His
nickname’s "the Mechanic," he smokes cigars and he even makes a ponytail look
tough. And that “orange crush” grouping on Friday of him, Boo Weekly and Shingo
Katayama all wearing matching orange shirts and white hats was really
If that’s not enough, Ryder Cup stalwarts, such as Sergio Garcia
and Padraig Harrington, posted great rounds Friday (70 and 67 respectively),
while American standouts, such as Phil Mickelson, struggled.
“The South Africans and Australians have an advantage at
Torrey Pines because they are familiar with playing on the kikuyu grass, but
the leaderboard does have a European flavor,” said Golf Magazine Top 100
Teacher Brady Riggs. “It makes you wonder if anybody but Tiger is going to get
in the fight.
“If this is a preview of the Ryder Cup, we’re in trouble. It’s
a little depressing -- this is supposed to be the national tournament,” Riggs