PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Kristoffer Shane prides himself in looking good on the golf course. This week at the U.S. Open, it’s all about long pants and pullover sweaters for this Floridian who never needs anything remotely close to this much clothing when he plays back home.
Shane, a senior-to-be at Division II University of Tampa, is an alternate and qualifier who was still on site Wednesday with slim hopes of cracking a 156-player field that is set for the opening round Thursday. He would love to show off not only his game but also a few more of his new duds. He had to buy several warmer options to play at Pebble Beach.
“This is basically winter for us,” Shane joked at the practice range Wednesday morning, when he wore a favorite charcoal gray sweater for the first time since January with a crisp new pair of matching pinstripe pants. “I’m not used to golfing in sweaters. I brought a whole collection.”
Shane’s caddie and longtime buddy, Brandon Blake, sported one of the louder looks of the day: a sweater of thick horizontal stripes in purple, gray and baby blue to go with his khaki slacks.
“I have the best dressed caddie,” the 22-year-old Shane said with a chuckle before they headed to tee off for a practice round.
Several golfers wore long sleeve T-shirts underneath their polos.
Matthew Richardson kept taking on and off his argyle sweater early in his afternoon round as it warmed up.
“The number of times he’s taken his sweater off … all day,” his caddie, Joe Shuchat, quipped. “It’s in and out of the bag. This morning it was windy. He’ll probably want it back on for 4, 5 and 6 and take it off after that.”
Stylish summer outfits, large sunglasses and sunscreen are largely going by the wayside – make that seaside in these parts – this week on the Monterey Peninsula in favor of hoodies, windbreakers, fleece vests and even a few stocking caps. One fan walked through the gates sporting a similar argyle sweater to Richardson’s to watch Wednesday’s rounds.
The fan was far from the only one prepared with an extra layer or two. A female supporter with one of the golfers Tuesday had on a beanie over her hat on a gray, breezy day.
“You look at weather.com and it says 65 and sunny and you get out here and it’s low 50s and cloudy and a little bit of breeze,” said Pebble veteran Mike Weir, who plays this course every year. “Any time you are by the coast, you’ve got to have a little luck of the draw. There are so many factors when you play close to the coast.”
This is such a different climate for a major played in mid-June. It was a sunny and warm, for here anyway, 59 degrees early Wednesday with a northwest wind at 6 mph and the chance of the high reaching 65. The rare sight of sun prompted a couple of course officials to slather sunblock on their faces and necks early in the day.
And this was expected to be one of the best days of the week. While Thursday could be mostly sunny with a high of 64, highs of 61 were in the forecast for Friday and Saturday and 62 for Sunday’s final round. The low was anywhere from 51-53 degrees.
That’s a far cry the scorching, steamy weather on the horizon for next year’s Open at Congressional Country Club in Maryland – or even at next month’s U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont Country Club (Pa.), and any event played in New York or North Carolina for that matter. Yet last year at Bethpage, everybody had umbrellas for an Open that was pushed to an extra day because of all the rain.
At least at Pebble, the spectacular ocean views featuring sandy beaches, steep rock cliffs and the sound of waves crashing into the shore should provide a small distraction from the shivers along the expansive course.
It was Shane’s mother, Darcie, who researched the California coast and made sure her son – who lives at home – was prepared for anything.
“She’s a professional shopper,” Shane said.
These conditions have been an adjustment – and a nice change of pace from the heat and humidity at home.
“Down here we think of California as hot,” Darcie Shane said Wednesday from Ruskin, Fla., about 30 miles south of Tampa. “I was just watching our weather and the heat index was over 100 degrees at 10 o’clock in the morning. It’s a hot one. I told them to enjoy the cool weather. I like taking good care of Kris. I want him to be prepared. You know how young boys are, they don’t know about the weather.”