Christmas in June: The US Open

by Jeff Skinner

This is the biggest week in professional golf. This is US Open week. The US Open is the toughest of the majors and the USGA likes to maintain their reputation as the last guardians of par in golf. There will be no double digit under par winner of the US Open while the USGA has a say in the matter. They like to separate the “men from the boys” and the players from sub-par rounds at their yearly test of nerves. However, there is no truth to the rumor that the USGA has confiscated all the red numbers used by the scorers to denote under par on the scoreboards. USGA setup man, Mike Davis has changed the Bethpage setup slightly but it will still play long and tough. The forecast calls for rain each day this week, much like 2002 when the Open first came to The Black.

This week is like Christmas in June in my house. It’s all Open all the time. America may be celebrating Father’s Day this week, but for me it’s Open Week. There is no better or bigger week in golf. To prove my point, I offer this fact. In this Sunday’s New York Times there were seven separate articles that referenced the US Open. From the course to the players to the history of the Open, The Times offers some wonderful pieces. The Dean of The Times, Dave Anderson gives us the history of the Open in the New York area. Karen Crouse focuses on Tiger as a father (check out the LLG Jack/Tiger article) and looks at Rocco’s chance of a rematch with Woods.

Fortunately, I am able to spend some time at the Open this week. I’ll be at Bethpage Black, the best public course in America. Pebble Beach and Pinehurst #2 are public in name only. The Black is truly public. It is cheap and tough and plays hard. Just like the thousands of fans that await the world’s best golfers this week.


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