THE U.S. OPEN Championship begins today and I'll be paying closer attention than usual because it is being held at Congressional Country Club -- just a few miles from the house we own in the DC area. I've watched professional tournaments in person at Congressional at least 5 or 6 times, including walking two rounds of the both the '95 US Senior Open (where I saw Jack Nicklaus hit a hole in one!!) and the '97 US Open. In fact, at the '97 Open my friend Kevin and I actually worked concessions on the Friday selling lemonade just off the 4th hole. If I remember correctly the largest crowds that day were for the threesome that included Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo. I took my brother to the final round on Sunday and we follwed Ernie Els for most of the back nine, but also got to see Colin Montgomery put his ball in the drink on 17. Needless to say, the crowd went wild when Monte's ball got wet.
In 2007 I took Patrick to Tiger's tournament and one of the best moments was when we paused for lunch -- a juicy burger while sitting on the 9th fairway). The 9th hold is a long par 5 where 70% of the tour players lay-up because of a huge gully just in front of the green (you can almost get the feel of it from the photo, which is taken from the 9th fairway). We sat with our lunches right at the spot where players usually put their second shot. When Adam Scott came through we turned our heads to the right to watch his approach. As soon as his club hit the ball it was clear, however, that he was not laying-up -- he was going for the green. That shot was one of the best shots I have ever seen in person. It started low, arched upward about two thirds of the way to the green, landed softly on the front fringe and rolled to about 8 feet. Scott missed the put, but what the hell, it was a great shot anyway.
Isn't this great, my thoughts on personal golf memories? The fact is, I miss golf. I havn't played since moving to France and don't watch much because of the time change. With some luck I'll watch a bit this year.