SAN FRANCISCO -- OK, I'm making my way back to Augusta. I got to play Pebble Beach today, so I'm pretty sure I'm already in the clouds without the benefit of an airplane.
The USGA holds a lottery for media covering the event to play the course the day after. If there's a playoff, no one plays. My name wasn't drawn, but Ron Green Jr. of The Charlotte Observer was. He was traveling with me and Scott Michaux, and he graciously agreed to let me take his place since he had already played it.
I'm forever in Ron's debt.
Good afternoon and Happy Father's Day. Scroll down for the latest:
It's another cool day on the Monterey Peninsula. Should be another good day for scoring at the final round of the U.S. Open.
The big question today is if Dustin Johnson can hang on and win his first major. The car pool consensus (myself, Scott Michaux and Charlotte's Ron Green Jr.) is that he can do it. He's proved he can win at Pebble Beach, and he's got the length to take advantage of the birdie holes here.
It's another beautiful day here at Pebble Beach Golf Links. A little overcast, but not too breezy yet. Scroll down to bottom for latest updates:
3 P.M. UPDATE: It's moving day at the U.S. Open and it looks like the scoring might be good today, at least early on. Davis Love III and Kenny Perry each are 4-under for the day on the front nine. Brandt Snedeker is 3-under so far.
It's Day 2 at the U.S. Open, and here are the storylines we'll be following from Pebble Beach Golf Links. Scroll down to the bottom for the latest news:
Can the big names (Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood) rebound from over-par performances on opening day? Logic says Woods and Westwood should be able to make a move as they play this morning, when the greens are going to be at their best. Mickelson might have more of an uphill climb since he goes off in the afternoon and could face the worst weather conditions.
There's an old saying in golf: you can't win a tournament on the first day, but you can lose it.
Masters champ Phil Mickelson is making the second part of that adage look true right now.
Mickelson is 4-over par on the day and just missed a reasonable birdie putt at the par-5 6th. If he can limp home and not give any more shots back, he might be OK. But he'll need a good round tomorrow to make the cut.
Mike Weir is on top at 2-under with one hole to play. Rafael Cabrera-Bello has the clubhouse lead with 1-under 70.
It was a simple question, but the answer was a no-brainer.
As UGA teammates Russell Henley and Hudson Swafford walked the 18th fairway Tuesday at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the two discussed if they were going to go for the green in two or lay up on the famous par-5.
With the surf pounding the sea wall near the green and a cool breeze blowing on the Monterey Peninsula, it wasn't an easy shot, even during a practice round for the U.S. Open.
But the answer was yes, and for both UGA golfers.
That's about the best I can do after seeing Pebble Beach Golf Links today for the first time.
And I haven't even seen the 8th, 9th and 10th holes.
But the golf course is very, very cool. And that matches the temperature, which is a welcome relief as temps reach triple digits back home. It was 52 this morning when we arrived at the golf course.
I'm on my way to the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Or, should I say, do you know the way to San Jose?
Apparently the way begins in Augusta, stops in Dallas, continues to Portland and then arrives in San Jose. Or in college football terms, I started in SEC/ACC country, flew to the heart of the Big XII, went over the Mountain West and landed in Pac-10 territory.
When Tom Watson talks, you should listen.
The golfer has been in the news a lot in the last year, beginning with his near victory at the British Open to his great play on the Champions Tour to his impressive performance at this year's Masters Tournament.
He held a conference call last week to tout his just-released DVD, Tom Watson - Lessons of a Lifetime, and I listened in.
The Masters is all about hugs and kisses.
Not really, but if you look back at old photos of the winners, there are plenty of embraces that are worth embracing.
Three from recent years stand out for me:
1986: Jack Nicklaus and son Jackie, his caddie, hug on the 18th green following the Golden Bear's memorable round.
1997: Tiger Woods gives his "Pops," Earl Woods, a big ol' bear hug after shattering records.
2010: Phil Mickelson embraces his wife Amy in a poignant moment behind the 18th green.