Open-sourced Banter

DAN HICKS: Let’s go to thirteen.

BOB MURPHY: Well, just a moment ago – we have to show you this to appreciate the difficulty… right on the front of the green, it’s up the hill about 39 feet, Phil Mickelson’s third…

JOHNNY MILLER: Uh-oh… that was a big uh-oh

MURPHY: Down the hill…

MILLER: This is like six flags, right here…

MURPHY: This is his fourth.

MILLER: This is a tougher shot than the last one.

MURPHY: Really really clipped it – watch out. Back … down…

MILLER: Might go in his own divot

HICKS: He makes it a habit to play here once twice a week, especially preparing for the US Open in his back yard, so he knows what this is all about, Murph

MURPHY: Playing five…

MILLER: Was that heavy?

MURPHY: That sounded heavy

HICKS: Oh my goodness…

MURPHY: This was a moment ago… this was a lot of moments ago! It takes a long time to do all this…

MILLER: You know what’s amazing? He’s hit the ball three times and he’s farther than when he started…

HICKS: Can you imagine how he feels, the local favorite here, just, throwing it away at 13 here, Murph

MURPHY: Yes, and just utter dejection. This is number six, and it’s finally on the green.

MILLER: Last time we had something similar was that tenth hole at Shinnecock. Remember that Bob?

MURPHY: Yes I do!

MILLER: But it wouldn’t come back this far.

MURPHY: This is for seven.

MILLER: Well you don’t see too many snowmen at the beach, but…

MURPHY: Johhny, he hammered it.

HICKS: Well, he’s gonna be hoping for a snowman. This is amazing…

MURPHY: This is nine-ten feet past the hole. Now you’re just not thinking, are you, Johnny? You’re just in another zone.

MILLER: Yeah your hands get – get – you know – sort of sweaty?

MURPHY: This is eight … makes, a quad – nine on the par 5.

HICKS: Murph, yesterday was Friday the 13th … … Saturday, at 13 … is a nightmare for Mickelson.


MURPHY: You know you hate to see it, you hate to see anybody do it.

MILLER: And this gallery’s been so loyal and so strong in its support… Well, back to Ernie Els on that, uh, par 3…

The US Open

Torrey Pines is on fire this year.

I’m watching the end of yesterday’s second-round coverage (love DVR) and it is such a thrill. Tiger and Phil are paired together with Adam Scott (who is being ignored, more on that later) and they are going shot for shot down the stretch. The USGA really did a great thing putting the number one and number two (and number three) players together for the first two rounds.

Tiger started off the first round with a double-bogey – after all the speculation about his knee (just coming off surgery 8 weeks ago) it was hoped not to be a harbinger of disaster in the offing. Tons of coverage means cute little features about things like Phil Mickelson growing up nearby in Rancho Santa Fe, where his well-off parents had a real green and sand trap in their backyard. The evidence of how many hours he spent out there chipping has been his amazing recovery shots from all over the place – including what looked like certain doom when he flew the 3rd green Friday and went downhill into the hazard. His flop shot was great but left him a long putt of at least 30 feet – which he drained with authority.

That was just a few holes after he’d flew another green and gone under the grandstands, taken a drop in the deep deep rough and plopped it out masterfully to about 2 inches. Nearly bloody drained it!

The crowds have been amazing – only getting bigger as times goes on. Just now (on my viewing schedule, at least) at the third, Tiger had to read his putt while a phalanx of photographers looked on from directly behind the hole. It underscores how good these guys are, Tiger more than anyone – that they not only pull off amazing feats of golf but they do it while being totally distracted by monstrous crowds. Especially at the US Open, there is not one shot hit without someone, immediately after ball contact, screaming “Get in the hole!!!” This is not Augusta National. This is America’s National Championship – the people’s championship.

Third Leg

That brings me back to Adam Scott, an Australian who has become more popular on tour in the last few years, winner of this year’s Byron Nelson Championship in Texas. He also happens to be the third-best golfer in the world, but you wouldn’t know it from the treatment he’s getting from the coverage. There have been more than one instance where they show Tiger and Phil hit, and then move on to some other hole, neglecting to show Scott’s approach or drive. He’s a few shots back, but so is Phil, and I feel like they could be giving him more respect. Then again, Tiger just made 5 threes in a row – including four birdies – so Scott’s repeated missed putts aren’t really providing any excitement in comparison.

I’m off to Kent now for my ten-year reunion, and then tomorrow golf with Dad and the boys for Father’s Day – after which we’ll retire to Dad’s to barbeque and was the finish – it promises to be an exciting weekend at Torrey Pines and here on the East coast…

One more note – it’s nice to see quite a few amateurs who are going to be sticking around for the weekend. This Fathauer kid is really deadly around the greens and there’s some 19-year-old college freshman who qualified as an alternate and was lucky enough to have some other player drop out.

UPDATE: As if he were reacting to my words, Adam Scott just hit the flagpole on the 8th hole and nearly had an ace. Nice kick-in birdie and let’s see him continue the momentum into the weekend. I really like this guy – his swing is beautiful. And something else that draws me to him is that he’s almost exactly my age. He makes me wonder if I ever could have been that good…

Triumphant Victory

Hackensack Sunshine
Hackensack Sunshine

Will is a player. He always beats me. But yesterday the golf gods were on my side, because I whipped him good, and took $28 off him in the process.

To be fair, the kid had just had a lesson, and so was in the process of fixing his swing. It really showed. He sprayed it all over the course, especially on the first nine (the back). And he gave me four shots a side, as he has for years. But it wasn’t all his collapse. I had one of the best rounds of my career, shooting 42-42, with some absolutely fantastic shots along the way.

Some of the bagroom dudes watched me tee off #10, our starting hole, and I duffed a couple real good, which drew howls of laughter. But I was laughing later, crushing 270-yard drives, striping hybrids to the green, chipping solidly and rolling it beautifully on the green.

I think I had four or five double bogeys – meaning I could have broken 80 for the first time if I had had my game together from the start. I won the first nine 6/4/2 and the back two-up. Closed out the match at 4 and 3. Took all four greenies on the last par 3 and had a birdie somewhere along the way – I think? What’s not in dispute is that I thrashed him after years of losing. It felt like justice.

Georgetown Out to Impressive Start

My beloved Hoyas are starting the season off just the way they ended it last year – by dominating.

Ok, they didn’t totally dominate last year. They lost in the final four to Ohio State – but they dominated up to that point. They won the Big East (regular season AND tournament) and made it to the final four. One of their stars, Jeff Green, now plays for the Seattle Supersonics. The other one, Roy Hibbert, is still here.

Having Hibbert come back for his senior year rather than enter the NBA draft (where he definitely would have been a top pick) is a huge score for the Hoyas. He has led the team past all their opponents so far (they are 6-0 and ranked 4th in the nation) and – even better – when he has been off or in foul trouble his teammates have picked up the slack and come through in the clutch.

In fact, this story from ESPN argues that Georgetown is learning how to do just that – close out the big games. Still, we’ll have to wait and see. They look good now, but we all know the real tests don’t come until we’re about 10 games into the season. We should have no trouble tomorrow with Jacksonville, or the next game against Radford. But on the 22nd we’ll face #2 Memphis.

I also want to note what a fun time I had watching the game the other night against Alabama. For the first time in years, I was with old friends from Georgetown – Crum and Berks, Bobby PuNob and Joey Toce, plus surprise guests Frank TJ Mackie and Danny Deo. Kudos to Crum for offering his pad to host!

Final Four


It was unbelievable.

I woke up early last Monday morning to watch the Hoyas take on the famed Tarheels of the University of North Carolina, a school with a basketball program among the most hallowed in the nation. They have been to th Final Four something like 16 times. Twenty-five years ago, the Hoyas met the Tarheels in the NCAA Finals only to lose when a freshman named Michael Jordan hit a 17-ft jumper to go up by one with 17 seconds to play. Talk about history.

This time it was different. Continue reading Final Four

Big East Champs

Jeff Green
Jeff Green

“It’s official. We’re back.”

So said Georgetown big man Patrick Ewing, Jr., son of the legendary Georgetown big man of yore, Patrick Ewing, after winning the Big East Championship under Coach John Thompson III, son of legendary Georgetown Coach of yore John Thompson, Jr.

I have nothing to add to that except: Feel the fear. Hoya Paranoia is here.

Picture: Jeff Green towers over a Notre Dame opponent.

Hungry Hoyas

Top Dogs
Top Dogs

Georgetown is finally back where it belongs in the basketball world: on top.

The Hoyas have won eleven in a row, their longest winning streak in a dozen years, and after beating Pittsburgh the other day, they are are now number one in the Big East conference. Led by big man Roy Hibbert and the powerful Jeff Green, Georgetown is looking to make waves in this year’s NCAA tournament. But first they must finish off Syracuse and UConn in the final two games of the season.

If only I was back in New York, I would be trying to score tickets to the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden!