My player this week is Il Mi Chung
Monday: Wegmans charted a flight for players, caddies and guests which was scheduled to leave right after play was completed on Sunday. I was bumped by Il Mi’s agent and glad I was. An overloaded plane and hydraulic leak had them sitting on the tarmac for five hours and didn’t arrive in Denver till 4:15 in the morn. I took a commercial flight at 8:30 AM, got plenty of rest and arrived at 11:30.
Walked the course but only made it through eleven holes due to a severe thunder storm. They pulled us off and the course never reopened.
Speaking of the course, it’s in immaculate shape with generous fairways, fast but receptive greens and unplayable rough.
One of the USGA caddie rules forbids us from walking on the greens if your player isn’t present. Rick Reid, who loops for Joanne Morley, seems to have taken on the role of greens monitor. I happened to walk through his group on the first green and he turned me in to the USGA! What a d–k! This guy has broken a lifetime of rules and he has audacity to pull this crap. Payback is sweet.
Tuesday: Played an early round and the course did not seem as difficult as I thought. The higher elevation definitely shortens the course and the 400+ par fours did not play as long. The rough is still unplayable though with a pitch-out your only option.
Hardest hole on this track is the 18th. 459 yards with the second shot playing straight uphill.
Afternoon storms are predicted all week.
Thunderhead as seen from the 9th green.
A few random shots from today’s
John Elway and Jill McGill signing autographs.
Chad Payne AKA “ICE” (I can eat) filming his player.
Sylvia Cavalleri getting a tune-up from David Leadbetter.
Michelle Wie ripping one.
Natalie Gulbis on the tube again.
Wednesday: Played nine holes with Mi Hyun Kim and Becky Morgan. Il Mi was complaining of fatigue from the get-go so trying to gauge distance from some of her shots was futile. The greens are firming up and the rough isn’t getting any shorter. After lunch, putting practice was her only concern and I headed for the back nine for one last check.
The Rick Reid fiasco still has legs and a proper nickname was the talk of the caddie area. “Rick the Rat” and “Sirpico” were the first two on the list but “Judas” might be a little over the top.
The USGA have out done themselves when it comes to the care and feeding of the caddies. Three buffet meals a day with the same eats found in player hospitality.
Caddies chowing down with Paul the club repairman (center) as a welcomed guest.
Maria Troche is on the bag for her sister Celeste and when asked if she’ll be doing any other events she replied “I only do the “big ones”!
Speaking of the rough, here is an example of what is to be found on the primary cut.
Now that’s deep!
There’s signs of “Open Fever” everywhere you look. Coaches as far as the eye can see and new clubs in the bag abound especially putters. My player is included switching to the Two Ball.
Sandra Haynie with a few putting tips with Il Mi as her agent looks on.
Dotti Pepper will be covering The Open and caught up with our group on the seventh hole.
Dotti and two unknowns!
How about this for a billboard? Is Annika playing second fiddle this week?
If you were watching last week, Christina Kim buried her putter into the 18th green after missing a putt for par. That one cost her $200. Thank you very much!
Thursday: Bogied the last two for a round of +4. Not the best of starts but plenty of golf to be played.
Beware of a “too good to be true” lie in the rough; This was the case for us on the par four sixteenth. We short-sided the pin to the left but the ball seemed to be sitting quite well. Usually it buries right down to the roots. An attempt at a flop shot cut under the ball and it went to the bottom. Only thing left was to try it again but this time the results were dramatically different. Landed softly on the putting surface and found nothing but net! There’s more than one way to make a par.
Dennis Quinn, an out of work looper this week, found a job working for TV. Thursday found him following the afternoon group of Wie, Davies and Lincicome. One of his tasks was to relay which club each player was hitting on the par threes. Laura and Brittney were very cooperative but Michelle and her caddie wouldn’t until after the shot was struck. Of course this was to late. But Brittany came to the rescue by going over to Michele’s bag, ogling her selection and signaling her pick to Dennis with the appropriate number of fingers.
Lexus is the courtesy car for this event with 200 provided by a local dealer. Every player riding in style this week.
Friday: Started off saving par on the first four holes and a bogey on the fifth. Settled down after that and shot a superb even par round. Moved up the leader board with a bullet.
- The 16th is a long par five but don’t tell that to Sophie Gustafson. She reached the green with a six iron on her second shot. Her tee ball traveled 327 yards and went past the crosswalk which the gallery uses. The funny thing was, she asked her caddie Any if it was OK to hit as they crossed the fairway and he said “Go ahead, you can’t reach them”.
- While warming up on the range, Angela Stanford loss the use of her five wood after the head flew off and traveled a good fifty yards. Her caddie, Motion, retrieved it and received a round of applause from the gallery.
Saturday: A bogey, double bogey finish ruined what would have been a respectable round. till could have a decent Open with a solid round tomorrow.
- Colin Cann, Paula Creamer’s caddie before breaking his ankle, is here as a spectator. He’s planning on working Evian and The British so his rehab must be progressing on schedule. If you were wondering, he has been promised his job back no matter how many events Paula wins with her current cadero.
Sunday: The wheels came off early and we posted a five over par round. Poor ball striking on the range put Il Mi in a funk and she never seemed to try and shake it. I don’t know if it was the cumulative pressures of The Open and the inability of playing to a higher standard but she just didn’t have the heart to fight to the end. Made a decent check though, and being her first Open I’m sure she learned from the experience.
- Il Mi has a friend coming out for Toledo which fit into my plans just fine. The inability to communicate with any player is frustrating and cost us a few shots this week. I wasn’t planning on going another week so parking lot duty may be in my future.
- The USGA had a bit of a surprise this morning with The Denver Post printing today’s tee times using Eastern Standard Time instead of Central! Looks like most of the gallery got it right with a fantastic showing even in the early hours.
- How about that bunker shot from Birdie Kim? You can hit it all day long from that spot and not find the cup.
- Looks like Morgan has Michelle’s number. Head to head she beats her like a “red headed stepchild”! No offense intended if you happen to be one.
- Best beak of the week; Birdie Kim’s caddie, Miles, was in charge of shipping her putter to The Open last week but used a box not up to the task. It was broken in transit and she switched to a new one from a different manufacturer. Do you believe in fate?
- I won’t be at the match play event but will pick up my old laptop from home in case they screw up the repair again. Who knows where they’ll ship it back to this time?