U.S. Open 2006-Newport RI

My player this week is Dina Ammaccapane

Sunday: A 430 mile drive, much of it in the rain, and an hour sitting in traffic finished off my day.

Monday: Nary a sole to be seen but it is still 6:00 AM. The weekend rains put the kibosh on early practice rounds which left the entire course to the caderos. You seldom have this chance at The Open. 

The wind will be a major factor this week of course, but skill around the greens will put you in the money. They’re small and slope severely. The ninth and eighteenth holes may play the toughest. Long par fours with uphill approaches.

  • X marks the spot; Well, not quite an X. A little twist has been added to the mix as this is a track that relies on Mother Nature to water the fairways which leaves few markers to measure the distance to the front of the green. The absence of sprinkler heads, our old standby, has us scratching our butts for ideas. George Lucas (our bible maker) has included some reference points but they may be confusing to some. e.g. A point dissecting a line between the flagpole on the left and the crow’s nest in the right trees is 179 to the front. Yeah, right! But one ingenious bag toter has carved out a niche (more like a notch) for himself  (if you catch my meaning) where needed. Let’s just call them “Scraper Scratches”. They’ll be there all week and we have em lasered.

  • You’re out a hear; Getting the axe just before The Open is liken to a knee in the jewels as I’m sure Motion found out last Sunday. Angela Stanford and he parted ways at the end of the week. Maybe that 80 in the final round had some influence.

Tuesday: Played an early eighteen and beat a few balls. What more is there to do? 

  • Size (of your drives) does matter; Looks like the wind may be the deciding factor after all this week. Playing wickedly long and almost as if the USGA would like to see Michelle Wie have The Open as her first pro win.

  • Still 98.6; No “Open Fever” in this bag. Dina is taking this week as just another tournament. You should see the grinding going on. Another Major with coaches lined up as far as the eye can see.

  • You bag stealin b- – – h! I imagine those were the words uttered by one veteran looper after finding out his promised job for The Open (a condition stipulated if they qualified) was nixed by his player’s girlfriend. This naive rookie (who I believe has only played well with a tour caddie all year) acquiesced to purely selfish demands and fired him to hire her. I guess being “whipped” is gender neutral.

  • No pics; Haven’t found anything unusual to snap but if you wish to take a tour of the Newport area check this site out.

  • Let’s eat; It was a bit slow on organizing the goodies for us caderos but it’s coming around nicely. Some hot eats for lunch today included beef tips with mushrooms and pulled barbeque pork. Tater salad on the side made for a satisfying lunch.

Wednesday: Being the second second group off the first tee and only playing nine holes, we finished with thirty minutes to spare before the excrement collided with the ventilation apparatus. 40+ mph winds along with an on and off rain (with one torrential downpour) pelted this venue catching many spectators unprepared. One benefit though, the merchandise tent experienced a slew of action. The wind howled so much at one point, a crunched tee ball from Laura Davies failed to reach the fairway bunker on twelve which stood a mere 190 yards out.

  • Break time; The heavy rain arrived just as the chow did at caddie headquarters with pulled pork and three types of salad on the menu. This morning’s breakfast was upgraded to sausage and eggs along with the bagels and muffins supplied the first two days. Yesterday’s lunch actually topped the player’s and I couldn’t help pulling Angela German’s chain by including crème brûlée in the description of our noon time repast. She fell for it of course.

Reverend Paolini saying grace?

  • Rhyme of the times;

Couldn’t agree more.

  • Where’s the beef (people)? Time will tell if this was the most apt venue for the 2006 Open. Compared to last year, held at Cherry Hills in Denver, the crowds are sparse and doesn’t quite have the feel most opens do. Usually a magnate for golf aficionados country wide, the exorbitantly steep tariffs for hotels and lack of the same may have put a damper on plans for the annual trip to “Mecca”.

  • WHAM! POP! BAM! An old episode of Batman you say? How about a real life display of cyber-rage. Last week found one (frustrated beyond belief) cadero doing to his computer what only most of us wish we had the gonads to do. After losing the ability to use AOL (probably his fault) and spending five hours on the phone with a “Pakistani prodigy” only to to be told it was HP’s problem, comported a performance of smashes and body slams that would make a WrestleMania participant proud. This devastating attack had his laptop crying “uncle” and just barley operational. A screen resembling a pattern only an arachnologist (spider expert, so you don’t have to look it up) would appreciate was the result and a brand spanking new Gateway is now in its stead.

  • Best advice ever spoken? I’m sitting here in the lobby of the Howard Johnson’s and a few feet away a gentleman of Indian or Pakistani decent is on his cell speaking his native language. After a lengthy conversation he exasperatedly blurted out in English “Just hit the ball!” “Open Fever” has no boundaries.

Thursday: Arrived at 6:00 AM and departed at 3:30 PM but no golf was ever played. Heavy fog foiled our Pollyannaish fantasies of being the first round leader, as we spent most of our day in the caddie tent where an endless supply of food and drink (non-alcoholic) pacified our restless souls. From bacon (ham after that expired) and eggs in the morn to herb ziti with a smattering of chicken for lunch, we stuffed ourselves till we couldn’t take it anymore. Basically, we got paid to eat.

The day was eventually cancelled, so we do it all again tomorrow and finish with thirty-six on Sunday without repairing.

  • Did I hear right? Dale Jones has been toting for Moira Dunn for the past six weeks and, during a stint on the “rock pile”, she issued a compliment one would not expect to be attributed in his direction. “Dale has been very influential” or something on that order which, if you knew Dale, know why everyone within ear shot burst out laughing. Is it possible he has an enigmatic side not seen by his fellow acquaintances. NAH!

  • House rules; One of the bunkers on the sixth or seventh hole is extremely close to the water table and, with more rain expected, an unusual decision has been made if one’s ball finds a watery position within its confines. You may drop in the bunker and play it or play the entire trap as ground under repair. You may even choose the second option even after performing the first. Don’t see that very often.

Another anomaly is a mandatory drop into a designated area if your ball rests against or close to (impeding your stance or swing) one of the many TIO’s (Temporary Immoveable Obstructions) such as bleachers and TV towers situated around the greens. This is to save time from determining the closest point of relief.

Friday: Overnight boomers dumped a few extra buckets of “Newport nectar” on an already saturated Open track leaving the grounds crew scrambling to get it back in shape and having the USGA move the tees up to compensate for the added length. It also precluded spectators from following groups on holes seven, eight and nine due to soggy conditions.

Our plus five round was a good indication of the lack of quality shots Dina executed today. Too many missed greens, leaving us short-sided in bunkers resembling gravel covered hardpan, took its toll. More range time than usual afterward was necessary.

  • Slow-mo; Why is it we can play a practice round with a threesome on the front and four on the back, hit multiple shots off the tee and to the green, chip and putt to our heart’s content and still play faster than three players playing one ball during the tournament? Under five hours for practice and five twenty for the first round.

  • Had to happen; Among the many players in the field with the sir name of Kim, one stands out. Kimberly Kim takes the cake winning the “what were her parents thinking” award. Kim-Kim, should I turn right of left?

  • Parting is such sweet sorrow; Just found out today that J-Ro and her caddie of a year and a half Donna “Wanna” went their separate ways last week. After their disappointing first round she decided to have her brother tote the bag and “that was all she wrote”.

  • Hey, play fare; One of our playing partners had two drops from casual water (one in a bunker) and, in my opinion, were not taken at the closest point of relief. She seemed to gravitate to an spot which gave her the best advantage especially the one in the trap. Avoiding an area just behind the ball (giving her a downhill lie) she went off to the side which made the shot much easier. The amazing part is they were watched by our rover (rules official and winner of this week’s  Mr. Magoo award) who had no objection.

Saturday: This could have been one of the most masterful short game displays I’ve ever seen including a phenomenal up and down on our final hole to make the cut on the nose. Get your comfy shoes ready for tomorrow Dina, we got a marathon ahead.

  • Crunch time; Dave Brooker, looping for Beth Bauer, took it on the chin yesterday (actually his elbow) while riding his bicycle near the course. An NBC employee made an unexpected u-turn with his golf cart right into Dave’s path and wiped him out. Wound up with a shattered elbow.

  • Peek-a-boo, I see you; Golf has always been a game of fashion along with skill and this week always brings out the best of attire. Short skirts abound on many of these lovely lasses but comes with one major caveat. You must be aware of body position while teeing up the ball. Yesterday, one striking amateur was giving a show on the range rivaling anything found in the seedier establishments of town. While putting the peg in the ground, she raised her leg so high for so long, she could have sold advertising space on the crotch of her panties! For a pretty penny I may add.

  • And another thing; Poor results at The Open may test the best of caddie/player relationships. Heard one long time pair was having quite the discussion after missing the cut and as usual, it was one sided with the cadero getting “torn a new one”.

  • Forget something? Kyeong Bae must have been in quite a rush to get out of Dodge after missing the cut cause she forgot to remove her clubs from the shuttle van and they wound up back at the club. Same one who drove all the way to Tampa, with one day yet to play in Atlanta, thinking it was a three dayer.

Sunday: SURVIVED! That’s about the best way to describe the day. A total of three birds for the week and a short game that took a siesta today, left us towards the bottom of the pack. It always amazes me how hard we try to get into The Open and how much hell we go though once we get here.

  • On second thought; I may have been a bit rash with the Mr. Magoo award after receiving our own very generous drop from casual water in a bunker. Something about “maximum relief” I believe she said which is very different than nearest point of relief.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: