Tiger Should Win, but Watch Out for McDowell

Tiger Woods

OK. I’m like about half the nation in thinking that Tiger Woods finally gets that elusive 15th Major that he has been chasing since, well, even before he stopped chasing porn stars.

He’s a great front runner and even though he started the third round of the Open at the Olympic Club with a bunch of other contenders, he’s the odds-on favorite to take home the big trophy.

By the way, can ESPN, NBC and every other network stop showing us the Golden Gate Bridge? We know it is an iconic San Francisco landmark and, yes, it’s beautiful, especially when draped in fog. But enough already. Let’s show some shots of the wharf area or Knob Hill for crying out loud. Or just golf. Now there’s a novel idea. It’s like popping up the Empire State Building every time something takes place in New York City. But then again, NBC did show us the Eiffel Tower about 400 times while covering the recently concluded French Open. Yes, we know it was in Paris.

Anyway, I gladly digress. Woods is on his game, taking what the course gives him, playing smart golf, chipping well and making some putts. And, really, isn’t that what the winner of the U.S. Open has to do? It’s not rocket science. Stay out of the foot-deep rough, don’t three-putt and make a few bombs and you’re home free.

I don’t know about you but while Olympic looks pretty on television, I don’t think I would want to play there, even if I could. How many sloping fairways does a golf course need? Olympic has a sloped fairway on all but the par-threes, I believe. It’s ridiculous to have to play a massive fade or hook off the tee to try and keep your ball in the short stuff on every four or five. A few sloped fairways would be fun but every one?

The massive pine trees that frame almost all the holes also interfere with shots way too often. This may be heresy in some quarters but I sort of agree with a member of the Donald Ross Society who once told me that trees are nothing more than big weeds. I can’t imagine the great architects of the game envisioned having to play around or over huge trees from a fairway lie. Just hits me as tricked up and unfair.

But if anyone can handle the weird stuff that Olympic throws at the best players in the world, it’s Tiger. The only other guy I give a chance to is Graeme McDowell, who is as tough as nails mentally and always seems to play well in the big tournaments. He would like nothing better than to add a beating of Tiger Woods at the U.S. Open onto his resume. Look for a mano-a-mano late Sunday.

Oh, yeah, speaking of late. Could we move the tee times up a bit. Tiger didn’t tee off until almost 6 p.m. EST in the third round, which means he may not finish before 10:30 or 11 p.m. What is this, the NBA Finals or the World Series?



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