Day One at the U.S. Open. Can’t tell you how excited we all are. I am posting this on Day Three, because we have been going non-stop. They are calling it the Super Bowl of golf, but when our crews covered the Super Bowl, we didn’t have to walk from here to forever. The photojournalists amaze me. First day, Ralph Bell was everywhere, a real links warrior, and Dan Pratt the same. We were walking down No. 9 fairway, and he was walking beside us, not able to see where he was going, and the shot was as steady as it would have been on a tripod. The story was about autograph seekers. According to the USGA policy manual, there aren’t supposed to be any autographs in most circumstances–during the Practice rounds or the Championship. RIGHT! I got a chance to see how the autograph seekers do their thing, and how the players respond. Dan and I were following a friend of mine, who happens to be on a USGA committee for girls junior golf. She was also the co-chair of the Curtis Cup when it was played at Fox Chapel Golf Club in 2002 (that is the women’s amateur match between the US and The British Isles). She is a superb golfer, but, more importantly, she is a great mom, and she was there with one of her two daughters, Phoebe. There is a way to do this, without being rude, and that is to wait for the players, as they come off the greens, heading to the next tee. We were at No. 1 green, where they cross the bridge. Courtney and Phoebe were trying to get Vijay Singh, and we thought that might be tough. As we waited for him to tee off, it was easy to get Tom Pernice, although Phoebe wasn’t sure who he was until he signed her Oakmont flag. Some of these guys look really different in person—sound familiar???

Then we spotted Zach Johnson. He was so serious coming off the green. Who wouldn’t be. No. I is so hard..tight fairway…long as heck. But as she held her flag out, he whipped out that Sharpie (they all carry them in their pocket to save time), and signed it but did it while he was walking—so Phoebe had to run along thru the crowd to re-capture the flag! He never spoke… and I would say he is already in focus mode, since the Masters win has put a lot of pressure on him to perform in the same manner here.

We expected Vijay to be aloof, but he was anything but. He sort of smiled, and did the same–signed as he walked, but yelled out to Phoebe, “Walk with me, walk with me!” I was yelling at Phoebe,”Get it ! Get it!” Her mom and I were so excited. I think it is great that the sport–and I call it a sport now, not a game–has become more and more popular. It is something you can do all your life. You may get better, but, as a friend just told me, you never conquer it.


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