As I visited my hometown this past weekend, I sat at my favorite local watering hole with my little brother, Pat, and watched as Phil Mickelson, then the leader, teed off at his 2:40 p.m. tee off time.  The bartender had made a comment about why so many people were pulling for Phil.  Now, I’m partial, because one, Lefty is a Sun Devil, as am I, but two, Mickelson is the closest thing to the ‘every-man’ golfer.  He has his amazing shots, but he also has awful ones.  He’ll take the aggressive play, and won’t lay up.  If he’s in the woods, he’s not punching out, he’ll put it either on the green, or in the vicinity.  That’s what us ‘rough-goers’ try to emulate.  Who doesn’t hit their ball off a floor covered with pine needles and think of Phil’s shot at Augusta a few years back?

While I’m no scratch golfer, and let’s face it, I’m not even close, there are a few at the station.  We can all normally agree that if there’s one thing that we love more than Tiger, Phil, or Rory, running away with a tournament, it would be having the entire field, looking like they belong in a scramble tournament with some one of my own skill set.

Which ever one of the golf czars set up the U.S. Open deserves a raise.  Years ago we heard about a movement where golf courses were Tiger-proofing their tee boxes, fair ways, and greens.  This past weekend, it looked as though the PGA studied everyone’s weaknesses, and brought every golfers’ kryptonite to Merion.

I watch Tiger miss tap ins, Rory hit one onto a near by road and break golf clubs in frustration, and eventually another melt down by Phil.  I saw flopped shots, bladed chips, shanks, hooks, slices, draws, and I loved every minute of it.  There was an ultra-human aspect to this major that seems to have been missing.  The weather, combined with the degree of difficulty with the course created this perfect storm for golfers, and you could almost see it in their eyes, that they knew it was coming, on particular tee boxes.

At one point, Sergio Garcia was a total of 16 over par, on holes 14 and 15, while being one under on the rest of the course!  (Funny how the cameras always found him on the 14th and 15th tee boxes?)  It all made for a thrilling final round, and a less embarrassing feeling went I pack all of those miscues, in to my next 18 hole outing.