The US(D) Open

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

I received an e-mail on Saturday morning offering me a ticket to the final round of the US Open. And I do love golf.  But I weighed my options:

  1. Take one of the worst drives I have ever experienced and go to Long Island (I covered a sports story on Long Island at Hofstra University a few years back and thought I would never see my family again) or take a pleasant drive to the Poconos in the morning with no traffic.
  2. Walk the course in what was forecast as sweltering heat and seeing very little of the actual competition or sit at home in air conditioning seeing every minute of the tournament.
  3. Spend the day being pushed around in crowds of people I do not know or see my whole family at my daughter’s house and celebrate Fathers’ Day (I even got in nine holes of golf in the morning with my grandson, daughter, and son-in-law).

As you might have guessed, I chose the latter of all of those choices – I played golf, ate a great meal, opened some Father’s Day gifts, and watched the US Open on a large screen TV.

And I had plenty of time to think about the Open itself:

It is no fun watching the best players in the world at the mercy of an unfair golf course. In this day and age when computers are able tell us everything, the USGA was not able to anticipate what the wind would do to Shinnecock Hills during play on Saturday.  I felt, even on Thursday, that the rough was pretty much unplayable and the greens because of the pin placements took away the pleasure of watching the best perform at the highest level.  A four-foot putt, if missed, became a twelve-foot putt.  Saturday was the epitome of bad decision-making by the USGA when only three players shot under par and none in the afternoon.

Saturday became SOOO painful that one could almost understand when Phil Mickelson “cracked” and did something only your friendly playing partners do at the height of frustration with their game – break a rule! Mickelson shot an 81 that day and has thrown himself into a rule interpretation fiasco among all golfers as a result.

Jordan Speith, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Tiger Woods never made it to Saturday, so many of the stars of the game were gone. I am one of those viewers who, when Speith or Woods are in a tournament, devote more time to TV.  Tiger tripled bogeyed his very first hole and, just when it looked like Spieth would make the cut, he bogeyed the last two holes.  Even local golfer Cole Miller of Northwestern High School and Penn State kept my interest on Thursday and Friday, but, he, too, was not around the weekend.

The FOX coverage was much better than the previous two years, but it just does not seem the same without the familiar voices we are used to hearing, particularly Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller, and especially David Feherty (imagine the fun he would have had with the conditions).

But instead, I watched from the comfort of my home for three days and in a mountain setting on the final day. I did not for one millisecond regret saying “No, thanks” to the offer of a free ticket to Sunday’s round.

Maybe one day they will play the US Open at Northampton County Country Club in Bethlehem Township and I will walk the three blocks from my house and watch.


ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. Speaking of Father’s Day, Tom Housenick of The Morning Call wrote a really nice article on Saturday, June 17, about current Iron Pig, former Liberty High School and Lehigh standout, Matt McBride and his father, George. Both seem to have the perfect father-son relationship. Give it a read:
    http://www.mcall.com/sports/baseball/ironpigs/mc-spt-fathers-day-matt-mcbride-0616-story.html
  2. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the most interesting congratulatory text he received after sweeping Cleveland for the NBA championship came from Tiger Woods. Like Woods did, Kerr now suffers from excruciating back pain and the two formed a bond over it. Woods congratulated Kerr with a text. Kerr did not send a text to Woods after Tiger shot an opening round 78 at the US Open.
  3. Pre-season college football poll has Big Ten schools Ohio State ranked #3, Wisconsin #7, Michigan State #9, Michigan #10, and Penn State #13. Penn State hosts Ohio State on September 29. This is the start of the Big Ten conference games. The winner of this game has won the conference title the past two years.
  4. It was a beautiful night for football this past Thursday when the McDonald’s Lehigh Valley All-Star Football Classic was played. Despite the lopsided score, plenty of fans turned out so plenty of money was raised for the McDonald’s charities. RCN was proud, once again, to sponsor the All-Star banquet the night before. It was the 20th year of RCN’s sponsorship.
  • RCN-TV will travel to Curt Simmons Park in Egypt next Tuesday to bring you the BML match-up with the Steel taking on the Orioles. Watch at 9:30pm.
Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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