U.S. Open: Late night TV viewing this year

2012-06-16 00:00

BY the time you read this column, the second round of the U.S. Open would have already been played.

If you watched the television coverage over the last two rounds, you probably haven’t had enough sleep.

This year the tournament is being played on the west coast of the United States and that spells bad news for golf fans in this part of world. San Francisco is nine hours behind South Africa so it’s inconvenient to say the least, although true golf fanatics don’t mind this, after all, there are only four golf majors each year and a few hours less sleep is a small price to pay for the excitement of watching a major golf tournament live on TV.

The Lakeside Golf Course in San Francisco is an old established course, but has hosted the U.S. Open on only four previous occasions. It always been known as a tough test of golf and this year low scores are unlikely. The par 70 course has narrow tree-lined fairways, fast firm and small greens that are well bunkered.

Half the holes on the course are dog-legged with the fairways sloping in the opposite direction to the dog-leg. It sounds a difficult course where irons will be the choice for tee shots.

It is interesting that all third round leaders in the previous four U.S. Opens at Olympic failed to win and they all finished in second place: Ben Hogan in 1955, Arnold Palmer in 1966, Tom Watson in 1987, and Payne Stewart in 1998. After blowing their third-round leads and finishing second in U.S. Opens played at Olympic Club Hogan, Palmer and Watson never again won a major.

Because of that, Olympic is sometimes called the “Graveyard of Champions”. Stewart broke the streak by winning the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

The U.S. Open has never been won more than four times by any golfer and those with four wins are Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus. Tiger Woods has three wins.

Jack Nicklaus came second on four occasions along with Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead. Snead won seven Majors, but never won the U.S. Open.

FROM THE 19TH HOLE

Three old golfers, Sam, Harry and Fred, were sitting together after their weekly game of golf.

These are some of the things they were overheard saying to each other:

Sam said: “The only difference between the tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.”

Harry said: “Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”

Fred said: “Only an Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: fat, caffeine, sugar and alcohol.”

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