by David Shefter USGA
Finally arrived at Torrey Pines this morning. I'm set for another intense-filled weak of chasing down contestants, filing stories on deadlines all in the name of covering our national championship. U.S. Open Week is grueling. The players aren't the only ones grinding. We in the media do as well. Especially early in the week when you are trying to find golfers going through their practice rounds. The on-course boards aren't always correct because players often change their starting times or will only play nine holes. So there's plenty of work just in hunting them down. At this point in the week, the contestants are just trying to get a feel for the conditions, seeking strategies and surveying green complexes for possible hole locations. Tiger Woods was out early this morning playing with Bubba Watson, a frequent practice-round partner, and Stanford University's Jordan Cox, the runner-up at the 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur. Woods only played nine holes and ESPN's Bob Harig reported that he was not walking with any noticeable limp. Woods has not competed since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery after the Masters in mid-April. Two years ago, Wood did not play competitively between the Masters and U.S. Open after the death of his father and missed the cut at Winged Foot, the only time he has failed to play the weekend at a major since turing pro in the fall of 1996.
Unlike last year at Oakmont C.C., the Media Center is away from the first tee. We're on the North Course and it's a good walk to the first tee. Carts are taking media members from where the shuttle drops us off to the center.
The weather could not be more ideal. I know people on the East Coast are suffering from oppressive heat and humidity. Here on the Pacific Coast, we have a nice marine layer and temps are in the upper 60s to low-70s with no humidity.
Back with more later.