by Ken Klavon USGA
OK, the madness is beginning. First ball. Early morning rise. Cool outside. Platinum sky. Buzz in the air. There are quite a few people on site already and I'm not sure if it's in preparation for the Tiger-Phil group or that they just want to see golf. My guess is the latter.
To me, the first ball is always a bit anti-climatic. Yes, it signifies the start but I tend to categorize it as the ceremonial first ball in baseball. In other words, it doesn't mean a whole lot. Just my opinion, that's all. Now, if the first ball won the championship, then I'd be waxing poetic about it. There are some who view it as a rite of passage. Some writers like to boast how many they've witnessed. If it works for them, wonderful.
As for predictions, I'm going to take Furyk this week. I know he hasn't played here too many times, mainly because he hasn't fared well. But he has the U.S. Open game. When he gets hot, or in that proverbial zone, he's firing on all cylinders. Sorry, trying to talk in as many cliches as possible.
Enjoy the opening round.