Random Observations From the US Senior Open

You can get the leaderboard and hole-by-hole reports from lots of other media outlets. Here are a few things that occurred to me as I followed the group of Tom Watson, Fred Couples and amateur Doug Snoap:

  • There’s really nothing like watching a golf tournament in person. Television is great at catching the action of the moment, but walking with a group really gives you a feel for how a course and a round unfold.

  • Bring binoculars. While spectators can generally see players in the fairways and on the greens, crowds tend to be closer to the tee boxes, blocking the view. With binoculars you can stand further down the fairway and look back to the tee boxes. That’ll also help in getting you ahead of the crowd that follows the various groups.

  • When walking the course, pay attention to the Marshalls waving their arms. That’ll tell you in what direction the players have hit their shots so your eyes can track the ball.

  • Food is overpriced. $4 for a hot dog. $7 for a burger. $3 for a water. On hot days, the price of water in particular is appalling. For the health of the spectators, people should be encouraged to hydrate, and $3 bottles of water is not encouraging.

  • In spite of the USGA’s no-cellphone policy, the things are everywhere and people are using them in the open. Cameras are out there, too (real ones, not the toys in the cell phones). At some point, the USGA is going to have to acknowledge that personal electronics are a part of today’s life and figure out ways to promote responsible use, rather than trying to ban them.

    That said, as of this writing, Tom Kite leads the tournament with a 65 (-5). He went eight under through nine, then faltered a bit on the much tougher back nine. Lance Ten Broeck, who has caddied for Jesper Parnevik, shot a 66 (-4). Tom Pernice Jr and Jay Don Blake are at -3, while another caddy, Damon Green is at -2.

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