We got up bright and early Thursday morning and hit the road. The tournament is being held at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. We had to park at the Mongtomery County Fairgrounds and take shuttles from there. I assumed this would be a 5-10 minute ride. It was closer to a 45 minute ride. Oh well. Once we arrived at the course, we quickly reassesed to plan out our strategy. With my dad's pairings sheet (which player is in which group, starting at what time, on what hole) in one hand and a map of the course (how the course is layed out and how to get from one hole to another) in the other, we were off. I had three goals - Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson, and Rory McIlroy. Luckily, Phil and Rory were in the same group, so that killed 2 birds with 1 stone. But they didn't tee off till the afternoon. So up first, we were off to find Padraig. Given the time we arrived (around 9:30) and knowing that he teed off at hole 10 around 7:44am, we thought he might be around hole 17, which was right where we came in. We were right, we got to watch him take his second shot from the fairway, then decided to head up to the first hole tee box. On our way there, we were walking along the 18th fairway while his group was teeing off. [Also in his group was Angel Cabrerra, who won the US Open in 2007, and the Masters in 2009] Dad and I are walking along the right side of the fairway, when all of a sudden we hear people shouting "Right! Right!" and everyone around us started ducking for cover. I was freaking out. I thought for sure I was gonna take a golf ball to the brain. I heard it come through the trees behind me, then heard this metallic "clunk". Right behind me was a big crane surrounded by a green fence. Padraig Harrington had just sliced his tee shot, hit the crane, and the ball dropped in the fenced-in area. Dad and I stuck around to see what he would do. A few minutes later, along comes Padraig with his caddy and a rules official. Since it was a "temporary obstruction," he could take a free drop (it wouldn't cost him a stroke) to get a better shot, rather than trying to hit it out of the fence. We got to watch Padraig drop the ball and take the shot from literally 3 feet in front of us. It. was. so. cool.
We followed Padraig's group for a few holes. Got to see them tee off on a couple of holes. I tell you what, these guys have swings that are just beautiful. And Angel Cabrerra's swing is so freakin powerful. It's amazing.
Anyway, after a few holes with Padraig and company, we stopped to watch Graeme McDowell. Graeme won the Open last year.
|Rory and Phil (and Rory's caddy) on the fairway|
Anybody else gonna be watching the conclusion of the Open today? Does anyone else even care about golf at all??
*no cameras or phones were allowed on the course, so I had to steal all of these from the interwebs