- US Open Plays of the Day
Detective Bubba investigates Tiger
Is Tiger Woods back? Who knows, but a few more rounds like this and there will be no doubt. He was terrific, remaining completely calm throughout as he dismantled a course that made plenty of others come close to implosion. The highlight was probably a 25-footer for birdie at the fourth, although any number of iron shots made for terrific viewing in his 69. Maybe that Memorial win was no fluke.
In fact, Tiger was faring so well that playing partner Bubba Watson, the Masters winner earlier this year, watched him hit his tee shot at the eighth and then had a look at which club he had used. He'd have got away with it if it wasn't for those pesky cameras... And a complete lack of any subtletly.
Drumming up support
Bruce Springsteen's original drummer with the E Street Band, Vini Mad Dog Lopez - yes, that Vini Mad Dog Lopez - was out there caddying for Jersey club pro Mark McCormick, who had a tough day. Maybe drummers don't make the best caddies; maybe Phil Collins was on Watson's bag, judging by how poorly he played (78).
Taking the Mick
Phil Mickelson has a bittersweet relationship with the US Open: he's played well at the event down the years but never won it, finishing runner-up on five occasions. In 2012, he had an absolute horror start, with his wild first shot lost in the trees, meaning he had to return to the ninth tee to take another one. Nice solid start, Lefty! It didn't get much better, as he signed for a 76.
But Olympic Club wasn't just picking on veterans: Andy Zhang, the 14-year-old youngest player ever to compete in a US Open (he wasn't even born when Woods won The Masters in 1997), had a triple-bogey at the first that certainly did nothing to calm his (probably considerable) nerves. Teenage dreams are certainly not made of that.
We did have some fairytale fare, though: Michael Allen, 53, a member at Olympic who had never played in the Club Championship, saw a monster iron shot drop for eagle at the par-four 14th. He managed a restrained smile and gesture to the crowd - and sure, that's okay, but it would have been great to see what Zhang did in a similar situation.