Originally published June 7, 2008
Today, my caddie Tony and I arrived in San Diego. We were met at baggage claim by two representatives from the USGA, Mike and Tony, who got us to our courtesy car a brand new Lexus (tough life right?). What a great job Mike and Tony have, drive brand new cars, and greet people who are about the experience the best week of their lives (at least the qualifiers anyway, this is no big deal to most tour players). So our GPS, already programed, directed us to our hotel, where we checked in and then headed to Torrey Pines.
We were waved past the security gate, the pass is attached to the car, and found our way into the players parking lot, where I randomly (wink), picked a parking spot next to a black Ford SUV, with three people mingling behind it, one wearing a green Callaway shirt, a very tall and lanky gentleman, and an older very intelligent looking man. (Those who are golf fanatics will know who I am talking about already). It was in fact Phil Mickelson, his caddie "Bones" (Jim McKay), and Dave Pelz. Tony's reaction, "oh, (bleep)" (its a PG blog). When we got out of the car Phil actually acknowledged our presence "Hey, guys what's going on". Which confirmed a few story's I have heard of him being a nice guy. Quite a start to the Open. We headed to the practice area and hit some putts, and then about 50 balls until it was time to introduce myself to US Open rough. Well here's an understatement, it is long, but you could get the club through it, and I am interested in seeing what it is like on the course, I anticipate worse.
Tomorrow, we are planning to get out to the course early, play our first full round, register, then spend the rest of the day practicing.
Before I go, I do have a little tease from something that Tony and I did on Friday. We filmed a story about our trip to the open, and more importantly about Tony's recovery from a car accident 11 years ago that almost took his life, and tragically did take the life of James Culligan. The story will air on NBC 11 in the San Francisco Bay Area, on Wednesday, June 11.