After overnight rain, the players at this year's US Open are hoping for softer conditions today than they've seen in the days approaching the tournament. With all 78 golfers in the morning wave now on the course, we'll get a chance to see if someone con put up a low score. Chances are good that there are a few 66's or 67's out there, but it would surprise me if we get a 65. Thus begins the first of my posts from the media center at the US Open Championship from Oakmont Country Club, which had play suspended about 10:00 am due to a line of thunderstorms approaching the golf course. Interestingly enough, the lead is held by Andrew Landry, who played collegiately at the University of Arkansas. His three under score through eleven holes has him as one of ten players under par early in round one.
The media center at the US Open is an incredible place. There are two huge screens showing live coverage, surrounded by four other screens showing up to the minute hole by hole scoring as well the leaderboard. There is seating for about 400 journalists, including me. We have desks with power strips and access to Wi-Fi and more information and statistics than you could ever even attempt to digest. Since the action is paused for the weather, those in attendance are a literal who's who of golf and sports journalism. Dan Jenkins, the legendary author and sportswriter, was seated four chairs away. John Feinstein, noted print and television personality and the author of "A Good Walk Spoiled", which chronicled a season on the PGA Tour in the 90's, was holding court in the media dining room. Tour player Paul Casey is chatting with some writers a few feet away, and Tim Rosaforte, who does features for several networks, including the Golf Channel, was hanging out, trying to stay dry.
Eventually though, as soon as play resumes, the story will end up being the golf course and the ability of the players to navigate their way between punishing rough and around 200 or so bunkers to find their way to one of the most difficult collection of greens in championship golf. The course will no doubt be at its easiest today, with the continued moisture softening the greens. But after this evening, there is no more rain in the forecast for the duration of the action, giving the putting surfaces two or three days to dry out before Sunday's final round is played under warm temperatures and sunny skies. And I'll be right here at Oakmont for all of it, so check in periodically for more behind the scenes coverage.
Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first two, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel" and "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords. Tune into www.WPFLRADIO.com at 8:40 am EST every Friday for my Beyond the Commentary segment on "Lou in the Morning" with Lou Vickery and Jonathan McMath.