These are the chronicles of a journey. But not just any journey. But one that may change the lives of two individuals. Or maybe not. Ah, never mind…
I’m Brian Buikema and this is my story. Note that no one was injured or imprisoned during our travels along this journey.
And now, Journey to the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach.
I flew into San Jose after work, caught up with Greg, and went straight to get some sushi. Afterwards, we drove to Greg’s house in Pleasanton and drank some fine wine, courtesy of Dave D., circa 2002.
As far as golf went, the only notable event was that Phil Mickelson shot the lowest 2nd round score of 66 to put himself in the clubhouse in 2nd place, at -1.
The plan was to eat breakfast (need lots of coffee!), and drive to Monterey. However, the temps are perfect outside for a quick jacuzzi soak before leaving. I was suffering from a slight neck sprain (stress, I guess???) and the soak proved beneficial.
We have tickets for Sunday’s final round, but not Saturday. So today we took it easy. Late lunch at Gordon Biersche. Dinner at Bubba Gump’s in Monterey (if you’ve never been to one, you gotta go!). The shrimp is to awesome! I have also eaten at the one in Maui and had the pleasure of meeting Forrest (not the real one, of course).
This day ended with great cigars! And I mean great. Love those Rocky Patels!
Regarding golf. Tiger fired a 66 to put himself in great contention for Sunday’s final round. Keep in mind that Tiger has never one a major in which he did not lead after 54 holes.
What a day. We started with breakfast at Denny’s, located the shuttle pickup point (in Cannery Row), and rode the bus 20 miles to the course.
If you have never visited Pebble Beach, I highly recommend it. It’s simply stunning and gorgeous. But bring your best legs because you’re going to put on some serious mileage.
Now let’s talk golf.
Dustin Johnson simply collapsed on the biggest stage in his life. After a triple bogey on the par 4, 2nd hole, a double bogey on the par 4, 3rd hole, and bogey on the par 4, 5th hole, the 25 year old could not “right the ship”, and went on to shoot an eighth place 82, tying the record for largest collapse of the 54 hole leader in US Open history. At times, he looked dejected and, IMO, didn’t have the ability to quickly forget and fire his next shot. Everything was eating away at him.
So you ask, “did the big guns take advantage of the situation?” The answer is NO. Believe me, Ernie, Tiger, and Phil all had their chances. But they would all have to fight through issues themselves and, ultimately, succumb to their issues, and come up several strokes short, leaving each of the them in the top four. And I guarantee you, none of those guys wanted anything less than hoisting the trophy.
Big Guns, Big Power, No Trophy
Phil Mickelson had a great chance to put himself in the driver’s seat, by giving himself birdie and eagle opportunities on holes 1-4. He was aggressive, confident, and accurate into the greens. He would only convert one of those opportunities, however, going only -1, and the opportunities would only become harder and fewer after that. IMO, the missed early opportunities cost Mickelson his first US Open trophy. Phil finished a disappointing fourth at +3.
Ernie Els looked to be making timely birdies that inched him closer, but a few missed approach shots brought him out of it, and resulted in his third place finish at +2. I’m confident he’ll cash the half million dollar check though!
So now let’s talk Tiger Woods. His six bogeys to his two birdies didn’t cut the mustard. Birdies were not dropping like they were for Tiger on Saturday. In fact, holes 4 and 6, where he birdied the day before, he bogeyed on Sun. Tiger would finish fourth at +3, sharing that disappointing honor with Mickelson. Both will receive checks for a miserable $303K a piece.
There was a dark horse in all of this. And this was Gregory Havret. The Frenchman was in this until he bogeyed 17, and came up short on his birdie attempt on 18. Like Ernie, I’m confident he’ll cash his check (slightly more than Ernie’s though, at $810,000).
So who was da man!
It was the Irishman, Graeme McDowell. Even though Dustin Johnson easily out drove Graeme’s drives by about 30-40 yards a drive, the week was not about power. It was about consistency and accuracy. He was rewarded with the least number of putting strokes on some extremely tough greens, and this would be true throughout the week.
Congrats Graeme! You now have your first US Open and major of your career at 30. Oh, and please do cash your $1.35M check as you deserve it.
Both Greg and I, however, were rooting for Phil (we also graduated ASU as did Phil), and I believe his day will come soon for his first US Open victory. I’m kinda hoping it comes in 2012, because it is located at San Francisco’s beautiful Olympic Club that year, and, yours truly, Greg and Brian, will be there for another great adventure!
Alright. That was what the media wants you to believe. However, this year’s US Open allowed some off-the-street chumps to participate. An unlikely duo of golfing talent, like none the world has ever witnessed came away with the trophy. I doubt that the US Open will ever allow this kind of disgrace again.
Tiger Woods was quoted as saying
“What the f___!”
And John Daly said
“Those dudes rock! We should all party in my RV. Just bring the ice cream and I’ll supply the diet coke!”
For the record, I include a photo of the chumps.
Congrats guys! But you got damn lucky!