U.S. Women’s Open

Almost hit by a ball: the Michael Rand story

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

*One of our biggest pet peeves is when people duck or cower instead of actually looking and reacting when someone says, “Heads up” or “Fore!” So what did we do when that very thing happened as we stood in back of the 18th green? We cowered with our notebook over our head — and came within inches of being hit by an errant Pat Hurst shot.

*Overheard in the gallery, when one man asked another if they were going to stay to watch Annika Sorenstam’s approach shot on the Par-5 18th hole: “I’m gonna put you in a headlock.” We take it that was a yes.

*Moment of levity: As Helen Alfredsson left the green after a par on No. 9, she tripped over Paula Creamer’s bag and went tumbling. Alfredsson appeared to be fine, though Creamer’s laughter probably wasn’t the best medicine. Then again, Alfredsson probably shouldn’t have reacted by creaming Creamer in the shin with a 3-iron.*

*Last part did not actually happen.

Precious moments: Uribe and her fans

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

flag.jpegThe gentleman pictured has a miniature flag of Colombia sticking out of his cap. He’s been following Colombian Maria Jose Uribe around, and at hole 3 she spotted him and his flag. She smiled and pointed to her head; he smiled back and nodded.

Another crew that certainly appears affiliated with Uribe shouted encouragement (Vamos!) in Spanish as her shots approached greens. One member of the group was wearing a UCLA women’s golf hat; Uribe, the only amateur to start today under par, recently completed her freshman year at the Pac-10 school. Uribe shook off back-to-back bogeys on 5 and 6 with a birdie at 7 that moved her back to even for the day and 3-under for the tournament — just three shots behind the leaders.

RandBall at Interlachen: Oh no he didn’t just say that

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

*Welcome to 1958, can I take your order: An older gentleman at the 10th green was overheard casually saying to a friend (without a trace of irony), “I hope they do their housekeeping
and their dishes faster than they golf.” Stay classy, Interlachen gallery.

*Pants on, pants off: Lorena Ochoa got the invitation to the pants party, but she clearly wasn’t sure how to RSVP. She slipped on a pair of rain pants in the middle of the fairway after her opening tee shot on 10. After a weather delay, she had shorts on but again quickly slipped pants on over them. Then in the fairway at 11, she dispatched the pants in favor of shorts again.

*How to pass the time during a 40-minute weather delay: one man gave another an impromptu golf lesson using an umbrella (narrowly missing another spectator with his backswing, by the way). … Young boys threw sticks into the pond between the 10th green and 11th tee box.

*Define “trivia”: during the delay, a man casually said to the group he was with, “Trivia question: who won last year’s U.S. Women’s Open?” The only guess: Hilary Lunke (she won in 2003, which was not last year). Satisfied that his audience was stumped, the man triumphantly said, “Lorena Ochoa.” Fortunately, about five seconds later, he also confessed that he didn’t know if that was true. Indeed, it was Cristie Kerr — which was determined after he had to ask several other fans.

“Go Edina! Go Hilary!” … also, play suspended

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Note: At 4:20 p.m., play was suspended here at Interlachen because of inclement weather. Further updates as news warrants.

*We just walked a few holes with Hilary Lunke, Edina’s own and winner of the 2003 U.S. Women’s Open. She’s fighting it a little — we saw two bogeys and two pars at 9-12, dropping her to +3 for the day and +4 overall — but the gallery still has her back. As she walked off the 10th tee, she was greeted by a spectator shouting, “Go Edina! Go Hilary!” Lunke has five holes left and is teetering right at the projected cut line. She probably cannot afford another dropped shot if she is to stick around for the weekend.

*Laura Davies, walking between hole 9 and hole 10, did not look pleased about her front-9 40 or the oppressive humidy.

*Overheard: “Is there beer beyond the first green?” … “Oh, yeah!”

Fashion statement: tall black socks

Friday, June 27th, 2008

socks.jpegWe might have a new favorite player out on the course: Sakura Yokomine. You’ll notice the Japanese golfer pictured while waiting to fire her approach shot on hole 9. She is rocking tall black socks and what appear to be tennis shoes (unconfirmed as to whether they are really tennis shoes). It’s normally a look reserved for the over-70 crowd, but we have to confess that we like to bust it out sometimes for pick-up basketball games and even for long runs. So more power to Yokomine (whose first name, Sakura, means “cherry blossom” in English). Some folks in the gallery, however, weren’t quite as impressed. A group of four watching on the eighth green wondered if she forgot her clothes. “She’s lucky she even has her clubs,” one quipped.