It’s moving day, folks. And we’ve got ourselves a fantastic leaderboard. The sun is shining, the seagulls are circling, a salty breeze is blowing from the Pacific and I’ve been hearing and seeing too much of Rick Reilly this week. Oh, and I was just robbed at the Merchandise Tent — buying Father’s Days gifts gets expensive!
If you’re just tuning in, it’s already been an exciting day so far. NBC showed off the media room on the broadcast because it’s absolutely riveting to watch 200 balding white men typing furiously.
In real golf news, here’s what you’ve missed:
*Thonghai Jaidee hole-in-one in the third round at the 181-yard, par-3 fifth. It was the first hole-in-one of this tournament.
*Davis Love III forgot it’s 2010 and fired 3-under to move up the leaderboard. Davis!
*60-year-old Tom Watson had a solid day and despite bogeying two out of the last four holes, he fired a one-under. Some post-round comments:
“It was kind of a disappointing finish because I bogeyed 17 and missed the birdie at 18. But all in all, I’m very happy with shooting 70 here at Pebble Beach.
The greens are going to be tougher. The backs of those turtles get higher and higher. And the winds will come up and it will dry out the lower parts of these greens, and the higher parts will rise up and you’ll have — it will get more bumpy. It’s always been the case here.”
*Five players have failed to break 80: Erick Justesen, 80; Matt Richardson, 80; Jim Herman, 81; Mike Weir & Pablo Martin both shot a pair of 83s.
*Tiger continues to play unpredictably — three birdies and three bogeys so far.
*Phil Mickelson is two-over through two to drop five strokes off the lead.
*Graeme McDowell birdies the first two holes to extend his lead by four over Dustin Johnson, who has second place to himself. I can almost hear the cheers from Northern Ireland in the media tent.
*And with the USGA pushing the tees up on the fourth, it’s an easier par 3 than the 17th. (See below.)
Here’s some hole-by-hole setup info, which is making things even more interesting.
Hole 3 – tee markers moved up two teeing grounds (34 paces forward). The hole location is in the small, back-right quadrant. A player can either play to the normal drive zone, or play aggressively off the tee over the trees to an area short-left of the green and be left with an unencumbered pitch shot to the hole.
Hole 4 – tee markers moved up 40 paces. The hole plays 290 yards to the center of green (284 yards to the flagstick), making this a drivable par 4. With the west winds, this hole will play straight downwind. The hole location is front left, so a bail-out off the tee to the left (away from the ocean) will short-side the player.
Hole 5 – 181 yards to a front left hole location from the right side of tee. Being downwind, this reverse-Redan-like design will require the player to land short left of the green.
Hole 7 –99 yards; he front right portion of the back tee has been used with the front left hole location.
Hole 12 – 193 yards; the front right hole location is being used, which requires the player to land his ball in the putting green approach in order to get it close.
Hole 17 – 206 yards; the tee markers are moved left (on the fourth hole’s teeing ground) in concert with a hole location on the right portion of the green up against the ridge. Tee shots played short and right of the hole will leave the player will relatively simple second shots. However, players who miss their tee shot to the left (noting the prevailing wind is right-to-left) will be short-sided.
And, finally, here’s the pin sheet:
Are we having fun yet? I’m heading back out to brave the mobs. Wish me luck. Oh, one last thing — loving the comments on the Open Thread. As you were.