Good evening! In case you weren’t aware, there is indeed a PGA Tour tournament going on this week and I decided to spend a few days in Hartford, CT, on my way back to NYC from the West Coast. How was my day? Hot, sweaty and humid — we’re definitely not in Monterey anymore!
I braved the heat and walked around quite a bit. Even though I think everyone (players, media, etc.) is still coming down from the US Open stress, there’s a nice vibe out here — just much more relaxed. The most-talked-about-non-golf-news is that Hunter Mahan was engaged to Kandi Harris, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, last week, and the size of her the rock on the ring is so large that it encompasses half her finger (according to one player’s wife).
Some highlights from my day and tidbits of info I observed or picked up:
*I walked with Ryan Moore, David Toms and Martin Laird for half the front nine and half the back nine. Ryan shot the most boring a steady three-under for a two-day total of five-under. He couldn’t buy a putt. Afterward, I asked whether he regretted his anti-USGA rant. He shrugged and said, “No, because it’s the truth.” He said the atmosphere is much more low stress than last week — especially because he doesn’t have to worry every shot about the possibility of making a double-bogey.
*I’m told David Toms came down with a case of vertigo earlier this week. Impressively, in a drug-induced haze, he still shot four-under, the best score in his group, on Thursday.
*Vijay Singh is showing signs of life. He’s chopped it around this year, falling out of the top 50 in the world rankings and earning a spot in the US Open only because he was granted a special exemption. He’s off to his best start in…well, a while, carding scores of 65-66, good enough for T3. He stayed to practice under the hot sun until well after his round. He’s been known to struggle with his putter recently, but he’s managed to get that back on track. It must be all in the practice — Singh teed off at 7:30 this morning, but at around 3, he was still putting on the practice green. Go home, Vijay!
*Padraig Harrington, who was on the leaderboard after posting a 65 in the first round, stumbled in the ballstriking department to post a one-over 71 on Friday. I watched half of his back nine and he was hitting it like crap (to put it bluntly), but he was also getting up-and-down from tough places. On the 10th, he chunked a mid-iron (I think) 10 yards short of the green in deep rough, but chipped it up to a foot. He also hit it OB on 13. Despite a rough day, he never slammed his club (I’m told), which is more self-control than most could say.
Okay, the media room has officially cleared out. I’m guessing everyone is at the media party (which unfortunately I missed). And me? I just can’t wait to take a shower.