Tag Archives: US Senior Open

Aug
2
2010

When I think of Bernhard Langer, the first word that comes to mind is machine. He never made a mistake, but it wasn’t anything I didn’t expect going into Sunday’s final round of the US Senior Open. Perhaps it wasn’t the outcome 99.9% of the 31,444 fans in attendance at Sahalee were hoping for, but it was incredibly impressive to watch.

Few players wouldn’t have held up mentally or physically in the Ryder Cup-like atmosphere. Coming off last week’s major victory at the Senior British–with a flight across the continental United States and the Atlantic and eight timezones, Langer shot a brilliant bogey-free three-under 67.

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Aug
1
2010
By Stephanie Wei under US Senior Open

Fred Couples made a poor decision on the par 5 No.2 — the easiest hole of the week — where he carded a triple-bogey 8 to shoot himself out of the tournament quickly. When he spoke to reporters next to the clubhouse, he was still startled that he decided to lay up and if you could give him a do over, he would go for the green in two no matter where his drive ended up.

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Aug
1
2010
By Stephanie Wei under US Senior Open

Standing on the slightly elevated platform next to the clubhouse at Sahalee on Saturday evening, Fred Couples started to answer our questions. A few minutes into it, he looked over the group of about ten reporters and called on a surprise visitor who had popped in.

“Is it true Jay Haas beat you like 3&2 on Wednesday — or was it Tuesday?”

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Aug
1
2010
By Stephanie Wei under General

If Fred Couples is still atop the leaderboard at the end of play on Sunday, there will be a riot of 50,000 fans watching and the city of Seattle will declare a new holiday — Freddie Couples Day.

I’m slightly exaggerating. But it’s not far from the truth.

As Freddie’s downhill 20-footer for birdie disappeared into the ninth hole, a thunderous roar blared across Sahalee. He finished the front nine with a 31 and I felt like I was going to be trounced as the mob started to migrate from the ninth green to the tenth tee. It was impossible to navigate, but I was also consumed by the electrifying atmosphere flowing through every one of the 29,000+ fans in attendance for the third round of the US Senior Open.

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Jul
31
2010

I noticed yesterday that Fred Couples wasn’t wearing Ecco’s sneaker-style shoes — you know, the ones he wore without socks that became a storyline at this year’s Masters, turning them into the most talked-about golf shoe in the history of the industry. They’re the same ones you probably paid $140 for and you just received in the mail because they’ve been on back-order for the past three months.

So, at his press conference, after he posted a fantastic, bogey-free five-under 65 to jump into a tie for the lead with Bernhard Langer at the US Senior Open, I asked him why he ditched the sneaker shoe. (I really wish I had the video of his delivery, but try to improvise because it was pretty funny/great.)

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Jul
31
2010
By Stephanie Wei under US Senior Open

First-round leader Bruce Vaughan pulled a Rory McIlroy and posted an 82 in the near dark on Friday evening at Sahalee to drop to a tie for 40. Meanwhile, despite waiting through the morning fog, which suspended play for two hours, Bernhard Langer pushed forward vigorously with a 68 to take a two-stroke lead at the US Senior Open.

Fresh off a victory at last week’s Senior British Open, if he can hold on to the lead, he will be the first player on the 50+ tour to win consecutive majors since Tom Watson in 2003.

“Langer is doing lunges on the greens and flexing his muscles,” I typed half-jokingly to a friend, who replied, “He’s in ridiculous shape. He’s a slightly more wrinkled version of his 30 year old self.”

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Jul
31
2010

With the galleries five to ten deep from tee to green, the grandstands overflowing, the hero-like adulation and three or four uniformed officers, I felt like I was following Tiger Woods at Sahalee on Friday afternoon.

Wrong tour. I walked with Fred Couples, Tom Watson and Eduardo Romero for their first nine, but I actually only saw about four and a half. I kept shaking my head in disbelief. This is a Friday and a senior citizens tour event, no less!

26,173 people attended the second round of the US Senior Open, according to USGA officials. Considering 25,423 of them were tracking Freddie, it felt like there were even more. I’d never seen anything like it.

Neither had Tom Watson or his caddie Todd Newcomb — they don’t think.

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Jul
30
2010
By Stephanie Wei under US Senior Open

For those of you who snickered when I said I was going to the Senior Open, I’m happy to report that Thursday was actually rather riveting. No, it’s not Tiger and Phil doing what they do (or used to do), but Fred Couples and Tom Watson aren’t so bad. In fact, they’ve had a few top-tens in some recent majors. But I’m most impressed by the crowds at Sahalee for the first round. It’s been nine years since I left the Seattle area for the east coast, but I used to always rave about the sports fans. On Thursday I remembered the reason. People came out in hordes to watch a bunch of senior citizens hit a golf ball!

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Jul
30
2010
By Stephanie Wei under US Senior Open

For a guy who shot a solid one-under 69, just three strokes off the lead at the US Senior Open, Mark Calcavecchia seemed rather grouchy. “You don’t seem happy, it was a good round of golf,” one reporter noted.

“I’m happy, really happy, tired, back hurts, blister on my toe, ready to get the hell out of here, waking up every day at 3:00 [in the morning],” Calc replied with the same stony look.

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Jul
30
2010
By Stephanie Wei under US Senior Open

There’s a reason why Corey Pavin’s nickname is “Bulldog” — he’s a fierce competitor who grinds it out. How he gets around the course isn’t always so pretty, but he manages to get it done with the given circumstances of the day, which is basically the story of his first round at the US Senior Open. Pavin scrapped his way through Sahalee, a layout which is supposed to suit his game, to post a two-over 72.

I started following him on the 16th, his seventh hole on Thursday, and watched through the 4th. It looked more like he was en route to shoot 80, especially given some of his on-course antics, which were somewhat endearing, but partly because I was so surprised (even though it makes perfect sense).

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