Tag Archives: Merion

Sep
5
2013
By Stephanie Wei under General
Bev Norwood (the guy in the middle) ordering a drink at the media hotel during the U.S. Open

Bev Norwood (guy in the middle) ordering a drink at the media hotel during the U.S. Open

The first time I met Bev Norwood was in the media center at the 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational. I was a rookie on the beat and still trying to figure out the whole covering the Tour thing, so I was relieved when the first person I ran into after checking in was John Paul Newport from the Wall Street Journal.

Then, Bev, a longtime publicist at IMG, appeared and JP introduced us and told Bev to take care of me. Almost immediately, Bev moved my seat from the slums in the back corner of the media center to the a first class seat in the second row near all the veteran, established writers.

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Jun
17
2013
By Stephanie Wei under US Open
This one's for you, Dad.

This one’s for you, Dad.

Wow, what a week! The U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club looked like it might turn into a farce at the start of the week, with the record-high rainfall and potential wash-out on Thursday, but in the end, everything worked out and the USGA and course walked away as the biggest winners. In fact, I might go as far to say that it was the best one I’ve seen in the past five years — four of which I covered and one that I spectated.

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Jun
15
2013
By Stephanie Wei under US Open
So close!

So close!

Despite a bogey on the monstrous par-4, 521-yard 18th, Phil Mickelson, who has come up just short five times at the U.S. Open, shot a solid even-par 70, one-under total, on Saturday at Merion, giving him a one-shot edge over Hunter Mahan, Charl Schwartzel and Steve Stricker. Sunday’s final round is not only Father’s Day, but it’s also Phil’s 43rd birthday.

Phil, who is campaigning for Father-of-the-year, flew across the country in his private jet twice earlier this week to attend his daughter’s eighth-grade graduation. The return flight was a redeye from San Diego to Philadelphia just a few hours before he teed off on Thursday.

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Jun
15
2013
By Stephanie Wei under US Open

Sergio Garcia was preparing to tee off the 11th, his first hole in the third round of the U.S. Open, when a spectator hollered, “fried chicken” as he was about to hit. <cringe> As expected, Sergio has received grief from vociferous Philly fans at Merion this week, and when security asked if he wanted the hecklers tossed out, he’s declined

But that might be the least of Garcia’s troubles.

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Jun
14
2013
By Stephanie Wei under US Open
Tiger's elbow played a leading role

Tiger’s elbow played a painful role

It wasn’t pretty, nor was it easy — it’s the U.S. Open, after all — but despite an elbow injury, which was originally thought to be his wrist, Tiger Woods dug deep to shoot an even par 70, three-over 36-hole total, trailing clubhouse leader Billy Horschel by four strokes.

In Thursday’s rain-delayed first round, Tiger looked like he injured himself after hitting a shot in Merion’s extremely penal and thick rough. Turns out it’s been nagging him since last month’s Players Championship, which Woods won for the second time in his career. (You know, that same tournament where he was paired with Sergio Garcia that reignited all the drama.)

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Jun
13
2013
By Stephanie Wei under General
photo

Spectator areas (Photo cred: Twitter)

Mother Nature cut Merion a bit of a break. Considering predictions for doomsday storms on Thursday, the two weather delays — which wiped out most of the morning — were mild. No doubt it was wet, muddy and slushy, but the entire first round of the U.S. Open wasn’t a washout as the forecast called for the night before.

The morning wave finished easily, with father-of-the-year Phil Mickelson shooting a solid three-under 67 to take the early clubhouse lead.

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Jun
13
2013
By Stephanie Wei under US Open
Kiss the putter, baby!

Kiss the putter, baby! (USA Today Sports Eileen Blass)

Heading into Merion, Sergio Garcia was naturally a bit nervous for the reception from the notoriously vociferous Philly crowd, but he knew he had to deal with the consequences of his “fried chicken” comment. The U.S. Open is always the most mentally grueling test in golf without distractions. If he had shot 80, it would have been no surprise and even understandable.

Garcia encountered the predicted troubles, but not per se by the occasional heckler — the spectators were tamer than kittens, relatively speaking. On his first tee, the 11th — no, that’s not a typo; it’s a logistical thing — there was a lone “boo.” 

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Jun
13
2013
By Stephanie Wei under US Open
Adorarble

Ear buds

Man, you gotta love Champions Dinner photos. These get-togethers seem to produce instant classics. Like this one from a few years ago. The picture above is almost as good — only because of John Daly’s presence in the former — with Tiger Woods playfully picking on his “little bro” Rory McIlroy. (So humanizing!) But what’s really funny is the look on Webb Simpson’s face!

(Photo via @OffTheBallNT

Jun
13
2013

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I had an eventful day trekking back to NYC to hang out with Michelle Beadle on her show, Crossover. The drive from Philly isn’t bad — unless you make the one wrong turn that you can’t make, but all is still fine at that point since of course you’d leave extra time for traffic.

And then, you get to a toll booth and reach for your wallet only to realize that it’s nowhere to be found. That’s when things get complicated. (Yes, I’m a moron and I’ve never done that in my life. Ever.) But hey, I like to keep life interesting and it’s a perfect excuse for being frazzled and unprepared for the chat in the video above. 

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