Tag Archives: Sahalee

Aug
4
2010
By Stephanie Wei under US Senior Open

I’m sure you’re all on the edge of seats wondering what it was like to play at Sahalee on Monday. Well, it was early and it was damp. And I felt really prepared with loaner clubs and a stiff back. It was also encouraging to have the shanks on the range. This is going to be just delightful, I thought. Oddly enough, Sahalee played easier than I expected.

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Aug
3
2010
By Stephanie Wei under General

On my way to Sahalee this morning, I was listening to KJR Sports Radio in Seattle. I liked and agreed with most of what the guys had to say, except one thing — the radio dude said Bernhard Langer wasn’t responsive to fans and didn’t show much personality. That’s what he appears to be like, but he’s actually quite eccentric and interactive on the course. It’s surprising since he talks in this robotic German accent (it’s great) and plays in a deliberate manner.

The first time I ever watched him play in person was on Thursday and he won me over by, like, the fourth hole. He scrambled from the trees and sank a really long putt for birdie from the fringe. The crowd gave him a Freddie-like cheer. He held a fist pump for a few seconds and turned around to the gallery with his “I’m a German machine” expression (which includes a smile). The best was when he did a lunge.

So in honor of Langer winning the US Senior Open (and the Senior British), here’s a compilation of his various awesome and eccentric reactions in pictures. Enjoy! (Click on images to enlarge.)

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Aug
2
2010

Just after 2010 US Senior Open champ Bernhard Langer’s press conference in the media center at Sahalee, I received the most baffling email with the subject “remove my picture” from someone named Julie Barnett. Huh? I couldn’t recall posting any controversial pictures lately.

Turns out it was Fred Couples’ most recent ex-girlfriend, who wasn’t making much sense but seemed very upset. I knew he had a girlfriend last year whose name was Julie (public knowledge), but I didn’t know her last name and don’t recall ever mentioning her (I searched my archives).

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Aug
2
2010
By Stephanie Wei under General

As luck would have it, I didn’t bring my clubs to Seattle. Of course, I got offered a spot in the “media lottery” — unless there’s a playoff, the Monday after a USGA championship is reserved for an outing, and to my understanding, there’s usually some sort of drawing you can enter.

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Aug
2
2010
By Stephanie Wei under US Senior Open

There was a gasp of horror unlike any other that roared through the trees of Sahalee by the 16th hole on Sunday afternoon. Well, sorta. I was kneeling on the hillside by the green when Tom Kite, who was two-under and in third place going into the 70th hole, hit a straight shank into the gallery and the trees on the right from an awful lie on the downhill slope. Everyone — including Kite — was stunned. Known for the dramatic, he looked too horrified to react and put his hand over his mouth like a little kid thinking “Oh my God, what just happened?”

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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

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
29
2010
By Stephanie Wei under General

When Mark Calcavecchia dragged himself off the ninth green (his final hole) at Sahalee in the first round of the US Senior Open, he didn’t look like a man who had just shot one-under 69 to grab a tie for fourth. Mind you, he was one of two players to post a score under par in the afternoon — the other was one of his playing partners, Bernhard Langer, who won last week’s British Senior Open.

“Me and Corey [Pavin] were saying earlier, they must have thought the top 100 in the world were here, not 156 old guys,” Calc said. “Seriously, I think it was the hardest set of pin placements I’ve seen in years…it’s tough, if you get your tee ball out of position, you’re pretty much screwed.”

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