Love, Watson, Simpson stand out
Love, Watson, Simpson stand out
Light rain produced a somewhat dreary start to the U.S. Open, but there was Davis Love III to brighten the morning, resplendent in his pink pants matching the color of bubble gum, or better yet, Pepto-Bismol.
Not normally one for starburst sartorial choices, the former PGA Champion began a virtual cavalcade of conspicuous attire. Joining him were Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, both of whom sported can’t-miss trouser selections.
Turns out Love and Simpson simply were following some gentle nudging from clothing sponsor Polo, which apparently likes its apparel to be visible from clear across the golf course.
“I was just obeying one of my sponsors,” Simpson said of his lime-green shirt and pink slacks. “They picked it out for me.”
Said Love: “I put this on for my wife, and I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ She said they look great, so between my wife and Ralph Lauren, I lost out.”
Watson, meantime, wore camouflage pants to raise money for charities benefiting military families.
Watson and Love not only stood out for their wardrobe choices but also their first-round performances. Love finished 1-under, and Watson was even par.
— Gene Wang
Greens show plenty of stress
Though the USGA said Congressional’s greens — put under duress during extreme heat over the past two weeks — would be in good shape for the opening of the championship, several had noticeable brown patches. As the week wears on, that could limit the number of potential pin placements. Defending champ Graeme McDowell, for instance, said the forward pin placements at 4 and 12 were already in spotty patches.
“Probably before they lose them, you know?” McDowell said. “Of course they’ve taken this golf course . . . to the edge to try to dry it as much as they can. There are certain areas of the greens that you can see are under stress. They’re very stressed.”
Before the spell of hot weather, the USGA had wanted the greens to roll at 14-14.5 on the Stimpmeter, which measures green speeds. But because they had to be conservative in preparation — so they didn’t outright kill the greens — they ran at 13.5 to start the day, a number that organizers figured had settled into the 12s by the afternoon.
“They’re doing a good job at the minute,” McDowell said.
Congressional’s greens were replaced beginning in 2009 and are less than two years old.
— Barry Svrluga
Havret plays with a heavy heart
Last year, Gregory Havret nearly became the first to win the championship in his first appearance in a U.S. Open since Francis Ouimet in 1913. The 34-year-old Frenchman finished second, one shot behind Graeme McDowell.
That was a special time for Havret, not only because of how well he played but also because his parents, Dominique and Monique, were at Pebble Beach to watch him. Havret’s father will not be here at this U.S. Open; he died 10 days ago from vascular disease while Havret was playing in the Wales Open. The U.S. Open is Havret’s first tournament since his father’s death.
“My father was always proud,” Havret said. “It’s obviously something to come back and play the game he loves more than anything.