I'm at Whistling Straits this week, and I'm writing Thursday morning while waiting out a fog delay.
I walked the course yesterday, and it's a bear. I mean, it's a bear to walk, much less to play. I no longer play golf, but if I did, I'd need three dozen golf balls and a therapist to get around this track.
It's a beautiful course, and the views of the lake are stunning. I don't know if I've ever seen a course that's more visually intimidating, though.
On heavily-wooded courses, you can get a lucky bounce off a tree. You aren't going to get many lucky bounces on this kind of a links-style course. Gorse, sand and lakewater are not forgiving.
We've just been notified that the first round will begin at 10:10 a.m., meaning there will be players who don't finish their rounds today. The morning grouping of Y.E. Yang, Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh will tee off at about 11:30.
My pick, although it's become a little too chic for my tastes, is Rory McIlroy. He's long, accustomed to links courses, and seems ready to peak. Steve Stricker, the Wisconsin native, will be under too much pressure to win this week. Tiger Woods is a mess, although I could see him starting to right himself this week. Phil Mickelson usually doesn't play well at British Opens, and this is more of a British Open course than the kind of Americanized course he usually plays well on.
So my pick is McIlroy, which means the winner will probably be someone like Ian Poulter. Hunter Mahan or Paul Casey.
-My pick for Brett Favre's return: He'll either announce that he's coming back, or will show up in Eden Prairie, on Aug. 23. That way he gets to skip the trip to San Francisco for preseason game No. 2, but will have time to fully prep for the third preseason game.
-I thought the Vikings were an 11-win team heading into training camp. With the Favre drama playing out in an even more annoying way than anticipated, and Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice and Adrian Peterson missing camp time, and Toby Gerhart looking like he's far from ready to be Peterson's backup, I'd have to scale that back a game or two.
As of this moment, I'd pick them to go 9-7.
If they go 12-4 or better after having all of these key players miss time at camp, then I'd say the Vikings and every other NFL team should just stop holding training camps altogether.
-So Jon Rauch has a black-and-blue toe. Is it a bruise, or did all the ink from his tattoos just obey gravity?
-I'll be on 1500espn with Joe and Pat at 2:40 today, and all weekdays when the show isn't preempted by a Twins game.