First report from the actual U.S. Open:
-Phil Mickelson withdrew on Thursday morning, making this the first major since 1994 without either Mickelson or Tiger Woods in the field. Which is too bad for viewers.
-Walked the course this morning. It’s an interesting setup - it’s easy to hit the wide fairways, yet incredibly punitive if you miss badly enough to land in the fescue.
The course is playing pretty easy right now because of yesterday’s rains. The greens are fairly simple. What could make the course tougher is wind, which would create wayward drives and speed up the greens. Today is probably going to be the easiest scoring day of the tourney.
-Jordan Spieth is driving the ball beautifully. He’s an average-length driver on tour but if he hits fairways all week he’ll be dangerous.
-I liked Dustin Johnson coming in, but he is struggling, and Mark Lye just said on PGA radio that Johnson’s fade doesn’t match up well with a lot of holes at Erin HIlls that call for a draw.
-Rickie Fowler is going to win a major someday, and he’s off to a fast start, at 4-under.
-I’ll be blogging regularly and writing columns and sidebars for the Star Tribune and Startribune.com.
-It’s humid here. The temperature was 75 when I went out yet it felt much hotter. There are no trees for shade so there is no place to hide on this course.
-Check MNSPN.com for new shows with Roy Smalley and Jon Krawczynski. We’ll have a VikingUpdate Show up soon, and we’ll do a show with Michael Russo on the expansion draft on Sunday when he’s done with his Strib duties.