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U.S. Open -- The Sunday Summary

Sun, Jun 24 2012 10:46 AM (24 replies)
  • MisterWGT
    122 Posts
    Tue, Jun 19 2012 12:28 AM

    Well my friends… what a week!  The U.S. Open is now over and who would have ever predicted Webb Simpson hoisting the championship cup on the final green?  I certainly didn’t.  Then again, it’s become somewhat of a tradition for the U.S. Open to introduce to the world a new major winner.  Think about it... Geoff Ogilvy, Lucas Glover, Angel Cabrera, Graeme McDowell... all first time champions.  Heck, even Rory hadn’t won a major prior to the U.S. Open last year!

    And what about the course itself?  The Olympic Club’s Lakes Course, once again, challenged the legends only to see them come up one stroke short.  Now Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk have walked those same steps as Hogan, Palmer, Watson and Stewart… not only exhausted after ascending that hill from the 18th green to the clubhouse, but mentally and emotionally spent after battling those 72 holes.  I was standing in the hallway of the clubhouse when Furyk’s daughter greeted him after leaving the media room.  He leaned down to hug her and she said, “Daddy, would you like me to get you an ice cream?” as she held her own.  Jim’s eyes were glassy and then his whole family leaned in for a group hug.  Believe me, I thought about taking a picture of that moment… but that moment was theirs.  He was spent.  He could have had it… but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

    In the end, this week and this course holds a special place for me.  I will admit, after spending so much time at Bethpage, St. Andrews, Kiawah or even the dramatic Wolf Creek… I didn’t think Olympic would stand out.  Sure, I loved the cypress pines and the elevation changes, but what else would make this place memorable?   Little did I know that each hole would soon hold a new memory.  It started with the first day of the shoot – aerial photography day – when the pilot literally quit while we were attempting to photograph the tricky doglegs of #04 and #05.  I wanted the proper angle from the tee box to the fairway, but he absolutely did not like the proximity of the trees with the heli.  Needless to say, I talked him into finishing. But when I watched Lee Westwood lose his ball on Sunday to the tree on #05… I was not at all surprised!  I was trying to maneuver a helicopter around that very tree!

    One of the first holes we shot on the ground was #17.  It was big, wide and even if we moved slowly with our new local crew, the golfers would never catch-up to us.  Little did we know, mother nature had a different schedule.  We finished half the hole when suddenly the California sun vanished into London fog.  So we stopped and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  “Oh well, let’s just wrap & clean-up,” I radioed to our producer.  But then the weather turned on a dime and again the skies were clear.  Only now… golfers were on #15!  LET THE RACE BEGIN!  The crew went from relaxed and training on the job into full attack mode.  It was a great effort from the team and it set the pace for the rest of the shoot.  Fast-forward to Friday’s Round 2…  watching Tiger, Phil & Bubba play #17, it was almost refreshing to see this “easy birdie hole” show golf’s biggest names it’s pesky little personality. 

    Although it’s time to look ahead, I am still in denial this U.S. Open has come to an end.  Watching this course test these guys, being in the midst of all these past, present & future champions… to be perfectly honest, I was rooting for a playoff round on Monday!  I simply loved it.  I cannot thank the USGA and The Olympic Club enough for granting us this privilege to share this course with the world.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have.

    Come to think of it... I think I'll enjoy another virtual round.  Care to join?

  • BolloxInBruges
    1,389 Posts
    Tue, Jun 19 2012 12:34 AM

    Good read.  Neat to hear of you racing against golfers to finish a photo shoot, always wondered how the logistics of photographing some of the most famous courses in the world actually works.

  • MisterWGT
    122 Posts
    Tue, Jun 19 2012 12:35 AM

    A few images from my Sunday at the course & behind the scenes:

    Standing on the tee box of #03 (they didn't play from the tips on Sunday):

    Westwood gets ready to blast one off #06 (after the tree ate his ball on #5):

    Furyk walks in disbelief to the scorer's room (notice Costas on the left):

    Graeme tries to crack a smile when talking about the putt on #18, but you know he did not come here to finished tied for 2nd.

  • MBaggese
    15,367 Posts
    Tue, Jun 19 2012 12:43 AM

    Wow, shudders when ya talk about Furyk and his daughter.

    Priceless and well played!

  • Timbo1984
    818 Posts
    Tue, Jun 19 2012 1:10 AM

    Very nice article!

    Like Bollox mentioned, it's interesting to know that play is still in full swing while you guys shoot...Sounds like a lot of fun and games with that tight window.

    Can't wait for the next installment!


  • plim
    1,388 Posts
    Tue, Jun 19 2012 3:10 AM

    Great article.

    there is nothing like been present at a great sporting moment and witnessing History in the making.  To be part of such a great occasion lives with you forever and i'm sure all of you at WGT have great memories of the whole week's golf. Being able to play the course online gives you a great insight and makes you marvel at the great skill that the top golfers have.

    well done MrWGT and your team.

    and can i make a suggestion for future online opens. can we have the 10 shot rule apply. ok let the top 156 and ties get the cap etc for being the top qualifiers. but it would be nice if more of us could take part in the championship rounds. i can't compete with the sub 60 rounds and would love to make the cut in just one of the opens. in real life there has to be limits, but in the online world there are no boundries.

    and in regards to a round MRWGT. anytime.




  • stevenharkin
    1,921 Posts
    Tue, Jun 19 2012 3:27 AM


    Seems as if T.V don't do Olmpic any justice..would loved to have been there..just sitting on that bank on hole 18...some day maybe :)

  • WGTicon
    12,511 Posts
    Tue, Jun 19 2012 3:34 AM

    In the end, family will make things better :)

    Jim Furyk is lucky!


  • LOLserver
    3,522 Posts
    Tue, Jun 19 2012 5:10 AM

    Great report, thanks.

    I have been wondering how many pictures do you guys take per hole, you said, if a tree catches any of the shots from the tee, etc, amazing work, grats


  • chris5214
    1,937 Posts
    Tue, Jun 19 2012 9:26 AM

    great piece MisterWgt .. how many games give us the opportunity to play photoreal, historic courses with very close-to real life ball physics & course behaviour .. ?

    WGT does ..