Round Two of the 2019 U.S. Open

by Tom Cade

So much happened today that I had to write notes on my arm to keep track.

  • This morning while minding my own business and standing amidst the mass of humanity in the triangulated bottleneck that is the third green, the fourth tee and the 17th tee, Rory McIlroy squeezed by me, making his way by himself through the throng. I wanted to catch to him and explain to him that “YOU ARE RORY MCILROY, AND YOU SHOULDN’T BE WANDERING AROUND BY YOURSELF IN THE CROWD LIKE THIS.” He was wearing workout clothes, as though he’d gone for a jog and was on his way back to his condo to shower and dress and prepare for his afternoon tee time. It was the oddest thing.
Volunteers work the “shot-tracking” machines
  • There are certain teams of volunteers standing at strategic points along the fairways, and they have hi-tech-looking equipment. I asked one of them (in a nice way) what he was doing. He said, “I’m tracking shots.” And that was all he said. So they must be keeping averages of distances, accuracy, fairways and green hit in regulation, etc. I didn’t ask him any more questions. I just couldn’t.
  • When last I checked, Bubba Watson is still playing left-handed, still using a pink-shafted driver, still using a yellow golf ball, and still employing a swing that would garner an NC-17 rating if it ever appeared in a movie.
Spencer Tibbits (left) smiles for a picture with playing partner Hayden Shieh
  • Spencer Tibbits, the 20-year-old amateur from Vancouver, Wash., who was the 2016 PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year and currently plays on the Oregon State University men’s golf team, played with the heart of a lion today. He made it to the Open by qualifying through a Local and a Sectional qualifier. He did not make the cut today, but after his round this afternoon, he spoke with quiet reverence and determination about the life-changing experience of playing in the biggest golf tournament on the planet.
  • In the media center, you have access to unlimited ice cream bars. This is a problem.