Posted by: John K. Abendroth, PGA
Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 7:42 PM
It's 5:30 am, June 3rd, site is the Olympic Club, 10-days before the start of the 112th U.S. Open Championship and my son Michael and I show up to play our last round of golf before the championship. We are 8th in line to tee off. There are about 30 golf bags on the first tee, the golf shop will not open till 6:30 and the guys are all around telling stories, and yes...somebody said, "welcome to Bethpage"
In fact there were other Father and Son combo's there to play and a few folks that I have not seen in some time...it was a nice reunion. So as the 30+ folks lined up in the golf shop, Curtis and Chris two of the golf professionals began to assign times based on the sign-up sheet that was taped to the door about 4:30 by the first to arrive. The regulars reminded the shop of the rule that at least 3 of the 4-some needed to be seen to lock in the time. Our group was all there and we were given the 7:50 time, so...we could go get a cup of tea and hit a few balls on the range.
It's quite exciting to have the national championship on your home course and it was funny to see some groups play the back tees when they normally play the front tees...we even had to remind one group to pick up the pace...I guess we had more balls in the perfect fairways.
In the afternoon, amateur star Patrick Cantly showed up to play a practice round as did Rory McIlroy along with Dave Stockton and Rory's Dad. There were only a couple of folks walking with him but a crowd of about 40 were poised by the old bench above the 8th green. The guys are anxious to see the best players in the world and they only have a few days to wait.
We had a fun round, and I think back to the many U.S. Open's that I have watched end on Father's Day with my Son Michael it was fun to watch him make two birdies today on par-three's, it was a great day even if I did have to get us at 4:30 am and stand in line to play golf.