The 2014 US Open teed off this morning at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina. As is tradition, I sat down with beloved commenter and resident golf nut, Spencer096. Since previews have started to struggle in the past, we decided to give this one a makeover. If you’re at work, you can follow the ESPN leaderboard. And if anything cool happens, we’ll post a gif or something. Promise. We now join the preview, already in progress in the TBL conference room with the projector and kick-ass sound system…
CRM: …and when Dom flew through the air to catch Letty, I burst out laughing in the middle of the theater.
spencer096: I know, right? But the franchise has built up such goodwill lately that, the funny thing is, I don’t even care. Fast and Furious 6 was a cinematic Big Gulp full of 5-Hour Energy and I cannot f-ing wait for Statham. It was like they asked me, “what’s the one thing that could possibly make this better?”
Lisk: Hey! If you guys are going to write a preview, write a preview. You can’t use the conference room to watch Vin Diesel movies all day.
CRM: Come on! This is the only room with a projector and kick-ass sound system and Duffy and Cardillo have been boring it up in here for the last month. Just let us watch Tokyo Drift one more time and then we’ll do the US Open preview.
[104 minutes later]
CRM: I can’t believe Fast 4, Fast 5 and Fast 6 were all prequels!
CRM: I know, but we should really start that preview.
spencer096: US Open?
CRM: US Open.
spencer096: I like Phil.
CRM: You do?
spencer096: I do.
CRM: That’s all folks!
spencer096: Hah. Don’t you want to know why?
CRM: You’re an affluent white dude?
spencer096: That’s not fair.
CRM: Fine. Wait. Before we get started, we need a complete overhaul of this preview.
[unrolls blueprints on hood of SUV]
CRM: We’ve got a ton of Bar Rescue fans in the comments section. I say we make over this preview with a Bar Rescue theme.
spencer096: I could come up with some really great metaphors and analogies to fit that theme.
CRM: Par Rescue?
CRM: OK. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
CRM: If Pinehurst Number 2 were a bar on Bar Rescue, what type of bar would that bar be?
spencer096: Pinehurst would be one of those bars in a great location, just oozing with old-school charm and charisma, where the employees got lazy and there’s shit everywhere. Then Good Ol’ Saint Taffer comes in on his rented GMC Yukon Denali sleigh and fixes it up into a damned gold mine…only they did it on purpose here and it’s f–king awesome.
CRM: That makes absolutely no sense.
spencer096: It totally does. In preparation for the US Open, the USGA went back to the future and is giving us a course that looks like a 1920’s photograph come to life in HD. Only, with today’s style of golf, it’s going to turn it into one of the most brutal tests of golf we’ve seen in awhile. Absolutely brutal. Like, if the fairways are running even just a little bit fast, balls will be careening into wildly grown native grasses or sand pits or woods or who the hell knows? Guys will be in areas where you could be inches from either a lucky clean lie or a lie no golfer is truly ever prepared for.
CRM: Let me guess…long, accurate ballstrikers who can hit it miles in the sky are going to have an advantage here.
spencer096: Well…yea. Took the words right out of my mouth.
CRM: I know, because you’ve literally said that the past eight previews.
spencer096: In my defense…it’s because “duh.”
CRM: So round up the usual suspects?
spencer096: It was Verbal Kint.
CRM: Not cool.
spencer096: At least I didn’t use the C-word.
CRM: [drops coffee mug]
spencer096: Anyway, this course is a 7,500+ yard par 70. You’re not playing this with a limp.
CRM: Move it along…
CRM: OH COME ON. Are we really doing this again?
spencer096: Now hear me out. I’m not picking him to win, ok? Just so we’re on the same page and I’m speaking rationally and not as the Sergio fanboy I still remain, for some reason. Pinehurst is, like I mentioned, long. But it’s not the length that’s going to make it so brutal…it’s basically everything that comes after that split second you hit your tee shot.
We also mentioned the native areas that line the fairways. These would be a problem in their own right, but an error off the tee is compounded a) by the shitty lie and b) by the fact you’re hitting into some of the most devilish greens into areas where a miss makes recovery almost impossible.
CRM: So what does that have to do with Sergio?
spencer096: He’s 1st on the PGA Tour in scoring average, 2nd in sand saves, 5th in scrambling, 11th in ballstriking and 26th in putting.
CRM: You realize that you’re just setting yourself up for heartbreak again, right?
spencer096: MOVING ON! Stylistically, that’s why I like players like Rory, Phil and Bubba here too.
CRM: Don’t you think a course this difficult wouldn’t favor risk-takers and aggressive players like them?
spencer096: Not all difficulties are the same though. This isn’t a classic brute like Winged Foot or Olympic where, while the greens are still incredibly difficult, a conservative style could be rewarded, Pinehurst favors the artist much like Augusta National and Australia’s Royal Melbourne, though in it’s own, unique fashion. We’re going to see shots like you’d see at the British Open, where a guy might bump a shot into a bank and letting it roll out, big ol’ rollercoaster putts, 3-footers that’ll make guys’ knees shake and one helluva flop shot snuff reel.
spencer096: Creative guys.
CRM: Golfers that embrace solutions?
CRM: Why didn’t you just say that from the beginning?
spencer096: I like making the words.
CRM: Lets move to the lightning round.
spencer096: The hell is the lightnin…
CRM: Bubba Watson.
spencer096: …I have no…
CRM: BUBBA WATSON.
spencer096: Why are you yelling at me?
CRM: BUBBA WASTON YES OR NO ANSWER ME.
spencer096: Stop…stop…no more. No. NO. Just stop, ok?
CRM: RORY MCILROY. GO.
spencer096: Sniff…no. I still don’t want to root for him.
CRM: Jim Furyk.
spencer096: Wha? The hell’s Jim Fur…
CRM: JIM FURYK NOW.
spencer096: Damnit man, fine! God no.
CRM: Chef Brian Duffy.
spencer096: SENTIMENTAL FAVORITE.
CRM: Adam Scott.
spencer096: Top 25ish.
CRM: Bubba Watson.
spencer096: You asked me about him already.
CRM: [blows air horn]
[puts sticky note on spence’s shirt]
[dumps drink in a bucket]
spencer096: With mac & cheese?
CRM: My kids loves them.
spencer096: Hey, don’t knock ’em ’til you try’em.
CRM: Bubba Watson.
spencer096: Why do you keep asking me about Bubba?
CRM: We have to be ready for the stress test!
CRM: Fast 7.
CRM: Ok, enough of this. Who’s your winner?
spencer096: I said it at the beginning and I’m sticking with it. I like Phil here for no other reason than I like the goofball. The course fits him to a tee and I want to see him win a US Open because he’s come so damn close so many times. I’m also pretty sure this is like the eighth time I’ve picked him too, but whatevs.
CRM: Would you say your job here is done?
spencer096: I would. Wanna watch Cops?
CRM: I know we should get out of here so they can work on the World Cup game reviews, but I think we’ve earned a few hours. Let’s do it.
spencer096: Golf wins again!