The Last Time The US Open Was In Pebble Beach -History Was Made! Who Will Make History In 2010?
As the US Open Golf Tournament returns this coming weekend, it should provide for interesting theater as there are a few big, boldfaced names involved: US Open – Pebble Beach – Tiger Woods. Three subjects – each alone is powerful enough to pique even the most casual golf fans interest. Yet, considering the history of those three names, when used together – there aren’t many things that have the potential of being more exciting.
Yes, things with Tiger are different now. And no, the whole story of the US Open shouldn’t be about Tiger. The US Open was first played 115 years ago and has been considered one of the top 4 tournaments in the world well before Tiger was around. And Pebble Beach has been thought of as one of top golf courses in the world for far longer than Tiger has been ranked #1 in the world.
So while the US Open at Pebble Beach is much more significant than any one Player – why is Tiger still part of the story? Meaning, after soiling his name and reputation, and no longer in the exclusive group of star athletes that you could consider as a role model – why is he still part of the storyline?
For the simple reason that the 2000 US Open was held at Pebble Beach Golf Links, and for anyone that has forgotten (or wasn’t involved in golf at that time) … what Eldrick “Tiger” Woods did during those 4 days of golf is, and will forever be, one of the most impressive events that has ever happened in the game of golf.
He won the tournament by 15 strokes. Now this wasn’t a PGA Tour Player playing against journeymen on the mini tours. This was an event that had the best Players in the world playing on one of the great golf courses of the world. 15 Strokes! Tiger was 12 under Par – the Golfer in second place was 3 over Par. And considering that more than half the Golfers in the tournament finished at 13 over Par or more (25 strokes or more higher) — all I can say is “Wow!”
Have you ever seen a sporting event – let alone a golf tournament – that was so thoroughly dominated by one person?
Yes, I know that at least 50% of the golfing population is sick and tired of hearing about Tiger – I understand. However, what he did at Pebble Beach in 2000 was one of the greatest sports performances ever! And regardless of what has happened in his personal life, and regardless of how much you may “hate” and/or feel betrayed by Tiger – winning the US Open by 15 strokes on Pebble Beach is an incredible feat!
What will happen this year at Pebble Beach? Who will win? I wish I knew.
Below I have listed three scenarios that you’re likely to see …along with two questions I’m interested in seeing answered:
Scenario #1: There will be at least one Golfer that you’ve never heard of that will rise up onto the leaderboard in the first two days. This Golfer may never take the lead, it may just be that on the front nine holes on Friday they shoot a 33. But their score through 27 holes gets them on the leaderboard and causes you to say: “Harry Bafupnick? Who the heck is Harry Bafupnick?”
Scenario #2: There will be a Golfer that has won a Major Championship, but hasn’t won a Major for at least a few years, that will be hanging around the leaderboard after 54 holes. For example: someone like a Justin Leonard, or Zach Johnson or Shaun Micheel, etc.
Scenario #3: That a Golfer that has won a Major Championship (or multiple Majors), but now is in the 40 and over age group will make some noise on Sunday. For example: someone like an Ernie Els, Davis Love III, David Toms or Retief Goosen, etc.
Question #1: Can one of the Golfers that are often included in the “Best Player In The World Without A Major” category win this tournament. I guess that title belongs to Sergio Garcia. But, there are many great, great Players that haven’t won a Major yet. Are we going to see a breakthrough from Ian Poulter, Anthony Kim, KJ Choi or Luke Donald?
Question #2: The “Young Guns”. There are so many great young Players out there that could fire a 65 at any given moment. How will they do at the US Open at Pebble Beach? Will we see Rory McIlroy, Ryo Ishikawa or Dustin Johnson make a statement at Pebble Beach just as Jack Nicklaus did at the 1962 US Open at Oakmont or as Tiger Woods did at the aforementioned 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach?
Regardless of who wins … US Open – Pebble Beach – Tiger Woods … that’s a very strong threesome. Enjoy the golf tournament — it should be fun!