Bunker Mentality

  • Shawn Stefani registers stunning hole-in-one at Merion

    Shawn Stefani put a star on what had been a so-so US Open performance when he registered the first ace of the championship by holing out at the 213-yard, par-three 17th on Sunday.

    Even for an ace, it was a stunning hole-out.

    The 31-year-old Texan landed his four-iron tee shot in the left rough, saw it bounce out, hop on the green and slowly roll and curl some 60 feet before trickling into the cup.

    Stefani entered the final round with a score better than just two players among the 73 that made the cut but made his mark with the 43rd hole-in-one shot in 113 US Opens and the first he ever posted

    Read More »from Shawn Stefani registers stunning hole-in-one at Merion
  • Mickelson and Donald, US Open third round

    We're at the deciding day of the year's toughest Major, and a handful of golfers have handled everything Merion could throw at them. Which of these gentlemen will be a major winner come Sunday evening? We size up the prime contenders right here, and we're almost certain to get a first-time US Open winner:

    Phil Mickelson, -1

    His week: He's been strong right from the start, and he's led or co-led every night. There's a feeling of destiny about Phil this week, which is usually a bad sign.

    His best finish at the US Open: Second place, five agonizing times: 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009.

    What a win

    Read More »from Sizing up the US Open leaders heading into the final round
  • Amateur Michael Kim picked up his caddie in car park

    LaRue Temple doesn't have an easy life. A typical day can include caddying here at Merion Golf Club starting at 7am, then getting off work at 3pm. and going into Philadelphia to bartend until 2am. Sometimes he DJs on the weekends. There have been days when he does all three.

    This was supposed to be a week off for Temple. The US Open was in town, and Temple had tickets. He would hang out with his mum, relax in the grandstand, and cheer for Tiger Woods.

    Then, in the wind and wet of a wicked Monday afternoon, something marvelous happened.

    Temple, who went to high school locally and

    Read More »from Amateur Michael Kim picked up his caddie in car park
  • As Sergio Garcia stepped to his ball on the 11th tee at Merion Golf Club, to begin his third round of the US Open, a scream rang out from the crowd.

    "Fried chicken!" a fan yelled.

    Later in his round, after Garcia missed a putt at the fifth, another fan yelled, "Popeyes!"

    Thus is the fallout of Garcia's racist comment from last month when, during an awards banquet, he said he would serve Tiger Woods "fried chicken" for dinner.

    "I would say I'm heckling him because of what he said," Tom Stanley, the fan who yelled 'Popeyes,' told Yahoo! Sports.

    Several fans around him admonished Stanley, who

    Read More »from Fan yells ‘fried chicken’ at Sergio Garcia, who later carded a 10 on a single hole
  • It seems almost strange to say, but Lindsey Vonn has become a fixture on the PGA Tour.

    Since announcing her relationship with Tiger Woods back in March, the Olympic skier has been spotted at several events, including The Masters, The Players Championship, The Memorial and this week's US Open.

    Vonn has gone largely unbothered at the Merion Golf Club as she's followed Woods around the course. Bill Pennington of the New York Times, however, caught up with the 28-year-old to talk about what it's like to be involved with one of the most famous men in the world.

    You can read about Pennington's walk

    Read More »from Lindsey Vonn: “I’m not just Tiger’s girlfriend … I have my own career and my own life”
  • It looks like the strangest thing that would happen to Carl Pettersson this week as showing up on the first tee Thursday wearing the exact same outfit as playing partner Francesco Molinari, but that was positively normal by comparison to what befell him later.

    Pettersson was in the 5th fairway on Friday, completing his first round, when mid-swing an errant tee shot from the second hole came rolling right at him, not only disturbing his golf shot but smashing into his ball mid-backswing.

    This is definitely not the first time something strange has happened to Pettersson at a major championship.

    Read More »from Carl Pettersson’s golf ball literally gets hit by other golf ball mid-backswing at US Open
  • Injured Tiger gets testy at Merion

    What looked at first like a new ailment has been bothering Tiger Woods for a while.

    Woods' left elbow, originally believed to be a wrist injury, has become one of the major storylines of this Major tournament. It flared up again on Friday after nagging him as early as the second shot of the US Open on Thursday. After shooting even par for his second round, Woods admitted his elbow has been hurting since The Players Championship in early May.

    Woods didn't seem to show much (if any) pain during The Memorial leading up to the US Open, but his poor performance there now seems more of a source of

    Read More »from Injured Tiger gets testy at Merion
  • The one thing you cannot buy at the US Open

    I love the smell of commerce in the morning!

    Because I'm a fan of both oversized tents and watching people spend a mortgage payment on logoed event gear, I hit up the US Open's main merchandise area at Merion Golf Club on Friday. My aim was to find the oddest items available for sale, but the absence of one unique collectible was rather conspicuous.

    Replicas of Merion's famous red wicker baskets were nowhere to be found. Oh, don't get me wrong. The iconic flag alternatives appeared on plenty of merchandise bearing the tournament's official logo, including shirts, hats, golf towels,

    Read More »from The one thing you cannot buy at the US Open
  • Mickelson good, but Merion better

    Somewhere, Bobby Jones is laughing. So is Ben Hogan. So are all the golf ghosts brought to the brink of exasperation by this little devil of a golf course outside Philadelphia.

    The ghosts of old Merion Golf Club are surely cackling at those who underestimated this place. Sceptics said it was too short, too small, too easy for the US Open. They said its sub-7,000 yards couldn't contain the big hitters of today.

    Well, any of those who fretted about the teeth and heft of this course should spend Friday parked by the fifth hole. That's the one that gave up all of two birdies on Thursday against

    Read More »from Mickelson good, but Merion better
  • Westwood hits wicker basket at US Open

    We all knew this would eventually happen at Merion Golf Club, a place that has wicker baskets at the top of their standards instead of traditional flagsticks. Sergio Garcia hit a basket during a practice round and it was just a matter of time before one of these very talented professionals became a victim of the uniqueness of Merion.

    Lee Westwood was strolling along in his opening round at 3-under, tied for the lead at the one Major championship that has seemed to always tease him.

    Westwood already had an interesting situation on the sixth hole when an errant second shot flew the green and

    Read More »from Westwood hits wicker basket at US Open