Sunday, June 19, 2005


I'll be heading south for work and recreation for the next two weeks. Hopefully I'll get out of here by nine this morning (Sunday the 19th) and be in Oakland to spend the afternoon with my dear friend Shawn Shaffer. Shawn and I went to high school together, (Ponderosa, class of 70 Rules), and have remained friends over three decades. Monday, I'll be in Modesto for a repair at Bill and Murphs. Then tuesday in Lodi for an install with cousin Mark. Friday, I'm off to Monterey for the 20th Annual Blues Festival. My good friend Glenn Maxon is the Asst. Director of the festival and has a place for me to land for the weekend. Monday I will be back at work in Fresno for most of the week and will try to look up my brother Micheal for a visit. Mike's been in Fresno for some time and it will be nice to see the "Grunk". Hopefully, friday I drive all the way to Redding, Ca for the Zimmerman wedding. Bob and Betsys daughter Jessica will be joining hands with William Thomas Koppes. Haven't met him yet, but with a name like William Thomas, this guys gotta be alright. Saturday, after the wedding I'll be driving 3hrs back to Eureka for the Sunday (3rd) fourth of July party ot the homestead. Matt puts on a wing-dinger all day bbq, music, dancing, and tons of food and beverages. Fire-works at dark. Shawn is driving up from Oakland on the Friday before and is in for a treat of Humboldt County hospitality. After all this I get four days off before heading to Graeagle for the family reunion.
Ahh!, Graeagle........sleep,fish,golf,eat,sleep,eat,fish,sleep,golf,sleep,sleep,sleep. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Goosen Cracks Whip, and Pinehurst Bends
By DAMON HACK Published: June 19, 2005PINEHURST, N.C., June 18 - As shadows crept across pine needles Saturday, two very different players tried to tame a golf course running wild. In a dark cap and buttoned-up shirt stood the little-known Jason Gore, who briefly clutched the lead at the United States Open at Pinehurst No. 2 until Retief Goosen took it back and refused to relinquish it.
Doug Mills/The New York TimesRetief Goosen took a three-stroke lead with a one-under 69. At 207, he is the only player who is below par for the tournament. More Photos >
818 Is His Ranking, Not His Area Code Day 3 at the Open When he sank a birdie putt from a swale beside the 18th green to grab a three-shot lead over Gore and Olin Browne, Goosen had the unmistakable aura of a man who had withstood pressure in all its forms.
Mark Hensby of Australia and Michael Campbell of New Zealand trailed Goosen by four strokes while David Toms was five shots back. Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood of England were part of a group that trailed by six shots. Vijay Singh and Peter Jacobsen, who made a hole in one, were seven strokes behind.
Goosen, who will be paired with Gore in Sunday's final round, shot a one-under 69 for a three-day total of three-under 207. He was the only player who was under par for the tournament entering the final round, a testament to the steeliness that has defined him.
Sunday's forecast called for mostly cloudy skies, with occasional showers and an afternoon thundershower possible. Cooler temperatures were expected, with a high of 78 degrees.
Should he win, Goosen would become the first player to win back-to-back United States Open titles since Curtis Strange in 1988-89.
"At the beginning of the week, we expected no one to be under par," the 36-year-old Goosen said. "It's not easy to make up ground on this golf course, but it's easy to lose ground. If I can go one or two under, I think I've got a good chance to win."
Hensby said: "I don't think you're going to catch Retief. Obviously, he's figured out how to win the U.S. Open."
In 2001, Goosen overcame heat and the fast conditions at Southern Hills to win his first Open. Last year, he kept his head still and expertly putted the dicey greens of Shinnecock Hills to claim his second Open title.
Each time, Goosen led or shared the lead going into the final round. Each time, he did not smile or frown, whether his ball ended up in the bottom of the cup or in a gorse bush.
Goosen made birdies on three of his final five holes Saturday, but it was Gore who seemed to steal the gallery's affections. Gore, a little overweight and a lot out of his element, plays on the Nationwide Tour. He earned his way into the Open through a sectional qualifier. Eight years ago, on the day he turned professional, his father died of a heart attack.
When Gore made a birdie on 18 to finish at 72, he pointed at the cup and gave his caddie a fist-pump, two celebratory moves straight from the Woods playbook. Gore and Woods have been friends since their youth in Southern California.
"I was trying to keep my emotions in check," the 31-year-old Gore said of his walk to the 18th green. "I could feel myself crying, or on the verge. When I made the putt, I looked at my caddie and said, 'Did I just point that ball into the hole?' He said, 'Yes,' and I said, 'What a cheeseball.' "
Woods could not help smiling for his friend.
"We go back to Peewee leagues," said Woods, who shot 72. "He has all of the talent in the world. It was just a matter of fine-tuning his swing, and he's done just that."
Browne, who also shot 72, called Gore "the story of the Open."
"He's a guy they've never heard of and yet they are digging his play," Browne said, referring to the gallery.
Gore and Goosen could not present more different personalities. Gore is all emotion. Goosen is all business.
Goosen held a one-stroke lead over Gore through 12 holes, but he ran a birdie putt from a swale off the 13th green and down a hill. He chipped to 12 feet and missed the putt, for a double bogey.
At that moment, Gore led by one stroke as he played the par-4 14th hole, but he soon committed his own errors. Gore sent his fourth shot, a chip, sailing past the pin, leaving him a 25-footer for bogey, which he missed.
When he tapped in for a double-bogey 6, Goosen shared the lead with Hensby at even par.
Gore had held the lead for six minutes.
Nothing seemed to last at Pinehurst, except unpredictability.
"Momentum is not even a word that you can associate with this golf course," Corey Pavin, the 1995 United States Open champion, said after shooting an even-par 70 to stand at five-over 215. "I think survival might be a good word."
Toms's round fluctuated between extremes. He opened with two birdies on the front nine before the back dealt him a birdie and three bogeys for an even-par 70.
"It seems like you can't be aggressive at all," Toms said. "As soon as you try, you make a double."
Toms said that Pinehurst No. 2 was playing the way a United States Open should - testing the players in all facets.
"You should never back in to win a major championship," he said. "You should have to play well."
Woods, who began the day three shots off the lead, saw it doubled, leaving his hopes for four majors in one calendar year in jeopardy. There are quality names above him, players looking to scrawl their names into the trophy - a veteran like Goosen and a chubby-cheeked man named Gore.
"It's the Open," Gore said. "I know that. But it's still golf."

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Politics, Personals, and Predictions

The pace (of my life) picks up profusely in the weeks ahead and I feel the summer will rush by far too fast. I'll git to this later in this blog, but first a little politics. The wacko left will stoop to new lows in their quest to regain the power that was lost in recent elections. They care not how they accomplish these goals. The latest tack is the out right lies and outrageous contortions concerning the treatment of prisoners at Gitmo. Sure sounds to me like Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is getting more blowback than he bargained for with his comments this week about Gitmo and U.S. soldiers. From this Wash Times article:

" Sen. Richard J. Durbin expressed a conditional "regret" yesterday for his remarks linking Guantanamo Bay interrogations to Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Pol Pot after Vice President Dick Cheney and the American Legion unleashed another day of rebukes of the Senate's No. 2 Democrat.
Mr. Durbin had refused to apologize for his Nazi speech in a Senate debate Thursday. But as the high-ranking Democrat and his party continued to feel a political backlash, Mr. Durbin issued his third -- and most contrite -- statement yesterday. "I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood," said the Illinois senator. "I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support."

Mr. Durbin would have us believe that" historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood", but does nothing to to correct the distorted comparisons he made. I have an email from a soldier that served at Gitmo written to Linda Vester:

"I am a soldier from New Jersey who served in Guantanamo Bay from April 2004 til April 2005. I was a witness to the exceptional treatment these prisoners received. They received constant medical care, food, Islamic religious items. I also noticed how these prisoners treated us soldiers and caregivers. They cursed, spit, threw fecal matter and semen on us. They also verbally threatened and physically assaulted us. They degraded America, disrespected our beliefs. They treated female personnel with disrespect, calling them pigs, sluts and whores. And we are trained to sit back and take it all in. When politicians come [to visit] they say hello and take a tour and then they are back on a jet to go home. I challenge any politician to pick: Either stay at Guantanamo Bay in a cell or fall hostage to some radical group in Iraq .... Linda, I urge you to try to request documentation of prisoner-on-soldier and relief worker abuse. Soldiers go to work inside the wire one day and come out with broken arms. Red Cross workers also have been assaulted. Why don't the politicians ask THOSE questions? One final thought: I wish all those pompous politicians would put on a uniform and do what we do every day ...."— C., U.S. Army Sergeant, New Jersey


Qualifier Gore Tied With Defending Champ Goosen, Browne
By David Shefter, USGA
Pinehurst, N.C. – Every kid who has played golf has dreamed of
making a putt to win the U.S. Open or envisioned himself playing in
the final pairing.
Heck, Hollywood even made a movie about it.
A Tin Cup story is brewing at the 2005 Open at Pinehurst No. 2. A
jovial, happy-go-lucky gentleman with a smile that could melt
Antarctica is tied for the lead halfway through the championship. Call
it a Cinderalla story.
A model of consistency, Retief Goosen had 12 pars to go along with
three birdies and three bogeys Friday. (Steve Gibbons/USGA) Jason Gore, who applies his trade on the Nationwide Tour, shot a
3-under-par 67 on Friday and now sits atop the leaderboard with
defending champion Retief Goosen and Olin Browne, who shot a 59
during sectional qualifying on June 6 to earn his way to Pinehurst.
Goosen shot a 70 on Friday while Browne posted a 71. All three are at
2-under 138 for the championship, one stroke ahead of K.J. Choi (70)
and Mark Hensby (68).
No other player in the field, including the Big Four of Vijay Singh
(70-70—140), Tiger Woods (70-71—141), Phil Mickelson (69-77—146)
and Ernie Els (71-76—147), are under par. Besides Singh, the group at
even-par 140 includes Michael Campbell, Sergio Garcia and Lee
Westwood. At 141 includes 2003 Open champion Jim Furyk, Rocco
Mediate and Adam Scott.
David Toms did get to three under par after 15 holes, but gave five
strokes back over his final two holes, including a triple-bogey 6 at the
par-3 ninth and he now sits at 2-over 142.
The cut came at 8-over 148 with 83 golfers (81 professionals and two
amateurs) surviving to play the weekend.
But while Goosen’s place in the standings was somewhat expected
and Browne is at least a known entity around the PGA Tour, Gore is a
virtual wild card. Yes, he’s won three times on the Triple-A level – i.e.
the Nationwide Tour – and he’s played two seasons on the PGA Tour
where he failed to retain his card both times, but nobody, not even
family members, could have seen this coming.
Not in the U.S. Open. Not in just his second major-championship
appearance as a pro.
Yet there he was late Friday, his name promptly displayed on
leaderboards throughout the 7,214-yard, par-70 layout. By the time he
reached the eighth hole, he had people cheering his name. "Jason!
At 6 feet 1 inch and 235 pounds, Gore looks like a linebacker and
drives the ball like a gorilla (averaging 310.8 yards through two
rounds). But his demeanor is more of a teddy bear. If he had a white
beard, he could be described as Santa Claus in spikes.
His game delivered plenty of gifts on Friday and as his gallery began
to grow over the final few holes, he kept his composure. The
31-year-old from Valencia, Calif., eventually tied for the lead on No. 6,
his 15th of the round, when he holed a 15-foot birdie putt. He lipped
out a 30-footer for birdie at seven and two holes later, delivered a
gorgeous shot from the front, greenside bunker to within 18 inches
for a par. It was the perfect way to conclude a five-birdie, two-bogey
"It’s kind of fun, isn’t it?" said Gore, who owns three career
Nationwide Tour wins and is 58th on that circuit’s money list in ’05
with $29,879 in earnings. "I’m going to beat this cliché up, but I’m
trying to keep it simple, trying not to get too excited or too down on
Should Gore go on to win the Open, he would become the first player
since Orville Moody in 1969 to take the title after going through local
and sectional qualifying. But Gore also realizes the championship is
only half over. Then again, America loves an underdog and there’s no
bigger one than Gore at the moment.
"This is really an opportunity for me to play well," said Gore. "It’s
going to be fun. I just really have nothing to lose, and I feel if I can
play two smart rounds of golf, then we’ll count them up at the end.
Gore is enjoying his week in Pinehurst with his mom, Kathy, his wife
of two years, Megan, and his 8-month-old son Jaxon. Gore’s father,
Shelly, died in September of 1997 of a heart attack, the morning he
was supposed to fly to Boise, Idaho, to make his professional debut in
a Nike Tour event. So getting to play on Sunday of the Open will be
quite a Father’s Day present. It also could turn into one of his biggest
"Jaxon has got two ear infections so it should be quite a night," said
the 1997 USA Walker Cupper. "I get to spend two days playing a great
golf course. That’s really what I’m trying to think. This is a great
venue and I get to enjoy two more days at the U.S. Open."
Gore certainly has some strong competition to contend with,
especially Goosen, who is vastly becoming a 21st century version of
Scott Simpson, only with better game. Simpson always seemed to
save his best for the Open and won the 1987 event at The Olympic
Club. He also lost an 18-hole playoff to Payne Stewart in ’91 at
Goosen plays almost like a robot, yet he may be the most
underappreciated professional on the planet. He is the Open’s
Rodney Dangerfield. Not a single media member picked him to win
this week in the U.S. Open Web site’s poll, even though he’s already
engraved his name twice on the trophy. Who could forget last year’s
final round when he had 11 one-putt greens to edge Phil Mickelson
by a stroke.
Through 13 holes on Friday, Goosen was 4 under for the
championship, only to give back strokes with bogeys at five and
seven. In his even-par 70, he hit 10 of 18 greens (he hit 16 on
Thursday) and just five of 14 fairways. But he totaled for less putts
(28) than Thursday.
Should Goosen win, he would become the first player since Curtis
Strange (1988 and ’89) to win consecutive U.S. Open titles and join an
elite company of six players to achieve that feat (Willie Anderson,
Johnny McDermott, Bob Jones, Ralph Guldahl, Ben Hogan and
Jason Gore, on the ninth hole Friday, is trying to become the first
player to win a U.S. Open after having to go through local and
sectional qualifying since Orville Moody in 1969. (Steve
Gibbons/USGA) "I’m excited about this weekend and hopefully I can keep it up and see
if I can win it for the third time," said the mono-toned Goosen. "It’s
going to be a grind. It’s not going to be easy. I don’t know what the
weather is going to do."
Many people probably weren’t expecting Browne to maintain his
status on the leaderboard, but despite a double bogey at the par-3
sixth hole, he stayed in the same position he owned on Thursday
"The game is all about balance," said Browne, whose 59 in sectional
qualifying at Rockville, Md., has become almost legendary.
"Certainly life is all about balance, and I hit the ball as well as I’m
capable of [on Thursday] and it was the complete opposite today.
Hopefully, I’ve gotten that out of the way."
Lurking behind the leaders is a host of big-name players, including
two of the Big Four in Singh and Woods. And don’t forget about
Garcia, who came in to the week on a high after winning the Booz
Allen Classic last Sunday. Garcia is trying to become the first player
to win the Open after winning the previous week. This is his third
attempt at that feat.
Garcia birdied two of his last three holes to get some momentum for
the weekend. But the Spaniard also missed glorious birdie
opportunities at three and four, his 12th and 13th holes of the round.
In fact, he three-putted the third hole from 8 feet, lipping out a short
par putt, and did the same at 15. At the par-5 fourth, he was in the
greenside bunker in two, blasted out to 9 feet and missed the putt on
the low side.
"If I finish even par for the tournament I would win by more than one, I
would think," said Garcia who hopes to become the first European
winner of this event in 35 yards. "I really think about two or three over
is going to win this thing. The course is not going to get any easier.
You are grinding it out to shoot even par. You’ve got to realize that."
Singh, the world’s No. 2-ranked player and owner of three major titles,
maintained his steady play with another 70. He bounced back and
forth all day, getting to two under following a birdie at 13, only to give
the strokes back with back-to-back bogeys at 15 and 16.
"I hit the ball really good," said Singh, whose best U.S. Open finish
came at Pinehurst six years ago when he tied for third with Woods.
"It’s not going to get any easier on the weekend, so I feel I’m in a good
position right now. Even par would be a good score for the
tournament depending on how the conditions play over the
Said Woods: "Days like today typify a U.S. Open. You’ve just got to go
out there and be patient as possible and grind away."
Mickelson, the runner-up at the 1999 Open at Pinehurst, went
completely the wrong direction after starting the Open with a 69. Now
his bid for a first Open title looks to be in serious jeopardy.
Conditions could not have been better from a temperature
perspective. Easily the coolest day of what has been a hot and
steamy weak in the Sandhills of North Carolina, temperatures
hovered in the 70s with overcast skies until around noon when the
sun appeared in full bloom for the afternoon wave.
But the golf course continued to play difficult, even though more
golfers broke par on Friday (13) than on Thursday (nine). Peter
Hedblom of Sweden shot the lowest U.S. Open round ever at
Pinehurst with a 66 to get himself back into contention after an
opening-round 77.
One of 48 first-time participants in this year’s field, Heblom had five
birdies and one bogey in his round of 66. The previous best U.S.
Open score at Pinehurst was 67 shared by six players, including
Mediate and Browne. His round featured just 25 points, six less than
in Thursday’s round of 77 when he made only one birdie to go with
eight bogeys.
Hedblom’s first foray into the Open didn’t come without a little travel
woes. Actually, he arrived in the U.S. last Saturday night just fine, but
his club had other plans.
"The airline lost them from Stockholm to Newark, so I didn’t get them
in Newark," said Hedblom. "And then they were in Newark for a
couple of days and then they turned up."
That was on Tuesday at 11:20 a.m. and Hedblom had arranged a
practice round for noon. The airline informed him they would get to
Pinehurst by Monday night. He had to use a another set from his
equipment manufacturer, even though the shafts were a bit different.
"My coach, Gary Gilchrist, called [the airline] and put pressure on
them," added Hedblom. "He told them we really need those clubs.
Actually a nice guy at Continental helped me to find them."
So Hedblom had a pretty good excuse for that opening-round
stumble. But after Friday’s brilliant round, he moved up 83 spots from
113th to 30th. And it could go even lower depending how the
afternoon wave performs.
"It’s just going to be fun to play the last 36 holes," he said.
Sounds familiar doesn’t it? During a practice round, Gore was
strolling the fairways when he accounted a USGA agronomist
working the grounds. The agronomist yelled "Olin Browne." Gore
politely walked by with his glaring smile and politely corrected him.
"No," Gore said, "I’m much better looking."
This weekend, we’ll find out if he can play that way, too.

Realtime Scoring (click here)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Giants Win First Series in Weeks

Giants pelt Twins with seven-run ninthVizquel goes 5-for-6 with four RBIs in 18-hit gameBy Rich Draper /

MINNEAPOLIS -- San Francisco erupted for seven runs in the ninth inning to score a 14-7 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night at the Metrodome. Losing pitcher Joe Nathan (1-3) walked Moises Alou and Ray Durham to start the frame, then Pedro Feliz cracked a two-RBI single past diving shortstop Luis Rodriguez for the game-winning blow.

Omar Vizquel went 5-for-6 with four RBIs, while three hits by San Francisco catcher Yorvit Torrealba tied a career high. Feliz drove in three runs with three hits.

The Giants, who had a season-high 18 hits, won consecutive games for the first time since mid-May, and broke a five-series losing streak.

San Francisco was in trouble right away as the Twins roughed up pitcher Brett Tomko for four runs on six hits in the first inning, thanks to Joe Mauer's two-run homer and Justin Morneau's two-RBI single.

But San Francisco chipped back with a run in the second, then scored three runs in the third off Twins starter Joe Mays to tie it at 4. An error by left fielder Shannon Stewart kept the runs unearned.

The Giants weren't through. Vizquel slammed an RBI triple, then scored on rookie Adam Shabala's infield grounder in the fourth. Shabala also had a sac fly in his Major League debut.
Lew Ford's three-run homer in the fifth put the Twins into a temporary 7-6 lead until the eighth, when the Giants tied it on Vizquel's RBI.

U S OPEN NEWS.......Coming Soon!

Two at the top Browne, Mediate share one-shot lead at U.S. OpenPosted: Thursday June 16, 2005 11:26AM; Updated: Thursday June 16, 2005 9:00PM PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) -- Olin Browne strolled to the cup as his 18-foot putt dropped on the toughest hole at Pinehurst No. 2, making it look like just another routine birdie.Hardly.
Not on this course. Not at this U.S. Open.
Browne's birdie -- one of only four at the 16th hole Thursday -- did not go unnoticed. As he headed to the next tee, a voice from atop the grandstand yelled out that it was the first birdie of the day. Browne raised two clenched fists above his head in mock triumph and finished out a 3-under 67 for a share of the lead with fellow longshot Rocco Mediate.
But that might be as good as it gets.
"I think we've seen the easiest it has to offer," Browne said. "I would hope they don't look at a couple of red numbers on the board and flip out tonight."
Just like it did six years ago, Pinehurst brought out the best in the big names at the U.S. Open, from defending champion Retief Goosen (68) to Masters champion Tiger Woods (70), with a couple of surprises in between.
No matter their experience or pedigree, all of them looked ahead to the next three days with trepidation.
"It played right on the edge today," Phil Mickelson said after a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 69. "And if it gets any harder, which I'm sure it will, and any tougher as the week wears on, it's going to be almost impossible to shoot a round under par."
Only nine players managed to do that in the opening round on a day so hot and sunny that workers occasionally hosed down the greens to keep them from getting baked. In the first round of the '99 U.S. Open, played in cooler, damp conditions, there were 23 rounds under par.
Everyone knew it would be tough.
No one could have imagined Browne and Mediate would handle it the best. Both were among only four players who made birdie on the 492-yard 16th hole, which played more than half a stroke over par.
Mediate has been saddled by back injuries the last two years, and he had not made a cut in two months on the PGA Tour when he showed up at sectional qualifying and made it with two shots to spare. His back straightened out, he continued his fine play, carried along by a 50-foot eagle on the par-5 10th.
Browne hasn't had his full PGA Tour card the last two years, and it appeared he had no hope of making it to the U.S. Open this year. He opened his sectional qualifier 10 days ago with a 73 and was about to withdraw when he decided to give it at least nine more holes. He wound up with a 59 to get a ticket to Pinehurst.
"There's absolutely no correlation between qualifying for the Open and playing in the Open, other than it gets you here," Browne said. "I would rather shoot under par at the Open than 59 screwing around at home."
Anything under par at Pinehurst is cause for celebration.
Goosen, trying to become only the second back-to-back champion in the last 50 years, was joined at 68 by Lee Westwood of England and Brandt Jobe, who got it to 4 under before bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes.
"I had an L-wedge from the middle of the fairway and I barely kept it on the green by one foot," Jobe said. "I don't know how you're supposed to do it. We got to kind of our limit this afternoon of not being able to keep a ball on the green."
Former U.S. Open champion Steve Jones, K.J. Choi and Luke Donald were at 69.
Woods and Vijay Singh, the Nos. 1 and 2 players in the world, both got around the Donald Ross design in 70, along with David Toms and Adam Scott. Two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els made a late birdie for 71, joined by Sergio Garcia and Masters runner-up Chris DiMarco.
Add it up, and the top nine players in the world were separated by four shots.
"Any time you shoot even par in the Open, you ought to feel pretty good -- and especially this one," Woods said. "This golf course tests you more probably than any other."
Mediate likes it that way.
"It's the ultimate examination of your game," he said. "There's no maybes. It gives you what's happening with what you're trying to do. You don't get to play unless you drive the golf ball. If you drive it bad all day, you have no chance."
Woods somehow managed. His opening tee shot was so far to the right that it cleared the rough and landed on a sandy path, allowing him to rip a 3-wood to the edge of a greenside bunker on the par-5 10th and make birdie.
More adventure followed on the 336-yard third hole, where several big hitters tried to drive the green. Woods hit toward some trees to the right, but it bounced out toward the green and he was able to chip up and get par.
Mickelson got caught in some of the sandy, bare patches around the green and paid the price, chipping too far on the seventh and coming up some 25 feet short on the 16th, both leading to bogeys.
But the runner-up in 1999 -- a major he was certain was his to win -- continued to have good vibes at Pinehurst, making two early birdies to put his name among the leaders and not straying too far. Despite bogeys on the 15th and 16th, he holed the birdie putt on his final hole to break par.
Still, he issued a warning for the next three days.
"It's just really hard, with the greens being table tops," he said. "Being able to land the ball on a surface ... where you carry a bunker and get it to stop on a green, we're real close to not being able to do it."
Asked to expand on his thoughts, Mickelson cut off the question and said, "It just was tough."
No need telling that to 51-year-old Jay Haas. He was leading after the first round last year at Shinnecock Hills. He failed to make a single birdie at Pinehurst, and his 82 was his highest score in 26 years at the U.S. Open.
This was simply the first lap around the track, and the idea was to avoid a big wreck.
Els had to make a 15-foot par putt on his opening hole -- a par 5, no less -- and was 2 over for the tournament until picking up one of only 10 birdies on the par-3 sixth and getting off the course with a 71.
"I didn't play myself out of the tournament," he said.
Goosen, Els and Woods all have a chance to win their third U.S. Open this week, and Goosen might have the best game for that. He missed only two greens -- an astounding feat at Pinehurst -- in his round of 68.
Goosen, who mentioned the lack of attention he received as defending champion earlier in the week, declined to stop for interviews after his round.
Singh missed only four greens, but again far too many putts that kept him at even par. He had few complaints, considering his knee was acting up on him, making it difficult to mark his ball or crouch very long to study putts. Then again, the last time it felt like that, he won the Canadian Open.
Complaints were minimal, shocking for the U.S. Open.
But it was only Thursday.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Exuberance of the Moment

James G. Lakely of the Washington Times posted a story today referring to the continuing saga of the disintegration of the Democratic Party and the "Dean Unhinged" debacle. Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin has blamed the "Right Wing" and the media for the embarrassing comments coming from the left.

The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate yesterday blamed "the right wing" and elements of the press "in service to it" for repeating Howard Dean's remarks about Republicans and inflating them out of proportion. "I think we all understand what's happening with you all," said Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, in remarks echoing Hillary Rodham Clinton's blaming a "vast right-wing conspiracy" for her husband's legal-ethical woes. "The right wing has got the agenda moving. Fox [News Channel] and everybody's got the agenda. It's all about Howard Dean. You've bought into it," Mr. Durbin said.

Once again the responsibility (or lack of) for the minority's promiscuous handling of their current position in this country is being blamed on the Republicans and their "right-wing media friends". To concede that it may be the fault of their own constituency appears out of the question or, (at least), out of their comprehension.

PEGGY NOONAN's essay, "Seeing Red" posted yesterday in the Opinion Journal just about says it all about the state of the Democratic Party and it's direction. I was just as impressed with the comments posted after her story~~

'Special Delivery' Bob Phelps - Live Oak, Fla.
This column should be special delivered to every politician in Washington, D.C., every political aide, every political commentator. This is how a person with class administers a sound thrashing to someone who truly needs it.
With honesty and gentleness that is her style of writing, Ms. Noonan has made Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Dean and their followers hang their heads in shame. Or, if the two of them had the common decency that is so eloquently depicted here, they should hang their heads in shame.
Somehow, though, I don't think either of them will be shown this item by their aides and they will go on being the jackasses they truly are. And that is comforting in a way. It is saddening that their braying has sunk so low, but the bright side is that a majority of Americans seem to be able to see it for what it is. I pray that Mrs. Clinton continues to show her true self, but I am fearful that she might wise up and hide it, as she has tried to do recently. Beware.

Don't Be Afraid to Speak Out Alice Felt - Walla Walla, Wash.
Well, good for the Republicans for generally being "generous, mature, and fair-minded," even when faced with the likes of Howard and Hillary. I guess we should all just shut up, invite the Democrats over for tea and discuss the weather. Right? In fact, how rude to point out Chairman Dean's deficiencies. Can't we all just get along, or in other words, can't the Republicans rollover and let the Democrats rule? That would be the polite thing, wouldn't it? Then maybe someday Peggy Noonan can explain to my grandchildren why they have socialized medicine, exorbitant taxation, nationalized industry, a worthless military and a queen in the White House. You know, being a "jerk" is certainly not the ideal, with Howard Dean serving as a fine example, but speaking the truth should be. I hope Republicans are never quiet in that regards.

Thanks Christie Bruce - Bend, Ore.
College-aged demonstraters throwing pies at conservative speakers and these divisive statements are being tolerated, laughed off, and excused away. Thanks for writing about it in a gracious way that exposed the seriousness of the matter.

Let's Hope This Falls on Deaf Ears R. Vance - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Your advice to DNC Chairman Dean and the junior senator from New York is apt and timely. For my part, I hope that no member of the Democratic Party heeds it. The Democratic Party needs to fail, the way the Whigs did, and the Know-Nothings did. The Democratic Party is the party of voter fraud--not only in Chicago, but in Miami, Philadelphia and Seattle. It has abandoned our military while in the field of battle, while aiding our enemies in vain attempts to make political gains out our few errors in the global battle against radical Islam. Americans dare not let the Democrats prosper at the ballot box.

Telling Them Straight C.K. Amos - Princeton, W.Va.
Sooner or later the country's going to tell Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean they stink, act like mean-spirited and spoiled brats and offer nothing constructive--and then reject them?
We the majority already have. They, the liberals and Democrats, as well as the advocacy media, just haven't listened. Or, rather, they're all so far up that river called cognitive dissonance they can't or won't find their way back. But wait until 2006 and 2008 and they'll know for sure, if the elephants don't blow it.
Meanwhile, in the dark side of ends-justify-the-means civics, Hillary Clinton, with the assistance of John Kerry and others, including Jesse Jackson, continues to paint our elections system as being so dysfunctional as to be unusable. If she and they keep doing that, which they will, no Democrat who loses in the future will ever accept defeat and they'll always cast doubt on elections and create chaos.
Again, what was that about comportment?

What I found confounding as well as amusing was the statements from Dr. Dean arrogantly challenging the Republicans and the media, and then the response from Nancy Pelosi that sums it all up. ~~

Mr. Dean echoed both Mr. Reid's and Mr. Durbin's complaints, telling reporters before the meeting: "We're not going to let the Republicans set the agenda, and to be quite honest, we aren't going to let you set the agenda."

"Any one of us at any given time may say something that might not be acceptable to another part of the party," Mrs. Pelosi said. "I don't associate myself with what he said. I think that it probably was said in the exuberance of the moment."

Exuberance of the Moment? ~~~~~~~~ Yee Haw Nancy!

Any Questions? :)


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Socialism Alive and Well, (and thriving) in California.

Apparently, a three billion dollar increase in school spending for this years budget is not enough. According to Daniel Weintraub of the Sacramento Bee, if the Governor doesn't keep his campaign promises, the Republicans should agree to a tax increase or face a similar ballot devised by hollywood's Rob Rienhart von-something's re-distribution of wealth. Being fiscally responsible is not a consideration for most of the Dems in this state. The tax and spend mentality seems to be still thriving well in the Golden State.The scary part is, (according to someone's poll) Riener's Proposition will pass by a firm majority of voters. But, again that "majority" derives from only two regions of the entire state, the Bay area (SF) and LA. The rest of the state is committed to lowering taxes and tightening the belt on spending.

Read Weintraub's Story Here

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Is It June Already?

Started a long-awaited project up at the Thompson's Estate out towards Blue Lake. We got about 200 feet down last night after moving most of the living room elsewhere. Rich and KT have a wonderful place that has lots of comforts and amenities on 4 acres, including about a half acre of terraced gardening, a fish pond (under construction), a horse, goat, two dogs, and a cat. I'm sure I've missed some other critters that I haven't seen yet. Anyways, Rich and I are gonna take today off and go play golf with the Pastori/Stierlin crew up at Baywood. If I can git my "slice" straightened out a bit, I may help my team out. If not, it's gonna be a long day. :)

Where the heck did May go? If this is any indication of how time is flying, the summer's gonna go by like a 747 across the blue sky. Gonna head down to Monterey for the Blues Festival at the end of this month. My good friend Glenn Maxon is the Asst. Director for the festival and says he has a place for me to land for the three days. No free tickets here folks, the whole concert is near sold out.

I still want to try to make a quick trip up to Graeagle before July to fish a bit up on the Feather. Ross says the waters near perfect, which means there's a "brown" waitin for my nightcrawler. And yes I do believe in the motto "Catch and Release in Garlic and Butter". Yummy!

Speaking of Maxon, I was up at his moms place on Humboldt Hill with John and Melody movin everything out of the kitchen and dining room for a major remodel. My fee, (paid in advance) was Shirleys slightly used dishwasher and it's a beauty. Mine went down about a year ago and I've been hand washin' ever since. Now, instead of a pile of dishes on the right of my countertop, I can hide 'em in the washer. :)

No politics today here. There's plenty on the "links". Have a great day and God bless.


Update: Couldn't help it. This Washington Times Op-Ed pokes a little fun at a WaPo "analysis" of the direction the President and the Leadership is taking. It's moving to the right. Duh! :)