I don't often make all out pleas. While they may seam like it, more often then not my textual rambling are mearly suggestion. But I am changing that for now. Theirs an old song called "I need a hero." More or less, I have a smiler request. The 2009 U.S Open needs a hero.... and fast.
Unless weather forcastinng and storm pattern tracking is your thing, this weeks' Major championship has been devoid of anything for the golf fan to latch on to. It largely lacks the story line that makes a week like this special. Sure, Phil Mickleson has been as good as anyone could have realistically hoped for, but he still sits seven shots back going into the third round. Plus, that story line hasn't had a chance to fully materialize between the ropes. None of this is anyone's fault, either. Unless you count Mother Nature in the "anyone" category.
The wash out on Thursday did way more damage to the flow of this tournament then I thought it would. It seems like the uncertainty of the weather has affected many of the players. Golfers are, just like any athlete, creatures of habit. When that habit is destroyed on the grandest of stages, its bound to have some sort of effect. Like it or not, players rounds have been greatly aided or hindered by the time of day that they play. Players are playing on three different golf courses within one day. The players who play before the rain are playing a course that may not even resemble that of a player who played during the rain and mist or after the precipitation has fallen. Their is nothing that can be done about this, nor do I think qualifying it as "unfair" is accurate, but its worth noting regardless. While changing tee time conditions are part of the game, it is rarely seen in the extreme, as it was on Saturday. The same can be said for the disruption of rounds. Bad rounds can turn into good and visa versa very quickly when the round is played over two afternoons. All of these factors have hurt the flow of the tournament.
To avoid the 2009 Bethpage Black open being remembered for the wild weather conditions and becoming one of the more forgettable in recent memory, a big time story needs to develop in the last two rounds. And no, it doesn't have to involve Phil or Tiger. The Masters in April was filled with fantastic plots on the final day, culminating with a three way playoff that will be written about in all conclusive tournament history narratives from now on. That playoff involved neither Phil or Tiger. In fact, by mid day the two were largely non stories (despite playing together).
Although Ricky Barns(leading at -8) and Lucas Glover (one behind at -7) may not excite anyone, here's something that might- the unlikely reemergence of David Duval. Remember this guy? Once ranked numero uno in the world, Duval has fallen hard. How hard? Try about 882 places. Duval sits 234 on the money list, 207th in the FedEx cup points, and has had to hang his hat on the number 55 this season. 55 you ask? That's his highest finish this season. A long cry from number one. Duval's fall was hard and rather unceremonious. But now, inexplicably, Duval is tied for Fourth at three under par. Duval has taken the most unlikely time to send "remember me?" cards out to all his buddies. Not that he has a whole lot. He's not a very likable guy, in fact some think he's one of the more unlikable players on the whole tour. But he may be all this Major has at this point. He may, in a weird way, be what this major needs.
If done right, the Duval story over the next two rounds could wash away the current wash out. Tiger's not in contention. Phil is on the edge. Last years hero, Roco "The sweatiest man in golf" Mediate, has slipped to 34th after a strong start. Left standing is someone who was left for dead. Someone who was tossed in the dumpster of the PGA tour and spit on in the process. David Duval is the hero that can save this Open.
Unless Mike Weir winning his second major thrills you?...Yeah, didn't think so.