Friday, June 15, 2007

John Kelly at the US Open... completely and totally slipped my mind (and apparently everybody else's) that with his finish at the US Amateur last year, not only did Mizzou Golfer John Kelly qualify for the Masters, he also qualified for the US Open at Oakmont. As I said yesterday, I love the US Open because of all the black scores on the board (after one day in perfect conditions, only two players are under par...fantastic), so I was pretty excited to see Kelly only 6 back after Day One. He's +4. Let's see what details we can dig up on his round...

  • After Round One, he's tied for Low Amateur with the hated (by me...for now) Welshman, Rhys Davies. I know nothing about Davies, but his picture really makes him kinda look like the evil, heavily-accented version of ESPN's Rece Davis. Which is unfortunate, since I was picturing a cross between this guy...

    ...and the the Welsh version of this guy*.

  • Kelly was all over the place with his drives, hitting only 6 of 14 fairways (43%, tied for 118th) and only 9 of 18 greens in regulation (50%, tied for 94th). However, his putting was fantastic. His 28 putts placed him tied for 7th in that category.
  • He averaged 307.0 on drives. Not too shabby.
  • With his driving struggles and strong putting, it's not altogether surprising that, looking at his scoring on each hole, he went a bit backwards from the norm--he was E on Par 3's, +3 on Par 4's, and +1 on Par 5's. Usually it's somewhat the opposite.
  • In both the Front 9 and Back 9, he struggled out of the gates, then settled down. His round featured 4 bogies--#2 and #3 on the Front 9 and #11 and #12 (a 667-yard Par 5...seriously, it would take me 5 shots just to find the green...if I'm lucky) on the Back 9.
  • He did par the insane, 288-yard #8, a Par 3, so power to him for that. It would take me a 4-iron and a 9-iron to find the green there.
Other, non-Kelly thoughts on Day One...

  • Jose-Maria Olazabal is still getting it done at 41 (though not in a Tony Kornheiser, "Tina Turner is still getting it done" sort of way). I love that he is still a 10x bigger threat at majors than Sergio Garcia. Granted, he's also 50x more boring, but...oh well. It looked like Sergio was going to make quite the Ballesteros-like villain character, but...well...Seve occasionally won something. Sergio, not so much.
  • Lefty did better than I thought he would do yesterday. Between an iffy wrist and a few weeks' worth of rust, I didn't expect much. Phil was shaky at first, +4 after 11, but he parred the last 8 holes and has started off reasonably well today. Go Lefty!
  • Defending Open champ, Geoff Ogilvy, is cruising steadily along at +1. I'd love it if he stuck around and gave himself a shot at Title #2. He'd easily be the most non-descript back-to-back major champ since Curtis Strange.
  • If I had to pick a winner right now, I'd really have no choice but to cop out and go with Tiger. Any time he's within 3-4 after the first day, you have to like his chances. Now that I've said that, he'll go out and shoot a 79 today. Oh well.

I should mention that I got all of the information above from Fantastic site.

* I'm really not being fair to the Welsh. For all I know, every woman in Wales looks like this: