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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life is the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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Monday, June 22

The VertigOpen

A few secondary comments about the course and the tournament. I was happy that Jordan Spieth won it. I was sad that Dustin Johnson sort of spit up on his shoes in front of millions of golf fans. Every golfer, pro or lousy amateur, knows what it feels like to spit up on one’s shoes. It’s all about the pressure, even if it’s only the pressure on that first drive in front of six or seven people in your Sunday Nassau. The pressure this past weekend at the U. S. Open would have been tremendous for those in the hunt to win it all. Rory McElroy did his “roary” thing on the front nine but couldn’t quite finish it on the back nine. Billy Horschel demonstrated his anger and frustration at the greens when he nearly planted his putter into the sixth green, then later in an interview said he’d lost respect for the USGA for having them play on these awful greens. Ian Poulter called the greens disgraceful, the worst he’d ever seen. Chris Kirk, who took a sextuple 10 on the first hole on Sunday, said on Twitter, “The USGA should be ashamed of what they did to it [the U. S. Open] this week.” This tournament at Chambers Bay might well have been called The VertigOpen, reflecting the nausea that Jason Day felt during his final two rounds, reflecting the nausea that a lot of the participants must have been feeling but were too intimidated by the USGA to express. The course looked awful on television, with its steel-gray fairways and greens and countless bunkers, with its nearly vertical cliffs overhanging some of its greens, with its severely canted and mounded fairways, with its silvery, mounded greens that required some shots to behave like steel balls in a pin-ball machine. Two examples: Jason Day hit his drive on #4 left of center and then watched it bounce 90 degrees to the right and go forty yards into the fescue rough. He managed to get his second shot onto the green but was left with about a fifty foot putt. He played it way left, trying to negotiate a ridge between him and the cup. He left it about forty feet short. Not in any of the tournaments I’ve watched, and I’ve watched a bunch, have I ever seen a putt of fifty feet come up forty feet short. But now I have, here at Chambers Bay. Another example of the luck involved instead of the skill. J. B. Holmes had a shot of ninety yards into the #1 green on Sunday. It landed fifteen feet short of the pin but dead on line, then inched its way down the slope to the left, then raced down the hill and came to rest about sixty yards from the pin. What?! He then hit a sixty-yard shot onto the green that didn’t quite make it over the shelf, then turned around and came back to his feet, sixty yards away. What?!

I guess that’s enough examples of why I think the U. S. Open should never again be scheduled for this Chambers Bay location.

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