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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 in 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.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, July 22

The Open, 2015

Another really long golf weekend, with the Open going about ten hours a day, which included a rare Monday round because of the awful playing conditions on Friday. I realize how much golfers love the Old Course, set in that barren Scottish landscape, but I wonder how many are lying because they don’t want to offend the old Lady or their Scotsmen hosts. All that tradition, they sigh, Swilcan Bridge and that hateful 17th Road Hole; the Swilcan Burn that snakes its watery way through the course, just waiting for an ill-struck shot like Tiger’s on the first hole on Thursday; the colorfully named bunkers, like Lion’s Mouth, Principal’s Nose, Spectacles on #5, three Coffins on #13, Hell on #14, and The Sands of Nakajima on #17, so named for poor Tommy Nakajima who in 1978 took four shots to get out; that dreaded deep depression in front of and to the left of the 18th green, appropriately named the Valley of Sin; saying goodbye to aging past winners like Tom Watson and Nick Faldo; saying goodbye to Ivor Robson, the squeaky-voiced fellow who has announced the players at the first tee since 1975. At least this time around the Old Course was green instead of tan, and it was a bunch better than what we saw in the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. But still, all that rain and wind and the silliness of balls rolling and rolling away in the wind. Yuck! Tiger missed the cut by a bunch and once more we’re all wondering if he’ll ever get his game back. Watching him lately is like observing a train wreck: we see such awfulness but we can’t turn away from all the blood and carnage. There were a number of good plot lines this year: Jordan Speith’s pursuit of that record for three Majors in a row; Dustin Johnson’s magic act in which the Magnificent Dustin showed us his disappearing act; Paul Dunne, the wonderful British amateur who led the field after three rounds, and his meltdown in the final round (Poor kid couldn’t stand that last round pressure); and, of course, Zach Johnson’s gritty performance on Monday, setting the bar at minus 15 with his lovely putt for birdie on the last hole, carding a 66 that tied for low round of the day, and then holding off Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen in the four-hole playoff. It was a great win for Zach, who has to be near the top of the list for nice, humble pro golfers. Justin Speith was gracious in his loss. That 4-putt on the par-3 eighth cost him the title, and the five 3-putts on Friday were uncharacteristic of the young phenom. The analysts in the booth kept talking about how Speith could become only the second to win the first three majors of the year, joining Ben Hogan. But they never mentioned that he would also become the only golfer in history to have a chance to win all four in a calendar year. Hogan never had that chance since the PGA in 1953 was scheduled for the same weekend as the Open. Now we have the PGA to look forward to, with Rory and Jordan duking it out, maybe even seeing if the long hitters like Dustin and Bubba and Phil can make it a contest. Or maybe it will be the tactician Zach who comes out on top.
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