Category: 2011 U.S. Open

June 18, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Blogger identifies man who crashed U.S. Open trophy presentation

Posted at 3:21 PM by Mark Dee

The mystery of the U.S. Open trophy-presentation crasher, who charged onto the 18th green at Olympic Club in a Union Jack hat and made a bird noise before being roughly escorted off by the USGA's Mike Davis, has been solved.

According to Awful Announcing's Matt Yoder, the rooster-ish gent is a 40-year-old man from the U.K. who goes by "Jungle Bird." Writes Yoder:

Jungle Bird's Facebook page describes himself as a "fictional character" and "activist dedicated to raising awareness of deforestation :-)." Perhaps yesterday's episode will push him above 100 likes on Facebook.

Yes, we know this guy did it for attention. And yes, we know Truth & Rumors is providing that attention. But let's turn to the tape anyway:

Just to hit some highlights:

- The entrance: Out of focus, in your face.

- The distant, owlish look  and posture that accompany the call. This guy's no amateur. Sorry, Beau.

- Bob Costas's nasal flare.

- Webb Simpson's "I just won the U.S. Open" dismissal of the British bird.

- And then we have Davis, who sets up the courses for the U.S. Open. All indications are that he takes that task very seriously. To him, the presentation of the trophy is borderline sacrament. So seeing him defend his hallowed turf like Office Linebacker Terry Tate? Well, that's just fine with us.

A New Cigar Guy?
Not all the characters at Olympic were quite so...avian.

It’s been a lean, stogie-free couple of years since the 2010 Ryder Cup, when Cigar Guy became an Internet sensation. According to Deadspin, he may have a new disciple out there. Note the guy in the old-school outfit hanging out behind Jim Furyk on Sunday at the U.S. Open:

  Cigar man


Of course, given what we saw in the waning hours of the Open, this guy might be the most level-headed, normal dude in the city of San Francisco.

Cantlay to go pro?
Soon after Patrick Cantlay wrapped up his T42 at the U.S. Open Sunday, speculation sparked around the No. 1 ranked amateur. The Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard reported:

According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, amateur Patrick Cantlay plans to turn professional after this week's U.S. Open, although the 20-year-old said on Sunday at The Olympic Club that he has not made a decision…

…Cantlay, 20, who recently completed his sophomore season at UCLA and was runner-up at last year's U.S. Amateur, is playing next week's Travelers Championship and is scheduled to hold a news conference on Tuesday afternoon at TPC River Highlands.

Despite Cantlay's denial, sources say he plans to sign with Tiger Woods' manager Mark Steinberg with Excel Sports Management. asked Steinberg about his relationship with Cantlay Sunday at Olympic and he declined to comment.

The timing makes a lot of sense for Cantlay, who shot a 60 in Hartford last year. Clearly, the course agrees with him. As for signing with Steinberg, I'll offer this: You can't go wrong following Tiger Woods along the narrow fairway of turning golf into business. That said, who would wear a "PC" logo?

Obama hits 100 (rounds)
Barack Obama spent Father's day with loved ones: nine of his favorite Nike VR Full Cavity irons, a few choice Sasquatch fairway woods, and his pride and joy, a Taylor Made R11 driver. Obama logged the 100th round of his term on Sunday, according to Good Morning America:

President Barack Obama's love of golf hit a milestone today as he marked his 100th time on the links. His Father's Day achievement was reached at the Beverly Country Club in his hometown, the windy city…

…Obama was in Chicago this weekend to attend the wedding Saturday of longtime friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett's daughter. As of press time it is unknown if his family has further Father's Day plans, but first lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to deliver a commencement address at Oregon State University this afternoon.

Tonight the president embarks directly for Los Cabos, Mexico, from this city for a G20 summit.

I hope he brings his sticks. Summits are held at resorts for a reason, and that reason is to challenge Putin to a 5-ruble Nassau.

Obama has come under attack from Republican rivals for his golfing habit, but, according to the article, he's nowhere close to the White House's most prolific player. Woodrow Wilson reportedly logged 1,200 rounds across his two terms -- that's roughly a round every 2.5 days.

Rumor has it the secret service painted golf balls black so Wilson could practice on the White house lawn in the winter.

Golf fans watching the final group Sunday may remember this clip of Graeme McDowell's tee shot into the par-three 15th hole (15 seconds in):

Yes, the fan said, “Yabba-Dabba-Do.” And, yes, it was awesome. Once.  Just like “Get in the Hole!” and “You Da Man!” and “Mashed Potatoes!”, this one will get old fast.

Tweet of the Day


November 07, 2011

VIDEO GALLERY: Watch the best shots of 2011

Posted at 1:48 PM by

We know you remember Bill Haas’s $11 million up-and-down from the water, but what about Bubba Watson’s driver off the deck at Kapalua, or Steve Stricker’s ridiculous fairway bunker shot at the John Deere? Watch the year’s best shots and then tell us which was the greatest of them all. 

1. Bill Haas up and down from water at Tour Championship:

2. Rory McIlroy holes out for eagle in second round of U.S. Open.

3. Rory McIlroy hits tee shot on No. 10 to within a foot on Sunday at U.S. Open.

Watch at official U.S. Open site here.

4. Bubba Watson hits driver off deck from a downhill lie in first round at Kapalua to reach 663-yard par-5 18th hole in two:

5. Charl Schwartzel chips in for birdie on No. 1 on Masters Sunday.

6. Charl Schwartzel holes out from the fourth fairway for eagle on Masters Sunday.

Watch at official Masters site here.

7. Phil Mickelson asks caddie Bones Mackay to tend pin for 70-yard wedge shot on 72nd hole at Torrey Pines:

8. Keegan Bradley’s birdie putt on 17 on Sunday at PGA Championship.

Watch at official PGA site here.

9. D.A. Points holes out on 14 in final round at AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am:

10. Hunter Mahan from water on 17 in first round of Tour Championship, keeps pants clean

11. Steve Stricker from fairway bunker on 72nd hole at John Deere and birdie putt for win

12. Tiger hits his approach to 10 feet on the eighth hole Sunday at Augusta and makes the eagle putt

Watch at official Masters site here.

13. Luke Donald’s 30-foot putt for birdie on 15 Sunday at Disney for sixth-straight birdie.

14. Adam Scott sticks his approach on 18 Sunday at Bridgestone to 5 feet to make birdie

15. Tom Watson’s ace on 6 in second round of British Open

Watch at official Open Championship site here.

This gallery debuted in Golf Magazine's weekly Front9 app. To keep up with the latest golf news, get great tips from the Top 100 Teachers in America, and weekly Rules Guy columns, download the Front9 app at the Apple iTunes store. Lifetime subscription is $2.99.

June 20, 2011

U.S. Open TV ratings down from last year

Posted at 2:50 PM by Scott Miller

Rory_McIlroy Rory McIlroy’s record-breaking performance at the U.S. Open didn't translate to similarly earth-shattering television ratings. NBC earned a 5.1 overnight Nielsen rating –- a 35 percent decrease from the 6.9 number Graeme McDowell’s 2010 victory garnered -- according to the SportsBusiness Journal.

The 2010 tournament was on the West Coast, allowing the telecast to drift well into prime time, while Sunday’s NBC telecast ended around 7:45 p.m. EST. Another factor was Tiger Woods, who missed this year's tournament with injuries to his knee and Achilles' tendon. Last year Woods was in contention during the final round and finished in a tie for fourth.

NBC’s Sunday numbers peaked at 7.4 from 7-7:30 p.m., when McIlroy was putting the finishing touches on his first-career major championship.

(Photo: Carlos M. Saavedra/SI)

June 19, 2011

McIlroy returns to Twitter with picture of U.S. Open trophy

Posted at 9:36 PM by

Rory McIlroy, one of the most popular tweeters in golf, has been noticeably absent from the social-media site this week. McIlroy's last tweet was on June 14, but minutes after finishing off an eight-shot victory at Congressional, McIlroy tweeted a picture of the U.S. Open trophy as he sat in the press room.


On Monday afternoon, McIlroy tweeted another trophy shot, this one for a different perspective.



VIDEO: NBC Sports omits 'under God' from Pledge of Allegiance

Posted at 8:09 PM by Mike Walker

NBC Sports apologized for editing out the phrase “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance in its introduction to the broadcast of Round 4 of the U.S. Open on Sunday.

The omission caused an immediate outcry on Twitter, with at least one post suggesting that people boycott NBC advertisers over the video introduction, which cut between children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and U.S. soldiers raising an American flag on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

NBC Sports announcer Dan Hicks apologized for the omission later in the broadcast.

"Earlier we began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago, and when we did it was our intent to begin the coverage of this U.S. Open championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship being held in our nation’s capital for the third time. Regrettably a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone and we'd like to apologize to those of you that were offended by it."


Earlier we began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago and when we did it was our intent to begin the coverage of this U.S. Open championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship being held in our nation’s capital for the third time. Regrettably a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone and we’d like to apologize to those of you that were offended by it.

Round 4 Live Blog: 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional

Posted at 10:36 AM by

Golf Magazine's Steve Beslow is live blogging the final round of the U.S. Open. Join the discussion below. Leaderboard | Live video at

Mobile users, copy and paste this link to access the blog through your mobile browser:

June 17, 2011

Round 3 Live Blog: 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional

Posted at 5:25 PM by

Golf Magazine's Mike Walker live blogged the third round of the U.S. Open. Leaderboard | Live video at

Mobile users, copy and paste this link to access the blog through your mobile browser:

Zach Johnson says pressure's off after McIlroy's 65-66

Posted at 5:11 PM by Ryan Reiterman

Zach BETHESDA, Md. -- When he was told how many shots Rory McIlroy was leading by, all Zach Johnson could do was shake his head and smile.

Johnson shot a 2-under 69 to finish the day at two under par, which would normally place him in the lead or near the lead at a U.S. Open. But normally someone doesn't shoot rounds of 65-66, like McIlroy has done the first two days at Congressional.

"You know, that's pretty good," Johnson said.

While he's nine shots off McIlroy's lead, Johnson will find himself in one of the final groups on Saturday. The 2007 Masters champion knows there's a long way to go, and McIlroy's closing double bogey proved there are always big numbers lurking in a major.

"I can't control the leaderboard," Johnson said. "I certainly can't control what Rory is doing or anybody. They're just numbers. It's completely irrelevant."

Johnson would seem to have the game to win a U.S. Open. He's accurate off the tee and one of the best putters on the PGA Tour, with a calm, confident demeanor perfect for handling the sucker punches thrown during a major. But in seven trips to the U.S. Open, Johnson has missed four cuts, with his best finish a T45 in 2007 at Oakmont.

"I don't know why that is," Johnson said of his U.S. Open struggles. "I just haven't hit solid shots and putted well."

Now that he's finally playing well, Johnson said he won't change his game plan on the weekend, no matter what McIlroy does. That doesn't mean Johnson can't toss up a few low numbers of his own.

After a good drive on the 555-yard, par-5 sixth hole on Friday, Johnson had 242 yards to the hole, a perfect number for a 3-wood. Johnson caught his second shot a little heavy, and he admitted he was lucky to avoid the water. He left himself about 40 feet for eagle, and drained the putt.

He'll need a few more good bounces if he hopes to win his second major.

"The way I look at it, the pressure is off me," Johnson said. "I'm not the one that's supposed to win it right now."

June 16, 2011

Round 2 Live Blog: 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional

Posted at 9:42 PM by

Sports Illustrated's Farrell Evans is blogging Round 2. Leaderboard | Live video at

Mobile users, copy and paste this link to access the blog through your mobile browser:

Podcast: Live report from Congressional press tent

Posted at 1:33 PM by

Join's David Dusek, CNN's Shane O'Donoghue and SI's Joe Posnanski at 2:15 p.m. Eastern for a 30-minute podcast from the media center at the U.S. Open.

Live Streaming by Ustream.TV

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