Former Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band drummer Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez, who quit the band because he "didn't blindly follow Bruce," will be backing up a different boss next week in San Francisco, Ian O'Conner of ESPN.com reports. Lopez was on the bag yesterday for Mark McCormick, a 49-year-old New Jersey club pro, who posted a 36-hole score of 4 under par to pick up one of the four spots up for grabs in the U.S. Open field at the Olympic Club. Unfortunately for Lopez, that means a week off from his current lounge act, License to Chill.
"Vini's the real celebrity out here," McCormick said. Lopez said he would cancel his band appearances to travel to San Francisco with his man. The drummer they called Mad Dog has been a longtime caddie and caddie master in Jersey, and he wants a piece of the big time.
"When you're on stage at Giants Stadium with Bruce," Lopez said, "the lights are on us and it's total darkness in the crowd. You don't see the people, you hear them. At Olympic, you'll see everyone. The people are right there."
The caddie wants to see Tiger and Phil more than the drummer wants to see the Boss. "Bruce calls and says, 'Hey Vini, I haven't seen you in a while, so why don't you come down and hang out?'" Lopez said. "Bruce calls me when he needs me."
After looping for McCormick the last 22 years, looks like Lopez will at last stop hiding on golf's backstreets.
Sabbatini, Levin among notables who failed to qualify for U.S. Open
So you know Davis Love III and Casey Martin are headed back to Olympic for next week's U.S. Open. But it's the morning after, and it's time to count casualties from Sectional Qualifying, which wrapped up at nine courses yesterday. (The last two -- in Oregon and Tennessee -- are slated to finish up in the next couple days.)
At the top of the heap is Spencer Levin, who followed up a disappointing Sunday in Ohio with a disappointing Monday in Ohio. Both Levin, currently ranked 61st in the world, and Memorial runner-up Rory Sabbatini posted two-round scores of 5-over, five shots out of the playoff at even par.
Sabbatini and Levin weren't the only notables on the wrong side of the cut line in a stacked Columbus qualifier. Big names who won't be at Olympic include Camillo Villegas, who delivered the dreaded, always mysterious NC ("no card"), Ricky Barnes, who withdrew after carding a first round at 1-over, Ohio-native Ben Curtis, who finished two shots off the qualifying score, and Ryan Moore, who finished three strokes out.
Tahoe casino sets odds on celebrity golf event, makes Romo favorite
Coming to a bookie near you: Tony Romo (5/2) is the favorite to win the American Century Celebrity Golf Champion next month in Tahoe, according to The Sacramento Bee. For those who bet on stuff like that. Or those who care. Longer shots: Charles Barkley, Kevin Nealon, Dennis Haysbert are coming in early at 500-1. So you're saying there's a chance...
"America's Finest News Source" (i.e., The Onion), is doing our job for us with this Tiger headline: "Tiger Woods Back Again After Being Back From Being Back. Or, you know, making fun of us. We earnest folks at Golf.com stuggle with snark.
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