Ben’s Bethpage Blog

June 18, 2009

“It was a strange day, a day of waiting. I got to the course and we all knew it was going to rain, we just didn’t know how much. But, you have to be ready for anything.

“We teed off at 9:03 and it was raining pretty hard, but there was no threat of lightning so we knew we would play until there was just too much water on the fairways and greens.

“I started on the 10th hole, a par four, and hit my drive into a bunker on the right side. My second shot was off the green by about six feet. I didn’t hit a very good shot from the bunker and left it 12 feet short. But, I stepped up and made the putt for a par. That was a good start, a par on my first US Open hole and I got up down to do it.

“On the 11th hole I hit a drive right down the middle. I had just 180 yards to the green and hit a five iron into the wind. I hit it into a bunker on the left because I pulled the shot. I hit my bunker shot seven feet from the hole and missed the putt for par.

“On the 12th hole I hit a good drive again, but still had 230 left to the green. I hit a good shot with a two-iron and it settled on the green about 30 feet from the hole. About 20 seconds after I hit that second shot, the horn blew to suspend round. I had the option to finish the hole, but there was a lot of water settling on the green, so I marked my ball.

“I made the mark with three tees because with the weather you don’t know what will happen with that marker. As it is, I am sure they will cut the greens in the morning, so I assume the greens keepers pick up the marks and put the back.

“So, tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM I will start with a 30 foot putt for birdie on the 12th green.

“The horn sounded about 10:15 AM and we got back to the clubhouse around 10:45 AM. It took a while to shuttle all those players back to the clubhouse. Everyone but my mom went back to the hotel. That is my mom, she didn’t want to risk play starting back up and she missing a shot so she stayed until the USGA called off the round. That’s my mom!

“It was quite a site in the clubhouse. There were about 150 players in there, all the great players in the world, just kind of hanging out. You had the 78 players who were on the course and the rest had come to practice for their round.

“I had lunch around noon and hung out in the clubhouse with Patton Kizzire, a player from Auburn, who is an alternate. That is a tough deal, because he came to New York not knowing if he was going to get in, and with the rain delay, he still won’t know until tomorrow when the last player tees off.

“Around 2:00 PM they called off the round so I went to a movie with Michael Sims (my caddie) and a couple of friends who are up for the tournament. We saw “The Hangover”. We then grabed a bite to eat and got back to the hotel room around 7:30 PM.

“It will be an early night for me….lights out around 9:00 PM because I will go to the course around 5:45 AM. I will have breakfast first, hit a few putts and shots from the range. Then, at 7:00 AM they will take us to our holes and the horn is suppose to go off at 7:30 AM.

“I probably won’t start my second round until Saturday because I have one of the last tee times for the second round.

“It was an interesting and long day. I have to laugh because I can say that I am tied with Tiger Woods after the first day of the United States Open.

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