U.S. Open: McDowell and Oosthuizen have a real connection
On the ninth hole of the U.S. Open on Thursday, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, winner of last year’s U.S. Open, and Louie Oosthuizen of South Africa, winner of last year’s British Open, hit their drives on the monster par five ninth hole. It is a ridiculous 639 yards and, for reasons as yet to be explained, McDowell and Oosthuizen purposely hit short shots off the tee. Maybe the new thing in this U.S. Open will be to get yourself in position for that easy 280-yard three wood.
Anyway, each hit drives 230 yards. Or, maybe 231-1¼ inches. When they got down the fairway, they found the two balls touching. Not side by side. Touching.
“Never saw that before,” McDowell said.
Oosthuizen had to hit first because his ball was on the left, and McDowell said he was grateful that his playing partner hit his shot cleanly, rather than taking a giant divot, out of which McDowell would have had to hit.
Two strange sights on the first day of the U.S. Open on Thursday:
--Stevie Williams, Tiger Woods’ caddy and frequently listed among the highest paid "athletes" in New Zealand because of it, working the bag of Adam Scott. That raises several questions, including whether he got Woods' OK for that and how a guy from New Zealand and a guy from Australia—not usually best of friends—hooked up. The obvious would be to ask, but Williams reacts to interview requests like a mongoose reacts to a rattlesnake.
--Davis Love III, the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain and a guy with a fairly conservative image, walking the fairways in pants that might best be described as “almost hot pink.”
Love is 47, from Charlotte, N.C.
--Bill Dwyre, reporting from Bethesda, Md.
Photo: Graeme McDowell on the 12th hole. Credit: Chris Trotman / Getty Images.