Open Weekend

My version of “heaven on earth” is now complete. The US Open was a fantastic event – and while I was out there all week doing stories for the newscast, my favorite day was Sunday. That was because it was not only the final round, but also Sharon and I got a chance to go as fans.

We took the afternoon to walk the course — see the various holes — watch various players at work and bask in the sunshine of a glorious June day in western Pennsylvania. We also got a real up-close look at the “Tiger Effect” in all it’s splendor.
It was 2pm and Tiger was on the practice tee warming up when he went over to the putting and chipping area. As he strode over to the rough, he looked buff and muscular in his form-fitting red top and black pants. As he moved, so did the throng which encircled the practice area. They watched quietly as he putted and chipped, truly an amazing scene when you consider people around here are known for yelling and screaming at sporting events. There were more people – hundreds – watching him warm up than were watching the action on the adjacent 18th fairway. Finally, when he was done, as he walked away he received a standing ovation — for just chipping and putting!!!

We were fortunate to watch the dramatic final round unfold from one of the tents – and it was amazing all the famous faces on hand there. We met the wife of Governor Rendell and just missed former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor – who I understand played golf with Arnold Palmer the day before.

We also enjoyed some wonderful food and beverages – as well as the thrill of being at the premiere sporting event of that day. It was also nice because we got to spend some quality time with some dear friends – Tony and Amy Dias. Tony is a long-time friend and Oakmont member and served on the committee hosting the event. He – and the entire golf club community should take pride in putting on a world class show. A show that won’t be coming back to Oakmont until 2015 at the earliest.

The other hilight – at least for me – was seeing all of western Pennsylvania show up along the fairways. It was great seeing people I knew every few feet — friends, acquaintances and co-workers — strolling along the course. While Oakmont was the host, it was the entire region that made it a success and you should be proud.

BTW, I bought way too much golf stuff — hats, shirts, bag tags. Although I will say I am NOT one of “those” people who purchased the four-set of shirts Tiger wore during each day of the competition. Yes, you could actually buy the same shirt he was wearing — but let’s be honest – that tight shirt would not look good on me.
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