Mullet On The Claret: Cam Smith's Back Nine Charge Takes The 150th Open Championship - Dog Leg News

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Tom Edrington

Tom Edrington spent the first 10 years of his misguided youth as a sports writer for the Tampa Tribune. His career brought him face to face with many of sports greatest stars -- Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Muhammad Ali, Don Shula, countless Hall of Fame NFL stars, more PGA Tour players than he can count. In 1980 he was honored by the Golf Writers Association of America for writing the best news story that year, his coverage of Jack Nicklaus' U.S. Open victory at Baltusrol. Today, 36 years later, golf is still a great part of his life, thanks to competitive playing days and the wonderful people he has met on this fabulous journey.

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  1. 1

    baxter cepeda

    Stoked. I was rooting for viktor over Rory a bit but only because I thought it would be a two man race. Even more stoked Cam won; he has been a stalwart this season and he’s like the coolest guy in golf. Stupendous champion. LIv gonna offer him some maneys!! And of course having won a major he is set for a while there.

    I didn’t get to watch the Open too much as img junior worlds and the girls junior am here in Kentucky have kept me busy.

    The younger one of the girls had a two shot lead starting the last day of junior worlds 13-15, still had it on the 7th tee before pulling a Rory the rest of the way while one of the 3 Japanese girls chasing her went all Cam Smith on her. She dropped all the way to 7th not even matching her top 5 from last year. Those top 5s help because your exempt next year which opens an extra spot for qualifying for another girl in our neck of the woods next year.

    She did bounce back today with a solid first round at girls junior am with +1. She is 40th. Needs one more good round to make the top 64 match play.

    She likely won’t have to worry about her older sister after making a few doubles or worse today …unless she goes absolutely nuts and this stifling Kentucky humidity destroys some tired girls tomorrow. A lot to ask for. But your saying there’s a chance. Not really. But gotta hold out some hope.

    Another good player No one will have to worry about is mega Ganne who was DQd for some reason. Haven’t learned why yet.

    On another note I spoke at length with a usga offical about the cart and caddie issues at usga junior championships. The combination of no parent caddies and ridiculous standards of rules for caddies to get carts creates too big a headache for too many families. The 100$ a loop caddies they provide are mostly kids that don’t golf at all. I refuse. My folks paid to come to caddie being made to believe they would get it but after this ridiculous evaluation process they didn’t. Grandma and grandpa both grinded walking today. No one died which is good. Physician says give them a cart. But the usga comes back with he didn’t says this. He didn’t say that.

    But now I’m boys and on speed dial with this usga guy who is basically jag responsible to be a middle man of complaints. If he cannot talk reason to his not always logical superiors it’s only a matter of time before they have a serious medical issue. I was told a person in their 60s passed out during the practice rounds; not even caddying. I believe grandparents should be offered carts to spectate, much less caddie. Too many grandparents simply cannot enjoy with these rules. And keep in mind I’m out qualifier for this event all the caddies got carts at Hualalai, which is significantly easier to walk than Olde Stone here.

    Also another usga offical who works closely with this guy, misspoke at registration and told my girls they couldn’t use a range finder. She played two holes before realizing other girls were using them. Luckily the thing was still in the bag. We thought we took it out to cut weight for the grandparents.

    But of course I talked to my usga boy about that as well.

    That being said amazing event. College coaches everywhere. All kinds of talent. Beautiful course.

    1. 1.1

      Tom Edrington

      Bax: Not sure how many “officials” at the events are bonafide USGA, a lot of times, and I’ve seen in it upper amateur events here in Florida, they are from the state golf association under the guise of the USGA…..I bet the new guy, Mike Whan, would love to hear from you on this….

  2. 2

    baxter cepeda

    They were both usga.
    In Hawaii it is another organization but the usga could tell them no carts for all caddies. But they didn’t. It’s weird. You would think the haha would expect things at their standards. I do think what they do in Hawaii allowing caddies carts is a very good idea. They do run into a problem of 2 of the 3 caddies in a group having to share carts which is humbug.

    Anyways I had convinced myself it was a volunteer lady that said no slope in practice and no range finder at all for the tourney…but wife and girls were adamant it was the usga official lady; who is actually a pretty sharp lady who we had been dealing with in the Runup to the event. She just misspoke. The new usga rules have created confusion for those who know the rules —like usga officials— while not really helping more players really know the rules. I said that to my boy.

    She was also the official that kept telling my parents they would likely get the cart permit, but even after she said it —knowing the usga —I knew it wasn’t a sure thing. And was not surprised when they didn’t allow. My rn nurse wife of course was surprised considering a physician said they needed a cart. But she didn’t know he didn’t jump through all of the usgas hoops.

    My dad insisted on going back out today despite a friend of the girls here as An alternate offering to caddie. He just finished his second round. Aside from a little heat stroke break on the 17th hole, mike would say he was fine.

    Mom about to go out to caddie. It’s so hot I’m hiding in the car while my other girl hits on the range. Not that I can talk to her much as parents are roped off 40 yards away. Kids walk back to talk to parents if needed but this one isn’t as open to that as much as her sister, who was kinda a bit of a mess again today.
    Anyways time to go walk another 18 and see if one of these 2 can make match play.

    At least the other can say she got further than Ganne.

    1. 2.1

      Tom Edrington

      Surprising they are actual USGA people……even the FSGA runs the U.S. Open qualifiers for the USGA here in Florida…..they need to be specific in rules sheets….they hand out rules sheet in everything I ever competed in except junior golf in the DC metro area and those were posted and it was our individual responsibility to read them…..amazing the amount of confusion as to range finders!!

      1. 2.1.1

        baxter cepeda

        U misunderstood me.

        Yes in Hawaii they use HSGA to run usga qualifiers. But it doesn’t mean the usga can’t ask them to allow or not allow things. I’m surprised the usga lets hsga let all caddies use carts for its qualifiers.but hsga does follow the no parent caddies for the junior qualifiers.

        The two usga officals I was talking about were here in Kentucky at the championship. The woman helped us first. Made a couple mistakes. The man official is the guy in charge of listening to players and families at these championships.

        Anyways. Ava missed 36 hole cut for top 64 by a darn shot.
        Cut was +5. She finished +6. She was +1 with 9 to go, she even had it to -1 overall earlier after making 3 birdies in a row.

        She had a 4 footer on the last for birdie just pass he the hole. 3 putt on 17th hole.

        But the most painful stroke was a tiny 1 foot bogey tap in with 6 holes to go that bounced off the flag and came back towards her. Double.

        I do agree players responsibility to read all material. What I notice these days is they send a lot of emails which you look at, but then they send more emails and suddenly your swimming in their emails plus your other emails so it gets a bit hard finding their pertinent emails. Happens with pga junior league a lot.

        Anyways gonna take a few days to deal with the setbacks. But sooner or later we move on to Cincinnati (not actually going to Cincinnati). We’re actually here in Kentucky for quite a few days now. Know any good caves are kind here ?


          Tom Edrington

          My dad’s family was from a tiny town (Arlington) in Western Ky. Covered football games in Lexington but it’s been a looooong time. Ah, putting…….makes a difference on every level, doesn’t it?


            baxter cepeda

            Yes but Don’t get me wrong she was putting well.

            The flag block was a total fluke. And The 3 putt on the penultimate hole was a tough 2 putt on increasingly slick greens. The miss on 18 she hit it great. Just needed to aim inside the hole. But I can see the reasoning for where she aimed.

            But yes yes yes you will find no bigger proponent for the importance of putting, particularly clutch putting, than yours truly. I think I’ve expressed that plenty.

            Kentucky is a beautiful place. This historic farm we’re staying at alone, I could chill here for quite some time.
            Just wish we had a match or two today.

            #heart broke but we’re not the only ones.

  3. 3

    baxter cepeda

    Btw we just walked the second 18 of the championship match with our girl Yana Wilson —my eldest Friended her while competing at DCP in Augusta in 2019 and her pops is a big boy from Hawaii. So we have that connection.

    It was the absolute hottest most humid stuff I have ever walked in.

    The accomplishment of walking all those rounds since last Saturdays first practice round is downright ridiculously incredible. And to actually play the golf those two ladies were playing (along with Giana Clemente) honestly Tom it was amazing. Those girls were walking zombies that never stopped executing.

    My dad and son of course never came it was so hot. My mom came but said she was done after 9. And wife and girls stayed in the clubhouse at the turn also and almost never came out until I kinda demanded it.

    Im not sure if Yanas pop walked the first 18 today but he did not walk the front nine of the last 18. He did walk the last 9 and was there for the finish. I got a great picture of father -daughter and that poor caddie boy. I could hear him talking to a guy about what a hard weeks work he had.

    I’m telling you everyone that walked that place that many times deserves a usga trophy.

    I know it’s gotta be pretty hot in Florida. Go find the hilliest place you can find and walk 6-7 miles a day for 4 days and about 15 miles the last 3 days. Then you will know what these girls just went through before factoring in swinging a club.

    Just mind blowing stuff.

    1. 3.1

      Tom Edrington

      I watched the match and Yana is indeed, VERY IMPRESSIVE, especially given her age….really nice swing and point out to your daughter that Yana doesn’t let her right elbow get behind her and WOW, what a putting stroke!

      1. 3.1.1

        baxter cepeda

        She has a short game for sure. Clemente showed some poor decision making and technique around the greens from my views. Hana much more solid as a dcp legend.
        We will take that elbow into account …the eldest is just lacking driver pop. Otherwise she’d be right there. Hoping this unlv coach can get her boy Butch to help.
        But we have some technical and physical plans to build for next summer. This elbow thing can be experimented.


          Tom Edrington

          elbows are an easy fix, just put a workout band around the arms and voila!! Makes it easy to maintain the “triangle” look…..I have one of those old “perfect angle” aids that Nick Price used to make him a crazy-good ball-striker…puts the right arm in perfect position….

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