No snow job: Open rough cuts path that is all its own

June 19, 2006|By PETER SCHMUCK

Where's Mark Henderson when you need him?

I kept waiting for someone to drive a lawn tractor through the deep rough at Winged Foot yesterday at a pivotal moment in the U.S. Open, clearing a space for Phil Mickelson to seal his third straight victory in a major tournament. Wasn't to be.

No relief was forthcoming for the golfers who played the final round of this year's "Rumble in the Jungle" --- and both Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie melted down at the end to open the door for Australian Geoff Ogilvy.

I'm not saying the rough was ridiculous, but I could have sworn that Ogilvy had a grass stain on his chin when he accepted the trophy.

Lest you're not the Phil Wood of football trivia, Mark Henderson was the guy who drove the tractor onto the field at Schaefer Stadium in 1982 and cleared away the snow for one of the most famous field goals in NFL history.

Mickelson proved yesterday that you don't have to hit fairways to play competitive golf, which is pretty encouraging for those of us who believe that short grass is only for putting. But he also proved that you best not bounce one off the grandstand on No. 18 unless you're starring in the sequel to Tin Cup.

I'm going to give David Segui credit for getting out in front of the human growth hormone (hGH) issue before it was revealed elsewhere that his name is one of those blacked out on the Jason Grimsley affidavit that became public two weeks ago.

Segui admitted to ESPN's Jeremy Schaap that he was the player who advised Grimsley on the use of hGH, but claimed that he took the drug legally with a doctor's prescription to deal with subnormal levels of natural growth hormone in his body.

Though I find it difficult to believe that a healthy professional athlete would be a legitimate candidate for hGH supplementation, which is normally prescribed to combat dwarfism and help cancer patients restore muscle mass, I guess I'll leave the analysis of Segui's admission to the experts.

What a Father's Day it was for sports fans yesterday, with early morning World Cup coverage, the U.S. Open and College World Series in the afternoon and ending with Game 5 of the NBA Finals from Miami.

I didn't get to enjoy all of it because my wife informed me I could do anything I wanted to for Father's Day, then made reservations at a restaurant I would have picked if I had planned ahead.

The channel surfing got pretty intense during the final innings of the College World Series elimination game between Cal State-Fullerton and Georgia Tech in Omaha, Neb.

The mighty Titans were down to their last out with no one on base in the ninth inning against Tech closer Matt Wieters, but new Orioles prospect Blake Davis started a three-run rally that kept CSUF alive and booted one of the four Atlantic Coast Conference teams out of the tournament.

It was a devastating turn of events for Wieters, who had caught the first 7 2/3 innings and hit a homer in the game, but he was victimized by a high two-out chopper off home plate that led to the tying and go-ahead runs.

Funny, I used to hate metal bats, but I guess they're OK in certain circumstances.

Can't wait for tonight's deciding game of the Stanley Cup Finals, which will be played in Raleigh, N.C.

I wonder if Sheriff Taylor and Opie will be coming over from Mayberry to see if the Carolina Hurricanes can hold off the Edmonton Oilers to win the Stanley Cup.

Don't want to let the U.S. Open pass without complimenting Sun columnist Rick Maese on his coverage from Mamaroneck, N.Y. He clearly enjoyed the assignment, though I heard he got a little whiny when he found out they didn't serve Happy Meals in the media tent.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com.

"The Peter Schmuck Show" airs on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays.

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