" />
Whistling Softly

By Dave Shedloski
July 28, 2007

Low Scores 'There For The Taking'

By Dave Shedloski

Kohler, Wis. - The old pros who have seen it all in golf just can't seem to get comfortable with the Straits Course at Whistling Straits, the contrived Pete Dye links course skirting Lake Michigan and conventional U.S. Open strategic value. But early Friday in the 28 thU.S. Senior Open, comfort didn't seem all that important when cushy greens and calm breezes allowed participants to bathe their scorecards in birdies.

Heavy rains Thursday evening didn't defang Whistling Straits so much as they muzzled it for a brief period. And without its trusty body guard - Mr. Wind - the only whistling being done was by a collection of souls who were composing their own little symphonies.

Leader Tom Watson shot the championship's second 66. Ben Crenshaw rebounded from an opening double-bogey to card a 67, his third sub-70 score in his last four U.S. Senior Open rounds. Japan's Massy Kuramoto cured some bad mojo by following his opening 78 with a second-round 68. Ron Streck, Keith Fergus, Des Smyth and Joe Ozaki had 69s, as did Loren Roberts, who shot a 62 in last year's Senior Open.

The morning wave scoring average of 75.107 wasn't setting records or sinking the spirits of bathroom magnate Herb Kohler, course proprietor. But it was a stroke lower than the collective first-round performance of the 156-man field.

Seldom is this the case, but lucky was the man who had a 5 a.m. wake-up call.

"I don't ever want to say this course could ever play easy at all," said Crenshaw, a course designer and careful communicator. "But if there was a day to score, it might be this one, because it's a beautiful day. The greens were holding and you felt like you could get some opportunities."

"If you're driving the ball in the fairway, the greens are obviously holding. You can hit some good shots," said Roberts, one of the few players to have competed at Whistling Straits in the 2004 PGA Championship. "We really haven't had any tough wind here. If you don't have a lot of wind, you don't have to have done as much homework because you pretty much see what you get."

"The golf course played its easiest with the light wind and the wind from the direction it was coming from (east to southeast)," Watson said. "The golf course was there for the taking if you knew how to play it."

Ease of conditions did not put him at ease, however, even if he was leading the championship. And his score Friday belies what he knows or thinks he know about the layout.

"I'm unsure about this golf course," he said. "I've played five rounds on it and I still have questions of what club to hit off the tee, where to aim it off the tee. And it makes me a little unsure of my swing."

"You have wind and it puts a lot of questions in your mind, and even if you're striking it solid, there can be

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @usopengolf
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

AmEx image