Take that driver out of your bag, you wimp!
That was the message David Ogrin sent to Greg Norman, who has criticized Oakmont Country Club's layout for taking the driver out of the golfers' hands. Ogrin strongly disagrees."If he really meant it, he's a wimp," Ogrin said. "If the hole calls for a driver, then . . . drive it! I played with a guy (Japan's Haijime Meshiai) who is about half Norman's size and he hit it long and straight with a driver. Any good driver should be able to drive these holes."
Unlike Norman, who has basically disdained the driver for a 1-iron, Ogrin said he hit a driver on all but three holes.
Ogrin didn't fully drive his point across: he finished 74-77 - 151 to miss the cut. Norman is at 71-71 - 142, six shots behind leader Colin Montgomerie.
MAD HATTER: John Daly's crewcut made Oakmont's 95-degree heat more bearable, and so did his headgear. He turned his golf cap around backwards, emulating the style of millions of American high schoolers. He's $30 million richer thanks to his new Wilson Sporting Goods endorsement deal but he couldn't buy a birdie, missing the cut at 81-73-154.
NO SHORTS STORY: Forrest Fezler made history of sorts - err, rather of shorts - when he became the first (and last) golfer to wear shorts in the U.S. Open at Oakmont in 1983.
The sauna-like heat of Oakmont has some wondering if the U.S. Golf Association shouldn't relent and permit golfers to wear shorts on brutally hot days.
Tom Watson hopes they don't.
"I think there is a certain decorum that we ought to keep out there," he said. "Just wear cotton pants and feel fine. I mean look at those Englishmen (during the British Open) . . . I mean they look like beets. I'll never forget the British Open of 1977, I mean those Englishmen and Scotsmen, (with) their shirts off, they were red as a lobster. They got sunburned out there."
I LOVE A GOLFER WITH A S-L-O-W HAND?: The uncomfortable heat has led to rounds lasting as long as 51/2 hours, a trend that concerns the sponsoring USGA. Golfers who went off in the early morning, before temperatures climbed into the 90s, completed their rounds considerably faster than those playing in the heat of the day.
"We certainly were watching it," said Judy Bell, a USGA vice-president. "It is a big concern for us and we would like to have a solution to this. We have heard from the players that extremely difficult greens were causing people to take a lot of time."
The USGA's only course of action is to slap a golfer with the rarely invoked two-stroke penalty for delaying play.
"We can't just arbitrarily go out there and say, `Bang, I mean, two shots, that is not it," Bell said.