The 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach didn’t have a Tom Watson-esque memorable moment on the par-3 17th hole, nor did it have a Sunday surge with a red Tiger leading to a Monday playoff. But it proved to still be one of the most formidable tests of golf today, with the little-known winner Graeme McDowell surprising the world winning the United States Golf Championship by shooting par over 72 holes. Even Woods and Mickelson, the world’s #1 and #2 players respectively, could only muster a 3-over par performance tying them for fourth. They, as most of the field, found themselves going backwards and dropping strokes in the high rough, challengingly long par-4’s, and the ridiculous slopes on the 14th hole that ruined many a pro’s day with triples or quads. I had an enjoyable week working with a great Getty Images team, with relatively good weather and some ok pictures to boot. I even managed to get a little surf session in with Golf Digest DOP Christian Iooss thanks to the loaner boards from local photographer David Royal. But the highlight of a hard week of work came as a surprise on sunday morning on the final round of the US Open, which normally falls on father’s day, making it an even harder assignment to say “yes” to with my little boys waiting at home for daddy. As I was setting up my remote cameras on the 18th green as is customary before the final round, David J. Phillip of the Associated Press says,”Looks like we’re teeing off in the same group tomorrow!” It took me a second to register what he meant, but then I realized that we had been chosen in the media lottery to play Pebble Beach on Monday! The only reason I started to golf a year or so ago was for an opportunity like this, and to play Pebble the day after the Open was a once in a lifetime experience. I immediately felt my adrenaline rush with the excitement of teeing off the 7th hole, mixed with the fear and anxiety over the fact that I’ve hit the range about as much as I’ve cleaned my garage over the past month. The last time I played was in Palm Springs about a month ago with a bunch of buddies, and I nearly quit afterwards playing the worse round of golf in recent memory. But none of that mattered now, and I kept my fingers crossed that the US Open would finish in a regulation 72 holes, or my Monday tee time would be bumped and this opportunity would pass me by. So after Graeme McDowell’s final putt fell in the cup on the 18th, I couldn’t be happier for the little-known man from Northern Ireland and I immediately felt the urge to go hit balls and hope to fix my slice before the morning.
In the end, playing Pebble was as unbelievable experience even if I only parred a couple holes and crawled back to the clubhouse with a 115. Big thanks to the Getty Team for having me including Travis Lindquist, Scott Halleran, Maxx Wolfson, Harry How, Andrew Redington, Ross Kinnaird, Jeff Gross, Steve Dunn, Jamie Lawson, Shannon Lindquist and Evonne Laskey. And a special thanks to my playing partners David J. Phillip of the AP, Tom Boswell of the Washington Post and John Paul Newport of the Wall Street Journal for the much needed golf tips and showing amazing patience with my errant and lost balls. Here are some favorite pictures from the week as well as pictures from my round on Monday, I hope you enjoy and always your feedback it much appreciated!
2nd Place finisher Gregory Havret of France finds himself in the bunker on the 8th. Scott Halleran made the classic call on the radio,”The frog is on the beach!” (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Y.E. Yang of South Korea plays a shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 17, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California. This is one of the hole I parred during my round there in homage to Steve Dunn’s famous photo of Payne Stewart in the 90’s. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
The Getty Team (top row) Ross Kinnaird, Jamie Lawson, Shannon Lindquist, Evonne Laskey, Steve Dunn, Andrew Redington. (bottom row) Jeff Gross, Donald Miralle, Travis Lindquist, Harry How, Scott Halleran.
John Paul Newport of the Wall Street Journal tees off the 18th. (Photo by Donald Miralle)