Oakmont Lives Up to Reputation for Blood-Curdling Sadism
Oakmont gets into Sergio Garcia's head after he posts a 9 over after the first round.
OAKMONT, Pa (The Sportsman's Daily Wire Service) – A columnist writing for the New York Post called Oakmont the “most sadistic sporting event this side of the Iditarod.” Last year’s US Open Winner Geoff Ogilvy called it the hardest course he’s ever seen. Others were not quite as diplomatic, calling it “punishing,” “evil,” “deranged,” a “well-manicured torture chamber designed by a cabal of sick fucks.”
Oakmont’s 7,230 yards of short grass includes a 288-yard par-3 and a 667-yard par-5, stretches of rough and sand placed to inflict maximum pain, and greens faster than the plummeting blade of a guillotine.
Thursday proved even more difficult than usual as a portentous breeze played mind games with some of the sports most stable psyches. Nick Dougherty (68) and Ángel Cabrera (69) were the only golfers to break par, with José María Olazábal and Bubba Watson trailing the leader by two shots. By the time the usually poised Tiger Woods holed out on 18, finishing three shots back, he looked visibly shaken, having barely survived several haunting trips to Oakmont’s 200+ bunkers.
“As soon as Tiger hit his first tee shot into the left bunker, I knew we were in for a long day," said his caddie, Stevie Williams. "We spent the rest of the round in and out of trouble – in fact, you had this eerie feeling the course itself was letting out jeering, sinister little chuckles. By the time we reached the 12th hole Tiger looked gaunt, his eyes hollowed out sockets, his will to compete slowly ebbing away. We were just glad to get the hell out of there, have a couple of cold ones and get ourselves together for day two.”
The 25-year-old Dougherty, who hails from Liverpool, England, had the brass cojones to call Oakmont easy, though fearing he might incur the course’s legendary wrath, he quickly changed his tune.
“I don’t know what the hell got into me. The bleedin’ place is downright barbaric it is. I’m up after round one, but bloody hell, I can go out tomorrow and find a flag stick impaled up my bleedin’ keister. Oakmont’s a nightmare, something out of a bad movie it is. I apologize Oakmont, I meant no offense.”
Phil Mickelson entered the tournament with a sore wrist, and needed ice and massage treatments just to play. Still, he managed to compete, remains a factor in the tournament and appears to be unfazed by Oakmont and its reputation for evil-doing.
“I survived. My wrist feels ok, I battled and I’m still in it. We’ll try to take it one day at a time and see what comes. I’ve overcome worse, I’ll be fine.”
Just as Mickleson was getting up to end the interview, a gust of wind whistled menacingly outside the media tent. The room fell silent. The spirit of Oakmont had spoken as an ashen and clearly spooked Mickelson quickly gathered his wife and small children. He was later seen by a practice tee building a pyre and lighting a small dog on fire. Whether it's enough to appease the notoriously vengeful gods of Oakmont remains to be seen, though one thing is certain: the owner of Cinnamon, the sacrificial collie, will not be among those rooting for Mickelson come Sunday.
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