I’m gonna watch the whole thing anyway. I think I’m going to try to stay out of politics today, but some commercials may allow me to sneak in some inane commentary or brilliant stuff from the Great Ones.

Tiger doubles #1, so he’s played the first hole +7, I believe, in this Championship.

His knee obviously smarts. It’s hard to talk yourself into doing something you know is going to hurt, and there isn’t much margin for error in a professional golf swing. (Or an amateur’s but we live with our high margins of error.)

Tiger coughs up 3 shots after 2 holes missing a short one for par on the 2nd. He’s cooked, as predicted. Still plenty of time, but I think he’s too hurt and too worried about the pain to do it.

Rocco looks the most comfortable right now. Which is meaningless in golf. Discomfort (of the mental kind) comes quick. One shot.

Westwood, +1 after two, also seems fine mentally and emotionally. He’s got a good affect on the golf course. Never too high or low.

Rocco hits another fairway on 5, ho hum. He’s short with his clubs, but in a U.S. Open straight is FAR more important than long. Westwood misses one he should have made on basically the same line and length as Tiger’s putt. But they both have to be at least OK with pars. Pars are good in this tournament.

Rocco with a tough par putt, but he’s been making them all week. Ogilvy puts a birdie in on 5, and gets to +1, still very much in it. And he’s won one before.

Rocco misses his par putt. The field bunches. The lead is -1.

Robert Karlsson from Sweden looks very solid, at +1. He, too, looks very comfortable. That Scandinavian temperament may serve him well.

Rocco, ho hum, hit another fairway at 6. Hitting fairways is good. In many respects, he deserves it.

Tiger hits a fairway! Alert the media! But it still hurt.

Anyone +3 or better could still win. Exciting. (For people who golf.)

Rocco misses another short one at 6. Westwood in the lead at -1; Woods and Mediate at E. Ogilvy, my sleeper right now, at +1.

Westwood and Woods with routine pars on 6. Westwood’s only being “routine” by virtue of a great chip out the greenside shit.

Rocco finally misses a fairway on 7, and it doesn’t look good there, lie-wise, in the bunker. He’s going to need to fight for this par. Tiger hits a fairway on 6, but audibly cries out in pain after hitting it.

No way can he hold on. It will be his best win if he can somehow pull this one out.

Els chips in to get to +2, within 3, now another one on my sleeper-board. He’s already missed a ton of short putts. Weir to +3.

We have someone in the clubhouse at +3, what we like to call, “the leader in the clubhouse.” A nice place to be in a U.S. Open. It would take a collective collapse, but that’s what U.S. Opens are for. Rocco, if he can make another 6 footer, which he’s been making all week, will escape with par on 7. Tiger needs to get up and down on 6 for par. And does. Westwood with another par after a very good birdie try.

Ogilvy make another birdie to get to E, 1 back. Els misses a short but hard one. He’d be in the lead if he was putting as well as most pros do.

11 guys within 4 shots, or, as we golfers like to say, one hole. Maybe 2 at this level, for someone to get in front of everyone else from 4 back.

Fireworks delay, I can feel it. They’re on the tougher part of the course now, except for 9. Pars are good, birdies are usually lucky or exceptionally good.

Ernie has yet ANOTHER very makable birdie, and I predict this one finally goes in, since he’s missed too many today to miss another one. If it goes in as I expect, he’ll be 2 back, right in the hunt. And it’s on the toughest hole on the course, meaning if he makes it he gains more than 1 on the field.

Els misses, and does not deserve to win unless things change for him soon. (Which they often do in golf.)

Westwood with a great tee shot on the par-3 8th, should be a birdie. Pressure high on Woods. He chokes, and leaves it in the bunker short. The wind may have gotten it, but he’s going to have to work for his par, which would be very good from where he is.

Karlsson with a good chance for birdie to get to -2. Tiger with a good bunker shot, should get his 3 on 8. Westwood with a big one to get ahead of the field by 2. He misses. Lots of pars right now. Again, those are good, but no one is doing anything special yet.

Tiger limping along, gait-wise, but 6 straight pars is, as I just pointed out, good. Karlsson gets to +2. Rocco has another nut-grabber for par on 9. So does Olgivy. 9 is a par 5, so par is 1/4 to 1/2 shot loss to the field. Geoff (Olgivy) misses. Bogey. Ouch. Rocco makes it. Nice putt.

Tiger finally hits a good tee shot on 9, so he can reach in two, which should give him a good birdie opportunity. Though I’m not sure he can hit it, given his knee and his fear. Fear is the worst thing in golf. And pain equals fear.

However, he’s Tiger Woods. A lovely 2 (3?)-iron to 30 feet left for eagle, an almost certain birdie, unless he gets too frisky with his eagle try. Amazing shot. For most people.

Rocco in for almost sure birdie on 10. Great shot. 10 feet. These guys seldom miss it in when it has to go.

Westwood birdies, too, playing with Tiger, so he regains the lead at -2. Tiger one back. Lots of others lurking.

Rocco birdies 10 as expected. Ties with Woods at -1. DJ Trahan goes to +2, right in the game.

Westwood in trouble with his tee shot on 10. Tiger hits the fairway.

Rocco in big trouble at 11 due to a hooked tee shot. It would be a potential Championship winning up and down. Mostly it looks like a bogey to fall back to -1. Still very much a contenda.

Tiger has a makable birdie due to a very good second shot on 10. I don’t think he’ll make it. Been watching him since he was an amateur. Westwood in trouble after a bladed fairway bunker shot. Rocco hits a great shot short-sided in the deep stuff and has a great chance at par when he shouldn’t have had one. Very nice, IF he makes the putt. Which he does. I hope he wins. He’d be the oldest U.S. Open champion ever.

Westwood make a crappy free drop (one of my own personal specialties) on 10, and unless he makes a bomb, he’s back to the field.

Tiger is putting for the lead. I still think he misses it. It isn’t his day. Which he did. Tied for the lead with Rocco and Lee (Westwood).

No birdie holes until 13. The leaders are on 11, some 12. Tiger with 5 feet for birdie after a great tee shot on 12. This one will go. Westwood, Tiger’s partner, hits a poor shot, but could get up and down out of the bunker. He missed on the correct side. Rocco with a birdie try on 12, gets his par, which is very good on 12.

Westwood with a great bunker shot, for par. Tiger takes the outright lead jamming one in on 11.

Off to the toughest hole on the course for the last group.

My predictions have been good: Tiger bogeys 12. 504 yard par-4. That’s normal.

Tiger hits the fairway. A birdie here will make him hard to beat. Westwood will have to scramble for par, after hooking the tee shot into the bunker. He lays up to wedge range. Tiger hates it, and it’s still fine. 25 feet for birdie.

Ernie plays his way out of it with a triple on 15. We can give up on Ernie. Karlsson goes to +2, still way in it, on 14. Westwood hits a good, not great shot, and has a 25-footer for par. He’s going to lose one if he doesn’t make it. DJ Trahan birdies 13 to get to +1. Also right in it.

Tiger misses again, but gets par on the hardest hole on the course. Simultaneously, Rocco hits to tap-in distance on 13. Easy birdie. Westwood misses on 12, dropping to E.

Field average on 12 is 4.6. Par equals a half-shot gain on the field. Tiger gets one. Sadly, he’s last playing, so he needed it.

Tiger and Rocco will be tied in a couple minutes. And they are NOT, because Rocco missed a short one he needed. Golf is really way harder than the pros make it look.

Westwood hooks his second on the par-5 into some terrible shit. Tiger, all of 5 feet directly in front of Westwood, loses his ball. Dead. Worst shot I’ve ever (14 years?) seen him hit under pressure. He’ll be lucky to get out with bogey, which make it just one giant cluster of a tie, all things considered.

Rocco birdies to take the lead back, probably. He’s got 2 feet for birdie, and makes it. -2. Good for him.

Tiger has played #13 at Torrey 36 times as a pro. First bogey ever. Death blow. Westwood bogeys. Tiger bogeys. Rocco Mediate leads by 1.

14. Drivable par-4. Left is dead, long is dead. Great short par-4. Last group on the tee. Tiger lays up into the fairway; Westwood pulls 3-wood (3-metal) and hits it beautifully for an almost sure birdie, possible eagle. Great play.

Could be a playoff here today. Tiger needs to hit a very good wedge to keep the pressure on. They’re running out of holes, which is another cool thing about golf, because it adds to the pressure.

Tiger likely par, after a mediocre second. Rocco hits a bad second on 15, but gets a great cart-path (cartpathian) bounce and should be OK. Westwood for eagle: Terrible putt, he’ll be happy for birdie. 6 feet left. Tiger has a long one for birdie on 13. Rocco with a crappy lie in the deep stuff on 15. Tiger WAY short with his birdie putt on 14, but will get his par.

Rocco needs to get up and down from a 100, Westwood gets to E with a good birdie putt; Woods gets his par.

Rocco from 84 (yards) for birdie. GREAT shot. He can make this to keep his lead.

It’s a dog-fight. The sphincters are tightening as I speak. Tiger with a terrible tee shot on 15. Rocco bogeys 15 in a really good spot to save par, and there are a lot of people at -1 or E. 3.

It’s time to piss on the dogs and call in the fire. Trahan: Done.

Rocco has some work for par on 17. Hit it into the deep stuff. Tiger’s second on 16 was really bad. He’ll be lucky to get par. I feel my prediction comes true. Westwood, playing with Tiger, has a reasonable birdie putt. Rocco should get par after a good second out of some deep rough.

Tiger in trouble on 15. Needs a great chip from the crap on to get it up an down for a par. Looks like a bogey, even though it was a good shot. Needs to make a putt.

Lots of necks tightening. Rocco stays at -1 with a good 5-footer; Tiger bogeys to go to E, and Westwood stays at E.

Rocco hit the fairway on 17. Perfect shot. 1 up on Westwood and Woods. It’s a 3-man chase. The apples are right there in the throat area.

Westwood at 16: Par 3. 5-iron. Hw likes it, and he should. Sure par. Rocco’s second on 17 VERY good. 15 footer for birdie.

Woods on 16: Good tee shot, unlucky. Two more feet (on a 470 feet shot), and it is perfect. Should be a par for both Westwood and Woods, but if Rocco drops in his birdie on 17 we’re done without an eagle on 18, which is possible, but I don’t see one today.

Rocco misses his birdie, and leaves a nut-cruncher for par. He’ll make it, because he’s been doing it all week. And he does. Tiger leaves himself an equally or harder par putt on 16. If he misses, it is over, and Rocco wins, which would be cool. He drills it in the center, of course. 2 to go.

Rocco hits a bad shot on 18, which makes birdie a good score, which leaves both Westwood and Woods in the hunt with pars on 17. A birdie on 17 puts either one in the driver’s seat. For a playoff, at least.

Westwood fine with his tee shot on 17, just in the first cut of rough. Tiger splits the fairway. A good shot coming in leaves him a birdie chance.

185. A very long shot to get close for Tiger, or anyone else. Rocco with likely par on 18. Tiger plays a good shot on 17, but will have to make a 30-footer for a (likely) win. Westwood short into the bunker on 17.

Rocco Mediate with a par on 18. Westwood, 1 back, leaves himself 8 feet for par on 17. Tiger has a long birdie putt, and if he makes it, I say he wins. As I’ve said all along, I don’t think he will. He didn’t, and needs a birdie on 18 for a tie. Eagle wins. No U.S. Open champion ever has won with and eagle on 18. Westwood puts himself in the same position if he makes this one: He does. He’s just a much in the hunt as Woods.

Here we go: 18, an easy birdie hole, two guys down one. Very fun.

Hitting the fairway is essential. Westwood up. Into the bunker on the left. Still a chance for birdie. One bullet missed for Rocco. Woods into the right bunker, equally bad. Rocco is one very happy old man, the oldest ever to win this tournament if things play to form.

These second shots from Woods and Westwood will be VERY interesting. Go for it, with water swallowing anything but a perfect shot, or laying up for a chance for a playoff?

Commercial time.

Here we go: Woods first, out of the right bunker. Laying up. Bad shot into the rough. Westwood hits a much better shot. Either could still birdie. Westwood has the better shot to do it. Tiger with 99 left, from a crappy lie.

Excellent moment.

Tiger: 15-20 feet for a tie. Gonna have to make it though. Westwood: Equally good and bad. Westwood first. Not a hugely long putt, makable, but Tiger’s is a little easier.

Drive for show, putt for dough. This is it. I think Lee W. goes first. He does. Big left-to-right swinging putt. I think he’s going to make it. He does not. It’s up to Tiger, or Rocco wins, which is a great thing at age 45.

Here we go: 20 feet for added legend. He makes it. Jesus Christ. 18 tomorrow.

Bummer. Won’t get to watch it.

Goddamn. The World’s Greatest at Anything is an amazing thing. Fuck the USGA for not having a 4-hole playoff, NOW.

I guess I’ll have to “watch” it on-line, but if they have a late start maybe I can catch some of it live and in person on TV.

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