As the U.S.Open prepares to return to Oakmont Country Club, one of the best rounds in tournament history is being recalled. Johnny Miller won the 1973 Open at Oakmont by firing a 63. The San Francisco native’s clubs and bag from that day are on display at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla. He is the only player to shoot a 63 in the final round to win a major.
In one of Europe’s biggest events, Ernie Els was one semi-bad round from being a real contender. But that is what a second-round 76 will do for ya. But as the Europeans head to America for their summer vacation — and try and take the U.S. Open trophy — the Big Easy could be one of the players to keep an eye on this week. Els always enjoys playing in Jack Nicklaus’ invitation-only event. In fact, the South African, who won the Memorial in 2004, has made 13 straight cuts at Muirfield Village Golf Club, the longest active streak.
The feel-good story of the year takes place on the LPGA Tour. That is where 15-year-old MacKinzie Kline will make her debut in a pro event at the Ginn Tribute. Just another teen phenom? Not quite. Kline, you see, was born with a congenital heart defect called heterotaxy syndrome. The Southern Californian was born with only one ventricle (two are normal). She also did not have a spleen and her liver was transverse. The LPGA is allowing Kline, who received a sponsor’s exemption from Annika Sorenstam, to use a cart and she will also have an oxygen delivery system (she gets winded easily due to the heart defect).
How have we gotten this far without mentioning Tiger Woods? The world’s No. 1 golfer is playing in his idol Nicklaus’ tourney following a few weeks off — and is hoping his game is ready to go.
THIS WEEK’S TEE TIMES
WHERE: Dublin, Ohio
COURSE: Muirfield Village Golf Club, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Carl Pettersson
EVENT: Ginn Tribute
WHERE: Mount Pleasant, S.C.
COURSE: RiverTowne Country Club, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Inaugural event
EVENT: Boeing Champ-ionship
WHERE: Destin, Fla.COURSE: Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, par 71
DEFENDING CHAMP: Bobby Wadkins
EVENT: LaSalle Bank Open
WHERE: Glenview, Ill.
COURSE: The Glen Club, par 71
DEFENDING CHAMP: Jason Dufner
EVENT: Celtic Manor Wales Open
WHERE: Newport, Wales
COURSE: Celtic Manor Resort, par 69
DEFENDING CHAMP: Robert Karlsson