I’m sitting here trying to think of things that are more miserable than being at a golf tournament when it’s raining. Those of us in the media actually have it a lot easier than most fans because we can take refuge in the media tent. The problem is, after a while, it begins to feel like a prison and you have to get out no matter how wet it is outside. At least I feel that way. I know there are guys in my business who never leave the media tent during the course of a week regardless of the weather.
I’ve never been that way. I like to get out and walk the golf course, get a sense of what’s going on and, without fail, I always see or hear something that makes the walk worthwhile. The last time the Open was played here at Bethpage the weather was a lot like this on Friday afternoon. I was working on my book on that Open—called, cleverly enough, ‘Open,’—so I didn’t have the luxury of hanging out in the press room.
I went out to the back nine because I had seen enough on television to know Sergio Garcia was having an awful day. This was when he was into his gripping and re-gripping phobia and the New York crowd was just killing him. He wasn’t taking it too well. At one point one fan yelled out, “Hey Sergio, what’s it like having a girlfriend who’s won seven more majors than you?”
The reference was to Martina Hingis, who was walking around with Garcia—even in the rain. My answer would have been, “Are you kidding? Look at her—it’s GREAT.” Sergio didn’t take it quite that way. He flipped the guy off.
What made the walk to the back nine worthwhile though wasn’t Garcia and his duel with the fans. As I was walking towards the 15th tee, I looked up and saw a golf cart whiz by followed by a police car. A few yards down the road, the cops pulled the cart over. I later found out that the guy in the cart had wandered out of a hospitality tent drunk and had just jumped in an empty cart and taken off.
The cops charged him with stealing the cart AND—DUI. That was a first for me, a guy getting a DUI in a golf cart. I got back inside a while later covered with mud (A Good Walk Spoiled?) but with a great story for my efforts.
So, here are a few things I thought of that are more miserable than being a t a golf tournament in the rain.
--Waiting out a weather delay in an airport. Worst case scenario the plane never takes off. Next worst case scenario: The plane DOES take off because chances are the flight will be horrific. Only thing to do in that situation is drink.
--Being stuck in traffic you know isn’t breaking up for a long time with no place to go. Next worst thing is being behind someone who can’t drive. My 11-year-old daughter points out to me that I have, “traffic issues,” because I’m always yelling at people who don’t know how to make a left-turn or drive 10 miles an hour under the speed limit. When my son was 4 I came home one day and my wife said, “we need to talk.” I said okay, what’s up? She said, “We were at a stop sign today and the woman in front of me was a little slow making a turn. From the back seat I heard Danny say, “Hey lady, what are you waiting for an engraved invitation?”
Can’t imagine where he heard that.
Anyway, I’m signing books in the merchandise tent at Bethpage today and tomorrow. I actually enjoy doing it because people come up and are usually very nice. Of course every once in a while things happen that can be, well, awkward. Yesterday, a very attractive young woman came up and asked me to sign a book for her. She said it was for her dad for Father’s Day—not surprising.
“Do you mind if I tell you what to write?” she said.
“Of course not.” I answered. (She was REALLY pretty).
“Okay then,” she said, “Please write, ‘I really enjoyed dating your wife.’”
I stopped writing and looked at her. She smiled. “It’s true. You dated my mother in 1978.” She wasn’t kidding. She also didn’t believe me when I told her I was 12 back then