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Jeev and Vijay in same group

By V. Krishnasawamy, IANS,

Farmingdale (New York) : Despite Jeev Milkha Singh’s successes in Europe and some excellent finishes in the US, there was some confusion as the first round of the 109th US Open golf had two Singhs – Vijay and Jeev Milkha.

The two Singhs, who know each other quite well and have even played together, were paired with South Korean K.J. Choi for the first two rounds of the tournament.

While a large number of Indians – many students – know who Jeev Milkha is, many Americans were asking if he was related to Vijay.


Spectators turn up in huge numbers even on a rainy day

Not even the forecast of inclement weather and heavy rain could stop more than 40,000 spectators turning up for the first round of the US Open at the Bethpage Black, which was seeing the return of the US National Championships after seven years.

Exact full figures for the day were not available as many spectators were expected for the second half.

“It is not every year that the US Open comes to your turn and that a public course, where many of us have played,” said Jim Forrester, a local, who has played the course seven times.

Of late, the United States Golf Association (USGA) has been getting the US Open to public courses more often than before and it has been received well by the public. The players, too, including Tiger Woods, have had nice things to say about holding the US Open on public courses.


USGA puts large number of squeegees into operation

Before the rain came down in sheets, the USGA pressed into operation no less than 90 squeegees (an average of five per hole) to soak the water from the greens and make them playable.

But even then the persistent rain made it difficult for the officials to keep pace. After play was called off, the officials, too, stopped their efforts and will resume when the rain stops.

Play was called off for non-dangerous conditions with no lightning in the region and it happened when the volume of rain falling was surpassing the ability to squeegee the greens.


No rain checks please

More than half the field did not hit a ball Thursday, but the USGA, which does not have a ‘rain check’ policy, will not take the Thursday ticket as valid for any of the other days. It was a big debate through Thursday, because spectators who came in after 1 pm did not get to see a single shot.


USGA will not allow �lift ball’ rule

USGA will not allow “Preferred Lies” which is what it is called when players are allowed to lift the ball and clean it before playing it from the fairway in wet and soggy conditions. The USGA officials said they would suspend the play if it gets bad but will not allow, “Lift, clean and play”.