US Open Diary: Players left reeling after blimp crash

Meanwhile, McDowell rues poor prep, by the numbers, quote of the day and more

Graeme Mcdowell reacts to a shot on the 15th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. Photo: David J. Phillip/AP

Graeme Mcdowell reacts to a shot on the 15th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. Photo: David J. Phillip/AP

 

Jamie Lovemark had enough on his hands without having to worry about outside happenings, but he couldn’t escape the sight of a commercial blimp plummeting downwards from the sky.

“I was teeing off and I looked up and saw it on fire, and I felt sick to my stomach. I had the shakes. I felt terrible for the people inside. I didn’t know what was going on. It was a horrible sight. I don’t know what happened. I hope the guys got out okay. “It was a horrific scene. I’ve never seen a plane crash, blimp crash, anything like that. So it was pretty awful. I thought they might stop play. I don’t know. It was scary.”

According to local police, the blimp – not part of the US Open broadcast – crashed in an open field approximately half a mile from the golf course. Paramedics, police and fire brigade responding to the incident rescued the pilot from the crash site and he was brought to hospital for what the USGA said were “unknown injuries.”

McDowell rues poor preparation

The best laid plans and all of that. Graeme McDowell lamented a disrupted pre-tournament preparation – with Wednesday’s storm front ensuring he failed to get his desired work in on the course – for a disappointing opening round 76, four-over.

“I did not play well and as simple as that. It does not matter what golf course you are on because if you do not play well you are going to have problems . . . I just don’t think that my prep was that perfect this week,” said the 2010 US Open champion.

Weather doesn’t play ball with Phil

Well, he didn’t make it after all, which didn’t surprise anyone. Phil Mickelson’s daughter’s school graduation in San Diego won out, and the weather gods in Wisconsin didn’t play ball to cause any delay.

It means that Mickelson’s next chance to secure the missing link in his career Grand Slam will have to wait for another year, until the 118th edition of the US Open at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island from June 14th-18th 2018.

Although he has been runner-up six times in 26 appearances, the US Open is the only Major championship which has evaded Mickelson’s clutches.

By the numbers

1/3: Sergio Garcia’s eagle on the first hole made him the first player since 2003 to manage the feat. In 2003, three players – Brian Davis, Rory Sabbatini and Retief Goosen – started their rounds with an eagle

Quote of the day

“I want to go down the most aggressive line I can, go for every flag” – Patrick Reed – who opened with a 68 – on his aggressive strategy.

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