|Spartans Live From The U.S. Open Championship|
Dominic Urrutia, an Athletics Media Relations Student Assistant, and Richard Stern, Assistant Athletics Media Relations Director, are spending the week working at the U.S. Open Golf Championship at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. This is the first in a series of blogs they will post from the Championship. Below is Dominic's report after meeting a golf legend.
Around the globe, the U.S. Open is seen as one of the greatest spectacles in sports. Adding that, we're at the famed Olympic Club in the San Francisco only serves to scoot us closer to the edge of our seats. At least that's the way it felt inside the near 17,000 square foot media tent on Tuesday where reporters from around the world fired questions at the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy.
A national championship like the U.S. Open attracts the best golfers in the game. Likewise, in it's 112th year it attracts the biggest media outlets and journalists. ESPN, NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Golf Digest, L.A. Times, and BBC News are just a few helping to comprise the 900 credentialed media members at this year's event.
Among those 900, I was able to catch up with one analyst, distinguished for his work on ESPN and as a two-time U.S. Open champion - Andy North (1978, 1985).
Describe the feeling when you return to the Olympic Club for the U.S. Open?
"Technically I'm part of the media working with ESPN, but I come back here more as a former champion. It's always great to come back in that way. It's the best tournament in the world and if you're lucky enough to win it, that's something special. Now, I get to come back and talk about it. It's just fun."
After touring all of the U.S. Open sites, what stands out the most about The Olympic Club?
"It's the most difficult driving course they play, because of the slope of the fairways. Not only is it built on a hill, but the fairways dogleg in the wrong direction. They dogleg in one direction and slope in the opposite direction."
"This is just such a great tournament," North added. "I mean, this is the Super Bowl. This is the NBA Finals of golf."
"Are you having fun?" he asked me with a smirk.
I didn't even realize I had an ear-to-ear grin.
"It sure looks like it," he said.
U.S. Open champion Andy North was certainly correct about that.