Sunday, July 8, 2007

Tracking the Tiger...

Yesterday, I had the great oppoturnity to watch the AT&T National at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD. I arrived at the venue just in time to catch Tiger Woods as he was playing the first hole. My original intention when I made plans to attend the event was to follow both Tiger and Phil Mickelson. As Mickelson did not make the cut, I decided I would concentrate most of my time on following Tiger.

On the first hole, I stood and watched as Tiger rolled in a long 20 foot birdie putt, much to the crowd's approval! For Tiger, it would be a frustating day though as putt after putt either lipped out or came agonizingly close to going in for a birdie. As I commented to a man on the Metro bus to Friendship Heights on the way back to D.C., I said his round could have easily been a 65 and if he had putted decently at all in round 1, he'd be leading the tournment. Such is not the case though. Woods parred holes 2 thru 5 and then got into some trouble on the 6th hole. He holed a nice ten foot put for par on the sixth - I may have gotten on T.V. there.

I then strolled up to the 7th tee to watch Tiger attack the short par 3. As I'm getting ready to watch him tee off, I decide to head towards the green to catch him and playing partner Kevin Stadler putt. I took maybe five or six steps towards the green when I see a very familar looking guy. He looks at me and gives me the "I know you" look... I then saw his shirt and it said "M.C. Dean" - yes, it was none other than Mr. DC himself, Bill Dean! For those of you that don't know, Bill is dating my friend, 2006 Miss DC Kate Michael and I've seen many pictures of him via Kate's blog. Bill was very pleasant and cordial and he also introduced me to several of his friends who happened to be in the same area. I sort of had expected to see Bill today as I'm attending the National's game and they are having "Miss DC Day" there today, so this encounter was a pleasant surprise. With that, we talked a little more and then went our separate ways, saying we would see the other tomorrow.

Getting back to the golf, I continued to folllow Tiger onto the 8th hole and then the first two shots on the 9th - he drove the green on the latter, but could only manage a par from the greenside rough. At that point, the 95 degree heat got the better of me and I decided to get a couple of drinks and a hot dog at one of the concession stands. I found Tiger again on the 12th hole as he again made par. I decided to skip the short par 3, 13th and get a good place in the gallery for the 14th hole... something I'd soon regret doing as not more than 10 minutes of my arrival on 14, a HUGE roar came from the crowd over on 13... Obviously, something great had happened, and judging by the duration of it I assumed someone made a hole-in-one. Most of us hoped it was Tiger that had made it, but instead it was his playing partner, Stadler. On the 14th Tiger again had a close call with a birdie... I continued to follow him to the 15th and the par 5 16th where he finally made his second birdie of the day. A par followed at 17... I then made a quick run over to the scorers tent where world #3 Jim Furyk was signing some autographs... I had the good fortune of seeing him up close and getting the next to last autograph he gave out! Tiger had a tough time on 18, and made his lone bogey of the day. He shot a 1-under-par 69 and stands seven shots back of Staurt Appleby as he prepares for the final round of his tournment.


A quick kudos to Jamie McMurray who won his first NASCAR race in five years last night - a photo finish over Kyle Busch. The winning margin was .005 of a second... tying for the second closest margin in the history of the series. After what happened to him a couple of weeks ago (he led at the Toyota Save Mart 350 a couple of weeks ago, only to finish 37th when he ran out of fuel on the final lap) it was very nice to see Jamie win... he's one of the nicest guys in the sport, and judging from the interviews afterwards, everyone was happy for him... Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards were amongst those who gave him the thumbs up for winning. With the win, McMurray pulled within 51 points of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the chase to be in the top 12...


Today I'll be headed off to RFK to catch the Nats game and the aforementioned Miss DC Day event there... it should be fun. Unlike yesterday (where they did not allow cameras), I should have some pics to show you all.

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