PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Unlike most U.S. Open venues, Pebble Beach is a true resort, so there are shops and restaurants on property. The practice putting green actually is surrounded by some of the shops on two sides, and the lodge where many of the players will stay this week is on another.
Earlier this morning, I walked out of one of the shops to see Ricci Roberts on the practice green waiting for Ernie Els and talking with another guy, who was dressed in a beige long-sleeve shirt and blue jeans. He turns, and it’s Lee Westwood.
I asked playfully, “Is that Lee Westwood?” He looked over, then jumped over the bicycle fencing that surrounds the green to say hi.
The newly crowned St. Jude Classic winner got in late last night and is taking it easy today. Some of that can be attributed to a little too much celebration, but mostly it’s part of a master plan for this year’s U.S. Open. He had been here on Sunday and Monday of last week preparing, so he is only going to play nine holes (likely tomorrow) and then play some on Wednesday, as close as possible to the same time as his 1:36 p.m. tee time on Thursday.
“I want to get the feel of the course at the time we’re going to play,” Westwood said.
He was still a little surprised about Sunday. He clearly thought he didn’t have a chance when he was in the scoring trailer, but the official told him that he might want to wait around, because Garrigus was playing his fifth shot and was more than 170 yards away. So Westwood went out and watched on one of the remote screens that CBS on-course commentator David Feherty uses during the broadcast.
“Do you know how hot it was? In the 100s,” Westwood said. He went on to say he was so glad to have played last week. Though the win was great, getting a few more rounds in really gave him a guide on where his game is now and what he needs to work on, which, by the looks of his performance, is very little.
When we parted, Westwood was off to buy a fleece because Pebble was a little cool this morning. A couple of minutes later, I saw Westwood in his new purchase, a beige Pebble Beach sweatshirt, which he clearly could afford.