History with the leaders

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – True story. Couldn’t make this up. Not that creative.

Ended up in hotel bar late Friday night, throwing back an adult beverage or three, with a man who on Thursday-Friday in the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage played with the two players currently on top of this year’s leaderboard.

That’s right. John Maginnes, now a funny broadcaster instead of a funny player, was paired with Ricky Barnes and Lucas Glover those two rounds seven years ago.

Glover had just turned pro the year before leaving Clemson, and Barnes was still in college at Arizona and hadn’t yet won the U.S. Amateur. Both missed the cut.

Maginnes, however, played the weekend. About three years later he retired from golf, or as he said, “When you’ve had a career like mine, you don’t call it retiring; you call it quitting.”

It’s probably just a coincidence that Maginnes’ two ’02 playing partners lead this Open midway through. If it’s not, then Maginnes has to go down as role model extraordinaire or the best mentor since Ken Venturi took lessons from Byron Nelson.

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