US Open diary - Sunday

Padraig’s power fade

Padraig Harrington looks like he’s fading away.

Thinner than he’s been in years, he’s even started wearing a heart monitor on the golf course to measure exactly how many calories he’s burning up.

Why so thin, Padraig?

“Fit …. Fit,” he corrected. “Since last November I’ve probably lost about 12 pounds.”


“Absolutely, oh yeah. There’s nothing wrong with being fit.”

But there are no miracle diets for Harrington, who says he eats what he wants.

“No, it’s pretty straightforward, I wear a monitor and it measures exactly what I burn up every day and it’s kind of stopped me obsessing,” he said, pointing to a band that was just visible under his tee shirt. “I would have always been thinking, ‘have I eaten enough today, did I get enough energy in?’

“It measures my heart rata. It can estimate how many calories I’m burning up.  I’m 12 and a half stone. And my BMI (Body Mass Index) is 12 something.”

He doesn’t do cardio exercises but has a resting pulse rate of 40. A normal pulse rate for a healthy adult, while resting, can range from 60 to 100 beats per minute.


Pablo’s honesty

Spain’s Pablo Martin was looking on the bright side after finishing his second US Open on 27 over par.

“The best memory I’m going to have of this week? It’s the first time I’ve played Pebble Beach. And it was a fun week even though I played crap.” 

The 24-year old from Malaga set off on his own at 7.25 am and while he had a marker who did not play, he completed the course in just two hours and 39 minutes, carding a 79 and walking off to cheers of “Pablo! Pablo!”

“The U.S. Open is the best atmosphere I’ve seen in any other tournament I’ve played in,” he said. “This is exactly the way golf should be right now. It is so much fun for us and for the crowd.”

Pebble Beach guests pay around $500 to play the course but Martin was happy he didn’t have to part with a dime of his prize-money.

“I’m happy we can get to play for free,” said Martin, a two-time winner on the European Tour, who was heading for a cheque for around $11,000 for his week’s work.


Elementary Mr Watson

Tom Watson’s son Michael that announced that he was retiring from caddie duties following the US Open at Pebble Beach.

The 27-year old was carrying the bag for his father for the second time and he knows it will be hard to beat the memories of 2010.

In April he caddied at the Masters, proposing to his fiancee amongst the azaleas on the 13th hole.

The Watsons played Pebble Beach as a father and son team in the AT&T National Pro-Am in 2007 but that wasn’t the younger man’s first visit to the Monterey peninsula course.

He was there in 1982, when his father famously chipped in for birdie at the 17th hole on Sunday to deny Jack Nicklaus the title. 

“I was in my mom’s womb when he made that shot,” he said. “I couldn’t see it but I guarantee I could feel it.”


Holy water

Talking of Tom Watson, it was interesting to watch the great man play the famed 17th on Saturday afternoon with thousands of fans clamouring for a better view of the eight-time major winner.

The par-three shares a teeing ground with the par-four fourth and Padraig Harrington and Matt Kuchar took advantage of a long wait there to watch Watson play the hole.

“Guess you know this hole Tom,” shouted a fan as Watson stepped onto the tee. 

Watson turned to the crowd and smiled.

“I’ve played it a few times,” he said to roars of laughter from the gallery.

He was handed a bottle of water from a nearby cooler, drank half of it and asked: “Anybody want some water.”

A man took the bottle immediately, prompting another to shout: “That’s holy water now. Sprinkle some on all of us.”

Alas it didn’t help Watson play the hole any better. He made bogey en route to a one under 70 that left him tied for 16th playing the final round.

He needed to finish in the top 15 to ensure it wasn’t his last US Open appearance. But he could also secure his place at Congressional Country Club next year by winning this year’s US Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club.