June 11, 2008, 7:00 PM PST–Torrey Pines–Well, we are less than 24 hours before the U.S. Open tees off at Fabulous Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. And the early tee times of the event will have a distinct Las Vegas golf flavor as several Las Vegas PGA Tour pros are off among the first groups. Las Vegas golf's own Craig Barlow is in the first group, at 7 AM PST, going off the 10th tee while Scott Piercy, who won a million bucks in last year's Ultimate Game played in Vegas, is right behind him at 7:11 AM. Dean Wilson, who plays out of TPC Las Vegas, goes off at 7:22 AM on the 1st tee, while former UNLV player and 3rd-ranked player in the world, Adam Scott, goes out in the ultimate pairing at 8:06 AM on the first tee. His group? Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson (pictured). As they say, keep good company. Scott was scheduled to appear at a Wednesday press conference, but as of 2:00 PM PST hadn't arrived. But Mickelson, who works with Las Vegas golf pro Butch Harmon at Rio Secco Golf Club, is ready to go and agrees with Barlow on the fairness of the course setup. "I think the course is going to give the players a difficult test, but I think that it's a fair test," Mickelson said in a press conference.
"I think it's the best setup I've ever seen for a U.S. Open. And for me personally, this tournament means a lot to me growing up here. And to see it set up like this and so beautiful, it's exciting."
Mickelson was recently in Las Vegas and working with Butch Harmon and reportedly through down a bunch of birdies at Cascata, an exclusive resort course operated by Harrah's. According to a witness to the round, Mickelson played Cascata in 8-under par, but skipped a few holes along the way. Barlow is the course-record holder at Cascata with a 62.
Mickelson's Cascata round reportedly came just before he won the Crowne Plaza Invitational a few weeks ago.
Other Las Vegas golfers in the field this week include Chad Campbell, who goes off at 12:52 PM on the 10th tee, and Nick Watney, who also works with Harmon, teeing off at 8:17 AM on the 10th tee.
This post comes to you in the early afternoon at Torrey Pines, and there are thousands of people flocking around the grounds, and practice rounds and sessions are in full swing. Stay tuned to GLV Now and we will bring you our unique look at the U.S. Open in Torrey Pines.
Brian Hurlburt, Founding Editor