Thank You for Coming!
Attending a US Open practice round at Merion was one of the thrills of my life. I didn't care if I was slogging through the mud following group after group. The tight course was crowded in spite of the mud. I didn't care. To see so many of the professionals was a real delight and one that I will remember for the rest of my life. But the real treat of the day occurred as I was headed to the car. As I rounded the stands behind 18, I noticed a small group forming along 1. Thinking another Pro was headed out for a late 9 at 5, I considered following him. When I reached the ropes I was surprised to see several chairs and a table setup in the fairway. The U.S. Open Trophy rested in the center of the table. Dave Marr was holding court with those who stood there and quietly informed us that the past US Open Champions would soon take their places behind the trophy. Wow! After waiting 45 minutes or so, we were treated to see two dozen champions emerge from the club house and pose for a professional photographer. The results of their efforts can be found on the USGA.Org website. The meager results of my efforts can be seen below. My old phone took several pictures through the heads of fans in front of me. A moment I'll never forget.
How many champions can you name?[/caption] All 100 or so fans stood in almost reverence as the champions took their seats. No one had forewarned us of the event. There were no programs telling us who was who or when they won and who they beat. We stood quietly snapping pictures with "illegal" phones of the historical event. No one yelled, "mashed potatoes." No one spoiled the moment. At the end of the photography session, the champions headed back to the Clubhouse and to dinner. Fans headed home with memories of spending a few moments in the presence of "golf royalty." We had witnessed a "regal" moment that will never happen again. To all the champions assembled there, "Thank You."