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By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
Topic - The 1950 U.S. Open
Justin Rose could see all the pieces coming together in this U.S. Open.
If only Sergio Garcia could have a mulligan _ or four of them _ on the 15th hole, he might be in reasonable shape at the U.S. Open.
The affection was genuine. Even better was beating Jack Nicklaus in a playoff. So when Lee Trevino got his hands on that U.S. Open trophy in 1971, the guy who never lacked for one-liners gushed, "I love Merion, and I don't even know her last name."
On a quiet day and on a relatively empty course for practice rounds, just about every player at Merion stops at the plaque in the 18th fairway that commemorates Ben Hogan hitting 1-iron into the 18th green in the 1950 U.S. Open.
No other course with four U.S. Opens had to wait such a long time — 32 years — for another chance to test the world's best players. Even with Tiger Woods back to No. 1 and winning at a ridiculous rate, so much of the talk at this major championship has been about Merion.
Woods won four majors on courses he had never played — Medinah for the 1999 PGA Championship, Valhalla for the PGA Championship the following year, Bethpage Black in the 2002 U.S. Open and Royal Liverpool for the 2006 British Open. Merion is new not only to him, but just about everyone.
The photo of Ben Hogan hitting his 1-iron into the 18th green at Merion in the 1950 U.S. Open is among the most famous in golf history, capturing the pure swing of one of the greatest players when the pressure of a major championship was at its peak.
A handshake on the driving range. A handwritten note left quietly in his locker.