Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands

The Loop

Gentlemen, start your turtlenecks

October 08, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO -- More often than not the phrase "summer-like weather," has a positive shirt- sleeves-and-sunglasses connotation. Not so in San Francisco, where anyone from Mark Twain to Barry Bonds would tell you a summer by the Bay is defined by dense fog, stiff breezes, and heads buried into sweaters.

This is all relevant on the first day of Presidents Cup, because yes, summer has returned to Harding Park. After brilliant skies in the early part of the week, the fog rolled in at midday Wednesday, dropping the temperature and dampening the mood here so dramatically that even San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom felt the need to apologize for the conditions during the Opening Ceremonies (like any good politician, Newsom, who is running for governor of California, was giving himself *waaay *too much credit)

But back to the golf, who exactly does this favor? Short answer: to be determined. While Harding Park isn't overly long at 7,094 yards and neither team has a decided power advantage, the cooler conditions means the ball won't travel as far. And that's noteworthy when you consider that two of the course's three par 5s come in the first five holes, meaning players might not be able to get home in two. In theory, that could favor shorter-hitting teams like Mike Weir and Tim Clark against Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim; or Justin Leonard and Anthony Kim against Retied Goosen and Y.E. Yang.

But that's just for now. As they like to say about the weather, if you don't like it, wait a few minutes and it'll change.

-- Sam Weinman