By John Strege
The native areas that were restored adjacent to the fairways at Pinehurst No. 2 created intrigue, but they had the unforeseen benefit of returning "dingle dangles" to the U.S. Open lexicon.
When Martin Kaymer drove it into the "stuff," as it has frequently been called, left of the 12th fairway Saturday, NBC's Johnny Miller noted that no one has called it rough yet.
Martin Kaymer playing from the 'dingle dangles' at 12 (Getty Images photo)
"It's not rough," Peter Jacobsen said. "It is tough, but it's not rough."
"He [Miller] hasn't called it dingle dangles' yet," Roger Maltbie replied. "This is kind of those dingle dangles."
Maltbie was referring to the 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, when Miller called the long brown fescue grass off the fairways "dingle dangles."
At Pinehurst, it's actually called wire grass, but dingle dangles will work, too.
Miller on Rickie Fowler: "Rickie's been really good for the game. Got a great attitude towards people. But so far it's been big hat, no cattle." Fowler has won only once on the PGA Tour.
Miller on Brendon de Jonge's quirky swing: "He takes it back way inside, comes over the top and hits down on it. You see a lot of that swing on the driving range of the local muny, but it works."
The NBC broadcast crew has not yet mentioned that this is its last U.S. Open telecast before Fox Sports takes over in 2015. But moments after an NBC plug for final-round coverage on Father's Day Sunday, and a second or two after Henrik Stenson hit his tee shot at 18, Miller alluded to it.
"I guess next year will be first time at home for Father's Day in 20 years," he said.
"You can book it," Dan Hicks said.
NBC began covering the Open in 1995.
Colin Montgomerie, who has a role in Golf Channel's post-round coverage, was most amusing on Friday night.
— When Rich Lerner asked him who Abe Mitchell was and why he was on his mind, Montgomerie replied: "He was the last player to lose a major after being six shots ahead. Now Abe Mitchell, the Ryder Cup trophy, which I know quite well, there's a guy on top of that, he's about that big … and that is Abe Mitchell. Abe Mitchell was the pro at Walton Heath, where the first Ryder Cup was played and Sam Ryder was a member of Walton Heath.
"You might think it's useless information, but it's information. … It means absolutely nothing, but it's a fantastic story to start the day."
— Frank Nobilo, meanwhile, noted if Kaymer wins the Open he'd be the eighth non-American to do so in 11 years. "All those guys have elected to come here to use America as a base and you opted not to," Nobilo said to Montgomerie. "Regrets?"
"Now being a major champion, you mean? No," Montgomerie replied, smiling. Montgomerie never won a major, but recently won a Champions Tour major, the Senior PGA Championship.
Yes, it is hard keeping track of all of Tiger's victories
Hicks said that Jordan Spieth was a "U.S. Junior Amateur champion not once, but twice. Only Tiger Woods has won that championship twice. Spieth matched him."
No, he didn't. Woods won it three times.
— Erik Compton (@ErikCompton3) June 14, 2014