LA JOLLA, Calif. — As we mentioned yesterday, there have been several cases of mistaken identity between Justin Hicks and Justin Hicks, not that either looks much like each other. The Justin Hicks who leads the U.S. Open is a 6-foot-3, 210-pound Michigander who came off the Nationwide Tour and shot 69 from the tips of the longest Open course ever, Torrey Pines.
The other Justin Hicks is a San Diego native, the same height, about 20 pounds lighter, who works at the Stadium Golf Center out near Qualcomm Stadium. And he played in this year's Buick Invitational, on a sponsor's exemption, as the best player in the local PGA Section.
Justin Hicks had met Justin Hicks before. They were both in the Houston Airport, trying to get on the same plane, when airport security stopped them. Since they're both professional golfers, they get the wrong checks sent to the wrong addresses. The worst case of their little identity crisis came when Hicks thought he was bumped from field of the Nationwide Tour's Panama Open because the other Justin Hicks had registered for the field at the Buick.
"The Justin Hicks from Florida should be out having a couple cocktails right now," said the Justin Hicks from San Diego after driving home from the Open Thursday afternoon.
Yes, they got together. In fact, there was one point during a practice round Wednesday when Justin Hicks, the Open qualifier, stood inside the ropes and saw his wife, his sister-in-law and a close friend walking with Justin Hicks, the teaching pro.
"And sure enough, a good friend of mine, who's here this week watching me, is named Jon Turcott and there's a John Turcott in the field as well," said the Justin Hicks leading the Open. "So he always gets the same kind of thing Justin Hicks gets here, too. There are some weird things going on this week for sure."
There's one more connection.
"It's pretty crazy," Justin Hicks the teaching pro said early Friday morning before heading to work. "But my mom graduated from Michigan."
-- Tim Rosaforte