U.S. Open site Erin Hills would not have happened if not for Inmate No. 500995

May 17, 2017
General Views of Erin Hills Golf Course venue for 2017 US Open Championship

David Cannon

Stories of interest you might have missed…

“Inmate No. 500995 smiles as he approaches a table in the visiting center at Waupun Correctional Institution.

“‘This is a nice surprise,’ Steve Trattner says, taking a seat in the blue plastic chair opposite mine…

“A judge once called Trattner a ‘menace to society’ but he’s surely not intimidating among the men incarcerated at Waupun, a maximum security prison for dangerous felons.

“Our conversation naturally swings toward golf. Trattner asks about the Masters and I tell him stories about covering the tournament and playing golf on the way home, but catch myself.

“Trattner hasn’t set foot on a golf course in more than a decade. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison for killing his wife, Sin Lam, in the couple’s Mequon home in 2006.”

Gary D’Amato of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel with the story on Trattner, without whom there would be no Erin Hills or U.S. Open in Wisconsin.

Si Woo Kim’s caddie perseveres

As he drove three hours into the still of Sunday evening from Ponte Vedra Beach to Bluffton, S.C., Mark Carens watched and listened as his cell phone constantly lit up and buzzed…

“For the longest time, ‘I would be one of those caddies sending the text messages,’ said Carens. ‘Someday, I just hoped it would be me who received one.’

“Had he lost hope, who could have blamed him? After all, for 15 years Carens and his golfer hadn’t crossed the finish line first in a PGA Tour or Tour tournament. What could have accelerated the feeling of hopelessness is the fact that all six times he had been in a playoff, he had failed to win.

“Spare him the shoulder to cry on, however. Instead, accept that hand he is likely to extend and say hi to a guy with the permanent smile who embodies a delightful slice of this great game. He never fell out of love with golf, even during those rough years trying to make it as fledgling pro and he surely didn’t sour on it when his winless career stretched into a 15th season.”

Jim McCabe of with the story of Carens, caddie for Players Championship winner Si Woo Kim, his relationship with the 21-year-old Korean and their language barrier that isn’t.