WARNING: Leading U.S. Open Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

WARNING: Leading U.S. Open Can Be Hazardous to Your Health 1GRAEME MCDOWELL SHOT A 68 on Friday at Pebble Beach and is leading the U.S. Open by two shots. If the Irishman is trying to win the title, he sure is going about it in an odd way. Doesn’t he know that front runners not named Tiger Woods typically fade on the weekend.

Seriously, how many times in recent years has a 36-hole leader gone on to win the U.S. Open? I think Jim Furyk did in 2003. I believe Angel Cabrera also did in 2007, but he lost the lead after 54 holes and then came back. Graeme might want to consider that option.

The fact is, leading the U.S. Open is highly stressful and harmful to a person’s physical and mental health. Four out of five doctors who play golf would surely go along with me on this. There may even be a warning label on the U.S. Open application:

The most common side effects of the U.S. Open are headache, upset stomach (with occasional vomiting), loss of sleep and uncontrollable weeping. If side effects of the U.S. Open become severe, seek immediate medical attention. Discuss your mental fitness and golf ability with a professional to ensure the U.S. Open is right for you and that you are healthy enough for U.S. Open activity.

Graeme McDowell is a fine golfer. The recent winner of the Celtic Manor Wales Open is a robust 30-year-old who is ranked No. 37 in the world. But if McDowell actually wants to win the U.S. Open—and if he wants to still be 30 instead of 40 by Sunday evening—he might want to drop off the pace on Saturday. Just ask Mark Hensby. Or Ricky Barnes, who may not look it but is now 43 years old.

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: skysports.com)

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Neil Sagebiel

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