I was ready for this U.S. Open. I'd been hitting it great, and on
the Southern Hills range, David Leadbetter said, "If you can't
win with that swing, you don't need my help--you need a shrink."
Lead's comments were slightly more eloquent than those of Jack
Harden, my buddy from San Antonio. He saw my swing and said,
"Don't f--- with it." Officially, Jack was my instructor last
week. He was next to me as I purchased extra badges, and the USGA
guy said, "Would you like a badge for your instructor?"
Absolutely, I said. I figured that was one less badge I'd have to
pay for. Jack got a lot of mileage out of the badge. On the range
on Saturday, he watched Tiger Woods warm up from about four feet
away. Jack knows Butch Harmon, Tiger's coach, who invited him
over. Jack's analysis of Tiger: He's pretty good. Yes, Jack has a
way with words.
I came out of the locker room on Thursday morning, handed my bag
to my caddie, Jim Freedman, and started walking to the range to
warm up. We didn't get far. Jim says, "Brandel?" I go, "Yeah?"
"You want to put your golf shoes on?" I looked down. I was still
in my street shoes. Shut up, Jack.
Brandel Chamblee came in 44th, his best finish in a U.S. Open.
COLOR PHOTO: DARREN CARROLL