Rickie’s kind gestures, psychic Max Homa and a new WAG | Rogers Report
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Hello friends, and happy Tuesday. I am fresh off a stint at an extremely crowded Los Angeles International Airport. The security line at airports the day after a major championship always looks like the merchandise tent threw up on it — just about everyone is rocking a U.S. Open hat, shirt or hoodie. I was no better than the rest of the folks there as I’m traveled in an oversized Masters hoodie and Adidas golf hat.
First, I need to explain to you all just how great the media center food was at the U.S. Open. I’m not sure who to thank for this. LACC? The USGA? Mike Whan himself? I’ll write a handwritten letter to whomever was in charge of this. Every single meal was delicious. Do you ever go to a wedding, glance at the kids’ table and wish you were able to eat the chicken fingers and fries? Me too. Luckily, they had those on site, as well as salads, burgers, tacos and more.
They also had a mid-afternoon snack each day. There was a popcorn machine on Friday, soft pretzels on Saturday and a barista on hand to make whatever drink you desired. Sorry to the folks in line behind me who had to wait as my vanilla lattes with oat milk were hand-crafted each day.
Father’s Day posts
Sunday was Father’s Day, and with a handful of dads in the field at the U.S. Open, the USGA made sure to team up with some Tour kids for a special surprise and the outcome was adorable.
How great is that? I also spent my Father’s Day at LACC, but made sure to get my dad a gift from the merchandise tent per his (many, many) requests. The media center barista also had some fun with my latte on Sunday morning.
The best player-watching spots
LACC is pretty spread out, so it wasn’t easy to find the *perfect* spectating spot on the course last week. I did, however, spend a lot of my time people-watching by the player arrival area, which happened to be right next to player services. I used to think that the best people-watching location in the world was at Washington Square Park in Manhattan on a hot summer afternoon, but I was mistaken. It’s in the parking lot of LACC, where players hop out of their courtesy Lexus SUVs, TrackMans in hand, rocking athleisure and ready to warm up.
This is also a great spot to play a little game I like to call “will that golfer acknowledge me?” The GOLF team had a pretty high batting average here. I got a hello from McIlroy, Finau and DJ, while Dylan Dethier and Sean Zak had a brief conversation with their favorite guy, Xander Schauffele, as he made his way down to the range.
Players usually walk from the parking lot to player services and player dining before heading down to the range, and the USGA was serving some jokes with their meals all week long.
Rickie’s kind gestures
I’d like to discuss Rickie Fowler next. My sister, Ellen, was a multiple-time “Sportsmanship Award” winner in high school. Honors like that are usually reserved for the personality players on a team, but I’d like to hand one out to Mr. Richard Fowler after his performance at LACC, even though his play might make him more of an MVP contender.
There’s a reason kids love Rickie Fowler and why dozens of grown men will dress up in head-to-toe orange at any and all golf events. The people love Fowler! He is unapologetically himself and gets rewarded for it. I mean, it’s hard not to root for this guy. He signed post-round autographs long after his rounds ended over the weekend at LACC.
Shout out to Fowler for doing this. I exclusively leave places via Irish goodbye (this habit probably originated from large family parties or trying to leave church on Sundays as a kid while my parents took upwards of 30 minutes to bid everyone adieu), so this sort of thing would definitely not work for me.
His other kind gestures at the U.S. Open fell on Sunday, and were even more classy than staying around late to make a bunch of kids’ days.
Despite losing to Wyndham Clark, he made sure to tell the U.S. Open champion just how proud his late mother would be of him.
Then he took a few moments to check in on and congratulate Clark as they passed each other by the flash interview area.
Good guy alert! And my final piece of evidence that suggests Fowler deserves the 2023 U.S. Open Sportsmanship Award was what I saw as he walked off the 18th green on Sunday evening. Fowler greeted his parents and wife, and then immediately scooped his daughter, Maya, into his arms. “How’s it going?” he asked her, before asking if she wanted to go see what everybody was up to in the clubhouse.
And when Fowler was asked about Maya in his post-round interview, he explained just how great she is for him.
Fowler just seems like the best. And if this whole “being a superb person” thing isn’t something you can fully relate to, I preset to you the most relatable thing Fowler did all week: carry around an extremely clunky water bottle.
On to the U.S. Open champion! Clark had such a big crew cheering and yelling with him as he made his way to the scoring tent that it truly felt like I just watched a varsity football team win their state championship and he was the quarterback.
And thanks to Clark’s win, we’ve officially got a new WAG on the scene! Clark’s girlfriend, Alicia Bogdanski, works for the Discovery Land Company. That’s all I’ve got in terms of information on the couple for now.
My new pals
For me, the absolute best part of my job is how I am constantly meeting new people on the road. I’ve met caddies, volunteers, other writers and golf fans over the last year and a half or so. When it’s a major week, I feel like I end up meeting even more people than usual. I met people working on Season 2 of Full Swing, USGA employees, photographers, agents and some new caddies this week. I even got to meet the Paulina Gretzky, who, as a big Dustin Johnson fan, I have been eager to cross paths with for years now.
Shout out to my coworker for getting a picture of us chatting. I will cherish it a weird amount.
I also got to talk to Collin Morikawa for the first time this week. We had met once or twice in passing before, but when I was out following a practice round on Tuesday he asked me who my guest was on The Scoop for the week (disclaimer: I had no guest). After that, I cordially invited him to join me for some ice cream and golf talk at some point in the future, and I asked him about LACC and Macklemore’s golf swing as we made our way down the 11th hole together.
My third and final “big meet” of the week was Jordan Spieth’s caddie, Michael Greller.
Bones Mackay introduced me and we ended up talking all about Taylor Swift’s concert, which seems to happen a lot when I’m out on the range.
Max Homa the psychic?
Max Homa may have missed the cut at LACC, but his prediction game was wildly impressive on Sunday. If you missed it, he and Justin Thomas had some fun watching the action unfold during the final round.
And then Max predicted not only the winner, but the winning score.
I would never tell a six-time PGA Tour winner to quit his day job, but if Homa ever does decide to take a new career path, he should become a psychic and make the big bucks. Or a sports-bettor, but I’m not sure if I’m supposed to suggest that.
My favorite adidas looks from the week
Anyone who knows me, has seen me out and about, or even just caught a glimpse of me on a Zoom meeting knows that I’m not exactly stylish. I get about as creative as a black t-shirt and jeans (original, I know) — but I’m always struggling to figure out what to wear on site at a tournament. So thanks to my new pals at Adidas for making my week easy by picking out some looks for me. They saved me a lot of time in the morning, and more importantly, from further humiliation in my family group chat. These were some of my favorite items I sported at Los Angeles Country Club.
My personality does not come with these items (for better or worse), but I guarantee that a bunch of compliments do. I prefer an athletic look while I’m on-site, so that’s what I went with. These are great for any female golfer out there. And a bunch of it is on sale, too!