Some players have unusual stories

Boo Weekley used to wear rain pants when he played golf because cotton gave him a rash, according to the U.S. Open players guide. Those rain pants would come in handy this week at Merion.
Boo Weekley used to wear rain pants when he played golf because cotton gave him a rash, according to the U.S. Open players guide. Those rain pants would come in handy this week at Merion. (   DAVID CANNON / Getty Images)
Posted: June 14, 2013

Read the U.S. Open's players guide closely and you can learn a lot.

Very often more than you really wanted to know.

Brandt Jobe, for example, lost parts of two fingers in a garage accident.

Not just any garage accident. He was sweeping its floor with a broom.

Jobe apparently is a very vigorous sweeper, because the broom shattered and he lost the tips of his left index finger and thumb, and much of his desire to help out around the house.

Fortunately, employing the "lift, clean, and play" rule with which he is so familiar, he scooped up the digital bits, put them in a baggie, and proceeded to the hospital.

On the subject of gory injuries, don't overlook Thongchai Jaidee.

The Thai golfer was on his way to becoming a soccer star when he accidentally embedded a skewer into his foot. (Please, no chicken satay jokes.)

Boo Weekley's story isn't bloody, though it's equally unseemly.

As a young golfer, he used to play in rain pants.

Why, you ask?

Well, cotton pants gave him a rash.

Thankfully, the players guide didn't say where.

Then there's Ryan Sullivan, who claims he recorded a hole-in-one on a 114-yard hole when he was 6.

If that sounds as far-fetched as Jobe's broom story, consider that Sullivan's greatest subsequent achievement has been missing the cut in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

There's also a lot of interest in fast-moving vehicles among these Open contestants, hardly surprising for people who spend so much time in golf carts.

Jay Don Blake, at 54 this Open's oldest entrant, attended the National Hot Rod Association's drag-racing school in 1995. (Please, no Jason Peters jokes.) His GPA reportedly was a 4.0 liter.

Rickie Fowler raced dirt bikes, perhaps over the bills of the hats he favors. Amateur Michael Weaver was a go-kart aficionado.

Australia's Aaron Baddeley was actually born in America, where his father was Mario Andretti's chief mechanic. Is that why Baddeley is an above-average driver?

Bo Van Pelt's father was a fifth-round Eagles draft choice in 1967. Van Pelt, 38, has just one PGA Tour win. Coincidence? No, for someone with such close ties to the Eagles, you'd have assumed he'd never won a championship.

Some of these guys have interesting dads.

Robert Garrigus' won an Olympic silver medal in shooting (trap, not par).

Marcel Siem's father was a handball professional and Kevin Phelan's a squash pro. (Please, no jokes about squash pros.)

U.S. Open limerick

He went to his girl's graduation.

Then flew back across the whole nation.

But Phil wasn't tired.

His play was inspired.

And now he's this Open's sensation.

Greens-fee break?

No word yet from the USGA on whether Tiger Woods and all those other golfers who didn't tee off until about 5 p.m. Thursday qualified for Merion's twilight rate.

Giving 'Em Fitz:

5 things


at Merion

1 Man outside the merchandise tent to a friend who had asked him, "Where's Bernie?":

"I told you: He's naked in the dressing room pimping like he's in Silence of the Lambs."

2 Marshal to a friend: "My wife's volunteering in the medical tent at Haverford College. She's supposed to meet me here. I called and asked her where she was and she said, 'I'm walking across the 16th green.' And I said, 'Nooooo!' "

3 Man to a friend: "You'll never guess who I just saw. Frank Beamer!"

Friend: "Who's that?"

4 Fan to Jason Dufner: "Yo, Duff, you ain't as fat as I thought you were."

5 Fan watching three women slog through the mud. "Dude, I just love women in boots."

5 things not overheard

at Merion

1 "Boy, we really needed this rain."

2 "I don't know about you, but I came out here to watch one guy and one guy alone - Eddie Pepperell."

3 "Hey, was that Bobby Seale in the Merion members tent?"

4 "I hear that today Rory tweeted a picture of himself on the steps of the Mutter Museum."

5 "Darn rain. This course is playing way too easy."

Contact Frank Fitzpatrick at Follow @philafitz on Twitter.

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