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U.S. Open at Pebble Beach

THE WEATHER FORECAST

It's a typical June forecast for Pebble Beach, with low clouds expected through the morning and a high temperature in the mid-60s today. The wind is expected to remain relatively light. For Thursday's first round, it's much the same forecast, with the temperature topping out around 60.

OBSERVATIONS

A very large tree guards the right front of the famous 18th green at Pebble Beach, a mature replacement for the original that expired a few years ago. When you get close to the tree you notice something unusual - there's a large surveillance camera mounted on one side, apparently in case anyone attempts to vandalize the tree.

Not to be rude or anything, but here at Pebble Beach, where the U.S. Open is coming to life this week, it's chilly. I know, you don't want to hear it as you rub sweat out of your eyes and wonder if it would be possible to cook a turkey in your car while you're at work. But at Pebble Beach, people are bundled up in sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets.

Some of the volunteers are wearing hoodies and gloves. It looks like a Packers game.

Depending on how often the sun decides to shine through what they call the marine layer out here - it's like fog only not quite that low - the temperature isn't expected to nudge much past 60 degrees unless Phil Mickelson gets it going or Clint Eastwood makes the scene. It's what you call atmosphere.

It doesn't start until Thursday, but Pebble Beach is already a cool place to be.

How can you tell it's the U.S. Open?

Players are grumbling about the course setup. They like it for the most part, but they're sounding the alarms about the greens, which are firm and getting firmer.

The thing about Pebble Beach greens is they're tiny. You could fit two or three of them on greens at some other courses. Give the players small targets, make the greens hard and grow a little rough around the edges and the fun starts.

THEY SAID IT

"Is there any record that stands forever? No." - Padraig Harrington when asked if he thinks Tiger Woods' record-setting 15-stroke margin of victory in the 2000 U.S. Open will be broken.

"It's none of your business." - Woods, when asked about the status of his marriage.

"There is nobody in the field, when the pin is on the left on 17, unless the wind is in, there's nobody in the field that can hit the ball on the green. So you have to say where am I going to make par from, the front bunker, the back bunker... hit it to that spot and make par." - Mickelson on the challenge of Pebble Beach's small greens.

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