Curran: US Open was the perfect start to a big day of sports in Boston originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
BROOKLINE, Massachusetts. — Let the record show that at 6:45 am one of those “Who has it better than us???” The days of Boston sports officially began when the first tee shot was made from the 10th tee at the 2022 US Open.
Dude, who did this? It could be Fran Quinn, 57, from Holden, Massachusetts, who – with her baby Owen in her bag – started a day he will always remember.
In fact, it was a day that we will all remember forever. We’re kind of used to having the sports world’s eyes on Boston. But there have not been so many days when so much has been at stake for so many for so long.
From the moment Franny said it at 10 until midnight when the Celtics game is over, America’s Athens will be the sports center of the universe.
What was it like starting this day of red letters?
“Very cool,” Quinn said. “It’s something you never think about. And now it has become a reality. When I qualified, Owen said, “Dad, you can hit the first tee.” And when those couples came out, he said, “Daddy, you’re hitting the first tee.”
“This is an incredible, special experience and honor. Being a tour player from Massachusetts in the biggest major we have in the United States, and I’m the batsman at the country club? Pretty special.”
Owen, a Lehigh University graduate who had just started his professional golf journey, was still pinching himself an hour after the end of the round.
“The first tee at the US Open? At 57? Definitely incredible. And I’m going to remember that for the rest of my life. It will be even more memorable if he can score a couple of goals tomorrow and then play at the weekend.”
Quinn parried 10 and birded 11 to grab a very, very, very early lead, but his stick never warmed up from close range. He finished with par 76, six more, and he may need about 68 on Friday to hold up.
Although he was annoyed at 76th, he may have been more upset about the 9 o’clock clue in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden.
“I plan to watch, but I can sleep!” he pleaded. “Why are they fucking us? What are they doing? Seriously!”
“He’ll probably fall asleep at the end of the first quarter,” Owen predicted. – But I’ll see. Let’s see if I can stay up. I got up at 4:15 today and came here for that time, but we’ll see.”
Fran held court in the players’ parking lot, with his wife Lori, daughter Katie and Owen standing by. A couple of feet behind Quinn, defending champion John Rahm’s Lexus was parked in first place. Nearby were the rides of Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.
Adam Scott passed by with his cart. The remarkably diminutive Rory McIlroy strode ahead after his 3rd junior round put him at the top of the leaderboard.
While the entire course was littered with professional golfers, the course was teeming with guys like new supervillain Phil Mickelsonwho looked especially devilish in his glasses, black shirt and black hat emblazoned with the logo he “jumped” on after winning the Masters in 2004.
Phil, embroiled in controversy for being a key cog in the newly founded Saudi-backed LIV Tour, actually got a big roar when he was announced in the opening match. He then rowed around Brooklyn for several hours and finished with a score of 78.
The fans we saw didn’t waver in support. They want Phil to be around for the weekend. It adds to the atmosphere. What is another exciting backdrop for such an event: the atmosphere.
Seeing an ultra-exclusive, very stuffy place like The Country Club throw its doors open, waddle of us Massholes never ceases to be fun. They didn’t allow Tom Brady join, fer crissake. They didn’t want a fuss every time he came out, so according to a TCC member, they let Giselle in and Tom had to settle for being her guest when he wanted to play.
Golf, of course, wasn’t the only game in town for us Massholes. The Sox played fives at Fenway (losing 4-3), and the biggest one was a Celtics night game trying to prevent elimination against Golden State.
Before that, Boston was crowded. The one I remember best is October Sunday 2013 when Brady hit Kenbrell Tompkins to win the game at Foxborough, then David Ortiz, David Ortiz, David Ortiz won the Grand Slam against the Tigers in Game 2 of the ALCS to get another win coming from behind.
But this one stretches from dawn to midnight.
Quinn, the oldest player to reach the Open through two qualifying rounds since such things started being tracked in the 1980s, knows how special these days are.
“I’m a big fan of Boston sports and being a part of today’s history is something I will always cherish,” he said.
However, Quinn is not thoughtful. As far as he is concerned, this is far from the final event. He competes with his ass.
“Lori always said, ‘Age is just a number,'” he said. “I play with kids all the time. I’m in Florida and I’m very comfortable with young (professionals).
“I love where I play on the Champions Tour. But I like it. And I want to score 68 points tomorrow. I want all these people who have supported me all these years to say, “This guy did it!” And so, hopefully, I can do it.”
Is there any added pressure, all these people reaching out so hard to see Quinn fall?
“Yeah, maybe, but that’s okay,” he shrugged. “It’s part of the game. You are a professional athlete. You have to come out and you have to perform. I hope they remember not only that I made the first tee shot, but that I hit 67 tomorrow.”
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