April 6th, 2010

2010 Shell Houston Open: A Photo Essay

A lucky series of text messages happened to lead to a media pass to the Shell Houston Open last weekend. I wore that badge and purple bracelet with all the pride I could muster. Trust me, it’s easy to feel important when you can just hold up your fist at a course official proclaiming your photo taking privileges. Then again, those same actions will consequently have your friends ribbing you the entire time. Frequent stops at the beer stands will do that to recovering frat boys.

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Redstone Golf Course in Humble was the site of the event. The 100 yard marker is the site of most of my mistakes in my own game. Those wedges get me every time.

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On Friday the crowds were not out in force by any means. The only player drawing a decent following was Phil Mickelson. You’re gonna have to look elsewhere for a man-sseire joke. I prefer my jokes like my women, not cheap.

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Guys? Guys?! I said “stay out of my line,” not “stay out of my LIFE!”

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The first time a red-polo’d official tried to interrupt my photo journalism was after this shot. Maybe I didn’t look like professional with a sixteen ounce, aluminum Budweiser can sticking out of the back pocket of my shorts. Who knows? Joke was on him.

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“It’s about that time.”
“Time for what?”
“…”

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“Time for another bathroom break.”
I believe it was De Gaulle who first said “with much Syrah comes much toilettes.” Same goes for Anheuser Busch products.

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Yep, that’s President George Herbert Walker Bush being escorted around the grounds. Sitting on the back of the 14th Green we caught the players shaking hands with the man in the golf cart. Padraig Harrington pays attention to no man after just making a birdie putt. Unless that man is HW. I later caught the former Prez watching Phil Mickelson on the ninth hole. The man was everywhere.

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Because I have nothing to say about this photo let’s revisit our brush with the President. Just after snapping the photo I was standing behind another golf cart waiting for our team to make a move. A man – bald, thick-necked, and intimidating – approached as the owner. Obviously, he was a Secret Service agent. He looked at the five of us and growled, “which one of you took my clubs.” I guess when you’re seventeen years removed from the White House you get a bit of a funny bone.

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The things people can do with flowers and fountains these days… Amazing…

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I think we can all agree that this photo stands on its own, yes?

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The 18th green and the end of our journey. It was a long afternoon and a very long walk. But it was all very much worth it. Hopefully we get invited back again next year.

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[Bonus Photo]
Martin Flores and his caddy are obviously discussing Chris Wood’s strange gait on the green here. There’s no way they could be discussing anything more important.

— Paul

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