Say what you mean
“If it wasn’t for two guys then this would be a great tournament!” Rory McIlroy says on Saturday night what everyone else is thinking. With two exceptions.

I predict a riot
It will finally dawn on Ricky Barnes, the world’s 519th best golfer, that he is leading the 109th US Open and not the John Deere Classic. He was already looking twitchy late Saturday. “I wanted to compete this week but I don’t think you come in this week thinking you are going to win.” Hmm, that doesn’t sound like the positive mind-set that players always talk about. Brown trousers could be a good choice for Sunday.

Reasons to be cheerful
“Woo-hoo!” as Blur used to sing. A golf tournament has finally broken out at Bethpage. And it is ushered in by the biggest roar of the week that wasn’t thunder as Phil Mickelson birdied the last hole of his third round. There was even a brief glimpse of a bright orange shiny thing in the sky on Saturday evening. The New York Met office is trying to discover what it might be.  

Re-writing dusty old golf clichés

“Majors don’t start until the back nine on Sunday.” Er, make that on Monday. If it goes to an 18-hole play-off (thanks, USGA, great idea), then the popping noise you will hear will be the sound of local hotel managers cracking open another magnum of champagne to celebrate one more night of fleecing the visitors to Bethpage with their ‘special’ room rates.

Suited and booted
Phil Mickelson looked like he was the best man at a wedding resplendent in his pinstriped trousers on Saturday. One more good round and he might just be promoted to groom. “I know I can make five or six birdies to make up the ground,” he says. “I only have two people ahead of me. I just need a hot one.” And who are we to keep a man from his bath?  

Getting the crowd on message
“The fans are awesome out there. I love this place.” Just like this year’s Masters, Lefty is going to be the star attraction for the galleries in the final round, trying to make a charge up the leaderboard. The final group of Barnes and Glover is going to feel a ghost town. Tumbleweed, anyone?

What to do in all the rain delays
Graeme McDowell has been watching the new Batman movie and listening to Snow Patrol and U2 on his iPod. “It’s a funny golf course because there are definitely 65s out there but, at the same time, there are also 75s. You don’t wish any ill on the leaders but I’d like to see them come back a bit to me to give me a chance,” McDowell said. “But if they want to choke like dogs that would be grand,” he didn’t add.

His Masters Voice

We just don’t know what day it is anymore,” says a tired and fed up Tiger Woods. Which might explain why he wore his traditional fourth round red shirt on Sunday for his, err, third round. Which begs the question: just how much revenue will Nike lose by not showcasing Tiger’s third round Saturday shirt? And what colour is it? I think we should be told. It’s really important.