Casey's Driving: The longest drive measured at the U.S. Open, a 373-yarder at the Olympic Club's 437-yard par-4 6th hole, was by Casey Martin (below). He ended the Open with a 291.3-yard average, second only to John Daly's 295.6, and by finishing 23rd made $34,043, more than half his Nike tour earnings for the year.
Double the Bet: Jack Nicklaus won a $15 bet with Arnold Palmer during a practice round for the 1962 Open. In practice last week Martin's birdie at the 18th hole beat Tiger Woods out of $30. "And he will pay it," Martin said.
Royal Flush: Inspired, perhaps, by the million-dollar bathrooms unveiled at this year's Masters, the USGA rolled out its own posh privies at the Open. Air-conditioned rest rooms for guests in the $135,000-per-tent Olympic Village featured brass washbasins, gilt-framed Renoir prints, electric shoe-polishers, complimentary body lotion and Rainforest Mint mouthwash.
Open Scopin': Souvenirs ranged from $2 ball markers to $275 portraits of the course, but the hottest items in the merchandise tent were the $12 Beanie Baby-style teddy bears stamped with the Open logo. All 1,000 were gone three days before play began. The best-connected salesman in the tent was Phil Mickelson Sr., 62, the golfer's dad. He was selling deluxe $59 periscopes called Sportscopes. "One guy told me he'd use his to watch his neighbor walk around without her clothes on," said Phil p�re.
Rotary Club: Private jets are pass�. Nick Price has joined Greg Norman, Arnold Palmer and others who helicopter to and from their golf outings. Price recently bought a Bell 407 chopper from Bell Textron Inc.
Foul-Weather Friendly's: While the world watched the men in San Francisco, the LPGA staged a wet Friendly's Classic in Agawam, Mass., where Amy Fruhwirth scored a two-shot win over Charlotta Sorenstam and Kim Saiki. Sorenstam revealed that a sponsor's exemption to the 1996 Friendly's had saved her life. She was ticketed on TWA Flight 800, which crashed off Long Island, killing all 230 aboard, until a last-minute invitation from the Friendly's changed her plans.
Bowing Out: Missie Berteotti and Jill Briles-Hinton are so close that Briles-Hinton's two-year-old son, Robert, is nicknamed Bert in tribute to Berteotti. Still, Briles-Hinton eliminated her pal on the seventh playoff hole in qualifying for the U.S. Women's Open last week at Blue Hill Country Club in Canton, Mass. "The Open will be my last tournament," said Briles-Hinton, who is leaving the LPGA tour to coach the women's team at Florida. The job will give her more time with Bert, who suffers from epilepsy (GOLF PLUS, June 22).
Laughing Grass: Descriptions of the rough at Olympic sounded like a casting call for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Tom Watson called it "clingy," Tiger Woods "clumpy," club superintendent John Fleming "snarly" and Johnny Miller "tangly." The stuff made everybody grumpy. "I don't think it's proper," said Tim Moraghan of the USGA, "when it begins to make fun of the best players in the universe."