Sea of Spectators See What It’s All About

The gallery gravitated toward the group of Tiger Woods, Rocco Mediate and Anthony Kim on Friday as the players made their way from the 15th green to the 16th tee at Torrey Pines South.

Fans packed the stands behind the 15th green on the South Course at Torrey Pines and lined the ropes that fence off the green and fairway as the group that included Tiger Woods, Rocco Mediate and Anthony Kim approached during Friday’s second round of the Farmers Insurance Open.

One young man, probably one of the more resourceful fans and certainly one of the most agile, scaled a tree to get a better view of things.

“Perfect,” said the teenager. “I can see the tee box from here and everything.”

A moment later a marshall looked up and said, “You can’t be in the tree there. I’m sorry.”

Tournament officials try to be as accommodating as possible for spectators. Within limits. And mindful of liability. The youngster returned to earth and followed his father to another spot behind the green to get a glimpse of the proceedings. They — along with perhaps 20,000 others on the grounds — enjoyed another day of beautiful weather, good times and great golf.

There was a Tiger sighting, as expected. Unanticipated was when Phil Mickelson’s group spotted some snakes. Animal Planet would be interested to know that there was even mention of monkeys. Just another day at the Farmers, which could be a zoo come the weekend the way things are going.

Kim excited the crowd early with birdies on each of his first four holes. Woods matched the feat with birdies on the third through sixth holes. They, along with everyone else, are looking up to leader Bill Haas, who birdied three of his first five holes and shot a 6-under 66. It was good enough to go 11-under for the tournament, two strokes better than Kim (who carded a 67) and three shots better than seven other players (Mickelson, John Daly and defending champion Ben Crane among them). Woods shot his second straight 69, putting him five shots off the lead.

It was on the tee box at No. 9 on the North Course where someone in Mickelson’s group spotted a couple rattlesnakes tangling with each other down in some canyon brush below. Next thing you know, players and caddies are on a nature excursion, momentarily captivated like little boys. Soon enough it was back to the task at hand.

And the monkeys? Kim can explain that.

“I’ve always loved animals,” said Kim. “I have two dogs at home, and I’ve always wanted monkeys.”

So he got a pair and named them Craig and Deebo, after two of the characters in ‘Friday,’ one of his favorite movies. Kim said he originally got the idea for the pets while watching another movie, ‘Dunston Checks In.’

“I saw that when I was little,” he said. “And I said it would be pretty cool to have a couple of monkeys. I was playing golf like one, so I figured what better time than to buy them now.”

As thousands will attest, Kim is playing now like one of the best golfers on the PGA Tour.

The field has been trimmed nearly in half, to the 79 players who made the cut at 1-under-par. The first groups for Saturday morning’s third round go off the South Course at 7:40 a.m. Kim is in the final group with Haas and Fredrik Jacobson, teeing off at 9:50 a.m. Mickelson tees off 10 minutes before with Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler. Woods’ tee time is 9:10, in a group that includes Kevin Sutherland and Jhonattan Vegas.

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About Kirk

About: Kirk Kenney

I first gripped a baseball at the age of six. The game has had its grip on me ever since. I enjoy watching and writing about Little League, high school and college as much or more as the major leagues. I would be consumed by golf if it wasn’t for this voice in my head whispering “pay the mortgage, pay the mortgage, pay the mortgage.” I enjoying reading a good book, but I’m more likely to watch a good movie. I was born and raised in San Diego. If not, I’m sure I would have moved here.

What would you do on your ideal San Diego Day?

I’d join three of my buddies at sunrise in the first group off the tee at Torrey Pines, then head up the coast a few miles to enjoy Mexican food for lunch at Las Olas in Cardiff. We’d drop down to Del Mar after that, grab our Boogie boards (waiting an hour after eating, of course, before going in the water) and catch a few waves, then wash off the sand and head downtown to Petco Park to catch a Padres game.

What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?

There’s no way to pick just one. It doesn’t get much better here than playing a round of golf — especially a twilight round where the last putt falls just as the sun sets — because you can do it year-round. My wife and I also enjoy kayaking on Mission Bay or riding bikes along Crown Point Shores.

Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?

Burger and a beer. Make that a root beer. Nothing beats Mug Old Fashioned poured over two scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Latest music purchases for my iPod player are...

Crazy Heart: The Weary Kind (movie soundtrack)

Lady Antebellum: Need You Now

Eagles: Long Road Out of Eden

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