Olympic Field in San Francisco, CA is treating PGA Tour players like a scorned lover. It's standard practice for a U.S. Open course.

ESPN in Bristol, CT is treating golf fans like a bunch of crash test dummies. It hasn't always been standard practice for U.S. Open coverage.

It's one thing to have to stomach the comedic faux pas of Rick Reilly video packages... at least there is good video behind it and has a limited timespan.

The guttural crooning of Chris Berman on the other hand? Torture. I don't recall Berman ever stepping into the golf world for ESPN, but I - and many other golf fans - would guide him to his first steps right out the door. This isn't Sunday Countdown. It's not even the homerun derby. It's golf, and the last thing fans want to hear is Berman's grunting and failed attempts at witty commentary.

God forbid we start getting Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith in post-round coverage. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised.

Though the first two rounds have been painful to listen to, the watchability factor has been extremely high. Tiger Woods shares a piece of the lead at -1 and is a serious contender heading into the weekend. If Tiger is in contention, ratings go up and all is well in the golf world. Fortunately there are other storylines unfolding just in case Tiger falls apart and reverts back to his recent form, including:

- Old timers David Toms and Jim Furyk also sharing a piece of the No. 1 spot at one-under-par.
- Amateur Beau Hossler only being four shots off the lead. Did I mention he's 17 and didn't even win his state championship in high school this year?
- Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, and Luke Donald all missed the cut joining 14-year-old Andy Zhang with a first class trip home. That's only a major storyline because it opens up the field quite a bit with them out (minus Zhang of course)
- Phil Mickelson DID make the cut after a horrendous first day, shooting a 71 on Thursday and keeping himself inside the cutline at +7.

Safe to say we're in for a great weekend, especially with Berman leaving the broadcast booth.

Round 3 Tee Times