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The 2014 U.S. Open will be played at Pinehurst No. 2. It’s not flashy. It doesn’t sizzle. It’s just golf the way it should be.

For two rounds of the Wells Fargo Championship, the leader board had been various shades of beige – lots of off-Broadway guys up there – but Phil Mickelson took care of that Saturday, switching on the neon with golf that just plain defies logic.

How can a man shoot 80 one day and 62 the next? Like that’s going to happen, right? Well, it did. Brendon de Jonge, who was born in Zimbabwe but made his way through Virginia Tech and a lot of lesser golf tours before settling in Charlotte, did it Thursday and Friday at Quail Hollow in the Wells Fargo Championship. The 62 tied the course and tournament record set in 2010 by Rory McIlroy.

There’s a lot to be said for golf on television. ... So why will all those thousands of people be at Quail Hollow Club this week for the Wells Fargo Championship? Because golf is there, replete with just about everything good about it.

Picking winners on the PGA Tour is like buying a lottery ticket. Last year’s Wells Fargo winner Derek Ernst, who got in as an alternate, went off at 500-1.

Though 20-year-old Jordan Speith was a highlight, we found a Saturday Masters leader board that was a testimony to the boring parity that has crawled over the game like kudzu.

Quirky self-taught left-hander Bubba Watson, whose legendary 2012 shot is marked by an X in the woods, birdied the 12th and 13th to show Amen Corner who’s boss, then threw in three more birdies before the streak ended Friday at the Masters.

For a long while, it appeared Miguel Angel Jimenez, a 50-year-old Spaniard, would be the unlikely leader after the first day of the Masters. But a tricky Augusta course claimed several victims.

Masters: There’s never a dull moment with Phil Mickelson, who can tie Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods with a fourth victory at Augusta National.

Ron Green Sr.: It seems like only 60 years ago, the year I covered the Masters for the first time. It was 1955. Cary Middlecoff, a reformed dentist who was allergic to grass, won it by seven strokes.

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Ron Green Sr.
Ron Green Sr. is a retired Observer columnist.
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