Sports Illustrated staff photographer and Carlsbad resident Robert Beck had this article today, describing the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines as “The Greatest Event” he has ever photographed.

The piece, which ran on, a photojournalism trade website, is a bit jargony when it comes to camera talk, but paints an interesting picture of what it was like to cover the event.

Beck describes the scene on the 18th hole on Sunday:

The crowd grew very still and very quiet. As I framed Tiger in my lens I could not see the hole. I would rely on his eyes and body expression to tell me what was happening. I think the entire crowd inhaled at once as Tiger addressed the ball. Then he putted. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? I shot a few as the ball rolled out of the frame. Then I waited — shooting raw and jpeg tend to eat a cards way to the buffer very quickly! I watched. Tiger’s eyes widened a bit. Then he raised his club towards the hole…his eyes widened a bit more.

Then all at once the world went crazy. Tiger pumped like never before. Kojo [Beck’s assistant] later said he could hear the roar of the crowd IN THE BLIMP. Every person watching on TV jumped out of their seats and screamed. People did not leave the 18th. They just kept cheering until Tiger had walked to the scorer’s tent. Then they just kept buzzing. We had just watched the best U.S. Open ever. And it was not done yet. Tiger had played through the weekend on one leg and had managed one more miracle — or whatever you care to call it — on the last hole on Sunday.

There would be 18 more holes to play on Monday.


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