Blake Adams is trying to win in his major championship debut.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO — The final round of the U.S. Open is always played on Father’s Day, which makes it even more special for a lot of winners.
Blake Adams, who will start the final round of his very first U.S. Open in a tie for fourth, three strokes off the lead, has two young children, a son who just turned 4 and a daughter, who is 2. He was also extremely close to his father, who died on Easter Sunday during the 2004 Masters.
And that’s why Adams will be dressed in black today as he chases what would be a mammoth first win on the PGA TOUR.
"I wear black every Sunday," he said. "… Doesn’t matter if I’m in Memphis and it’s 110 or if I’m here and it’s nice perfect weather. So I always wear all black and have I since 2004."
Adams, who didn’t turn pro until he was 25 and didn’t get his PGA TOUR card until he was 34, says he actually is a lot like his father.
"One of the main things that my daddy just beat into me was I don’t ever want it know if you’re 8 over or 8 under," Adams said. "Just plug along and act like a gentleman, act like you’ve been there. So I try to do that. I try live my life just even keel. Don’t let anything really, really bother me. So just how I am."
Adams, who played basketball, football and baseball as a kid, has persevered through a litany of injuries that include bone spurs, arthritis and a bulging disc. His left hip is so worn down that doctors once told him he needed replacement surgery, too.
Adams’ calm demeanor has enabled him to accept the good — and the bad — that always seems to be served up by U.S. Open venues. Take Saturday, for example, when he made two bogeys and a double bogey on his first three holes at The Olympic Club but came back with four birdies over his final 12 holes.
Two of those birdies came at Nos. 17 and 18 as Adams posted a 70 that put him squarely in contention at 2 over for the tournament in his major championship debut. Only three players have won the first major they played, most recently Keegan Bradley at the PGA Championship last year.
"It’s just golf," Adams said. "I’m a very, very laid-back guy. It’s a huge tournament, I know; but for me, I’m very, very blessed to play a game for a living. Yes, I started out bogey, double bogey, but I mean how bad is that really? So for me personally it was no big deal. I just took it as is. …
"I just grind away at it. I don’t have very many highs or low, … So the first three holes didn’t work out. And I just hopefully tried to make the fourth one work out and the fifth one and so on. So for me it was just plugging along."
Adams plays with Ernie Els, a two-time U.S. Open winner competing in his 20th national championship, in the final round. Regardless of what happens Sunday, Adams hopes to at least remain among the top eight and ties to earn an invitation to the Masters, which is played about an hour from his Georgia home.
"The Masters is my World Series," Adams said. "… But I can’t think about that. If I do, I’ll have 18 holes like I have had the first three. … So for me, I’ll just plug along and like I did and all day and just see where I stack up."
- Blake Adams