Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Photographers' Blog:

Covering the U.S. Open (and Tiger)

By Jeff Haynes

The U.S. Open is always one of the toughest events of the year to work. As photographers working a golf tournament we have to deal with more challenges during a week of golf than we might during the whole rest of the year. Weather, Tiger, blisters, Tiger, hills, Tiger, tight leader boards, Tiger, long days, Tiger, a sore body, Tiger, fog, Tiger, marshalls, Tiger and 155 other golfers not named Tiger.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Working with three outstanding Reuters’ photographers - Robert Galbraith, covering what he figures is around his 80th Major Golf Tournament dating back to the 1982 U.S. Open where Watson and Nicklaus battled at Pebble Beach, Matt Sullivan and Danny Moloshok - made this a very enjoyable week. Each day these guys came up with amazing photographs telling the story of the day.

REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

During the week leading up to the actual tournament our days start with 4:55 am wake-up calls, bus rides to the course and greeting Tiger Woods. Tiger is always the first golfer off in the morning on either the 1st or 9th tee before 7 am as we take pictures of his practice round and then try to find interesting and meaningful pictures of other golfers in the news. Casey Martin made news early on in the week, with him qualifying for a U.S. Open and being able to use a golf cart to help him around the course, because of a rare blood disorder he has had since birth. He sued and won a law suit more the 8 years ago granting him the right to use a golf cart during his round. Defending champion Rory McIlroy came in with high hopes of defending his title along with the number 1 ranked player in the world, Luke Donald. These three players would need to be photographed along the way, along with many other well deserving golfers, and the beautiful course itself.

REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

The toughest day in golf for everyone working the tournament is Thursday of the U.S. Open. It is one brutal day of work from start to finish. From the first tee time of 7am to following the last golfers off the course at 7 pm. If you can survive Thursday at a major you can probably survive just about anything. Not only the photographers have to deal with the obstacles it takes to make an outstanding picture but there are those behind us too. We photographers relied on the picture editing skills of Joe Skipper and Mike Fiala to look through thousands of images a day to choose the top 300 or so. These were then all processed by Beck Diefenbach and posted to the Reuters newswire as fast as possible to meet all of our clients’ needs.