With the tease of an ace on each tee shot, golfers count down to the 13th hole.
It's where the shortest hole at Merion Golf Club waits.
And at the U.S. Open, that makes 13 the life of the 18-hole party, the off-campus bash down the block from the staid library.
Playing in his second U.S. Open, unheralded Scott Langley and Morgan Hoffmann noticed they were turning into Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy as they walked toward 13. Fans tailed their group all the way to the par-3 hole on Friday.
''I was walking up the fairway and was like, look at all these people that suddenly showed up to watch us,'' Langley said, laughing. ''They're hoping for something to happen. I'm hoping to give it to them.''
Lose your course map? Not a problem. Follow the roar from a crowd that sounds like it's watching a zigzagging 90-yard touchdown run more than just another tee shot. Almost every shot lands about 20 feet from the pin, prompting booming ''Ohs!'' from the crowd as each ball crawls toward the cup...