Nick Markison looked up from his newspaper and elbowed his dozing brother.

"Hey, Sleeping Beauty, look who's on our flight!"

Bobby Markison, still hung over from last night's post-wedding party, opened his eyes and sat up. He glanced at his brother, who pointed across the waiting area of Gate 12 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

A man in his early 30s, tanned and fit, with gray eyes and short, dark hair, moved with a straight-shouldered, almost-military erectness as two airline personnel escorted him to the jetway door. Everyone was watching, and several hastily found cameras flashed, but the man made eye contact with no one and the group disappeared into the jetway.

"The guy wins the U.S. Open and three hours later, he looks bummed out," Bobby said, sliding back down in his seat. "What's with him?"

"I don't know," Nick said. "He was fine yesterday, during that TV interview. Then, today, he gets six birdies in the last nine holes, shoots a 29 in the rain on the back side, and he never cracks a smile.

"It's strange. A guy wins a tournament, and usually he's kissing the trophy and holding it up for everyone to see. Leary handed it back as if it was going to bite him. And he didn't say a word. No speech, no interview, nothing."

(End of excerpt)