Before Thursday, only one player has ever signed off a 65 in U.S. Open history at Pebble Beach. That is of course, the magnum opus of Tiger Woods in 2000.
Justin Rose puts himself on the same board when he finished with the same score but a red-hot Gary Woodland decided he too wants to be the topic on everyone’s tongue after the tournament.
Woodland refused to bogey on Friday, carding six birdies and 12 pars. For a man more renowned for hitting long drives, the 35-year-old seemed to have found it with his putter. Through his first 36 holes, Woodland leads the field in strokes-gained/putting at 7.16. He tops the leaderboard at nine under par.
After going his first 27 majors without finishing in the top 10, Woodland has finished in the top 10 in two of the last three majors. For those unaware, Woodland finished silently at T8 for the PGA Championship, and T6 for 2018’s edition. He is ranked 25 in the world and has posted five top-10s this season.
Rose, who’s last and only major was his 2013 title at Merion, looked to be in a perfect position to capture his second. The Englishman too, was on a roll with his putter. In his first 36 holes, Rose has one-putted on 24 occasions, regardless of the final score on the hole it was a brilliant achievement.
The former world number one is just two shots behind Woodland at seven under par, and claimed to be in the “perfect position”.
Just behind Rose, is Louis Oosthuizen at six under par. The South African who won the Open Championship in 2010 at St. Andrews, could join Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to win the British Open at the home of golf and a US Open at Pebble Beach – two of golf’s most iconic venues.
He will need to hit more greens on the weekend if he’s going to make history. He had six bogeys Friday after posting just a single bogey on Thursday. “Seven birdies and six bogeys. I’m not a big fan of bogeys, I had a lot of bogeys on my scorecard,” said Oosthuizen, who hit just 11 of 18 greens in regulation on Friday.
When Rory McIlroy closed out the RBC Canadian Open last week with rounds of 64 and 61, the 30-year-old knew he was coming into the third major with steam. “Another couple of rounds in the 60s and I’ll take my chances,” said the Ulsterman. He is tied at five under par with Aaron Wise.
Brooks Koepka, who is aiming to become the first player in more than 100 years to win three US Opens in succession becomes the first defending champion to break 70 in his first two rounds of the US Open since Scott Simpson did it 31 years ago. Truth be told, Koepka has not really moved into his comfort zone, and come weekend we should expect high octane plays from the 29-year-old.
Koepka joins Chez Reavie, Chesson Hadley, Matt Kuchar and Matt Wallace at four under par.
The crowd at 3 under included three major winners in Sergio Garcia, Zach Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott and a familiar stranger in Graeme McDowell, who won the US Open the last time they played it here (2010).
In disgraceful behaviors, enter the world of Patrick Reed.
Patrick Reed snaps his club over his leg on No. 18… 😳 pic.twitter.com/BnOWolZjTC
— FOX Sports: Golf (@GolfonFOX) June 15, 2019
Reed’s third shot in the 18th missed long of the green and flew into the thick rough. Trying to hit a flop shot on to the green to a front-right hole location, Reed proceeded to hit his fourth shot back over the green into more dreaded thickness.
Then with his fifth shot, he fluffed a chip less than a yard, leaving him still in the abyss.
That’s when he snapped, literally and figuratively.Leave a comment