OAKMONT, Pa. - Is Oakmont the perfect golf course for short hitter Fred Funk? J.J. Henry thinks so after watching Funk post a 71 to go three shots back on the U.S. Open leaderboard Thursday.
"This is the perfect golf course for Fred," Henry said. "For someone who hits it so straight like him. He's definitely a contender this week."
Funk hit 11 fairways, tied for fourth on the day. He also turned 51 yesterday.
Players' predictions of super-high scores this week already look exaggerated, with the exception of Oakmont's par-3 eighth hole. Phil Mickelson, among others, called the 288-yard beast a par-3 and a half. The scoring average yesterday was just over 3.5 despite the fact that the hole plays around 260 yards from the forward tees.
Jim Furyk called playing in the same group with Mickelson this afternoon a "circus." And here's Adam Scott on whether he sympathized with Mickelson, who was visibly playing in pain:
"No," he said. "I don't".
Scott shot 76.
Both heavy favorites this week, Furyk and Tiger Woods are both at 71, but they took very different paths to this score.
Woods said his final three holes kept him in the tournament. He sank an eight-foot putt for par on the 16th, got up and down for birdie on the short 17th, then hit a chip close to par the 18th.
Furyk was 1-under with four holes to play on the easier front nine but bogeyed both par 3s down the stretch.
Dave Pelz called Oakmont's 10th hole the "toughest par 4 in America" earlier this week due a green that doesn't hold approaches. But the 18th is playing the toughest over par with a 4.65 scoring average. The 10th is second at 4.49.
The morning round featured an all-Spanish threesome: Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and Pablo Martin. Garcia looks unlikely to survive the weekend after a 79, but Olazabal (70) and Martin (71) are in the top 10. Olazabal spoke highly of the 21 year old.
"I have to say it's the first time I've seen him play under these conditions, and he did very well," Olazabal said. "He played really solid. His short game is good."
June 15, 2007
Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Channel Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours.
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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