US Open: Pinehurst Round 3 Notebook
Summer Reading – This week’s US Men’s Open is the first of two at Pinehurst #2. Next week will be the US Women’s Open. One of the favorites in that field will be 17 year-old Lydia Ko. The New Zealander has already collected three LPGA Tour wins.
Ko has looked to get an edge on the field by hiring Jim Furyk’s caddie Fluff McGowan to stay around and tote the clubs for her. McGowan, who caddied for Tiger Woods early in his career, will bring a week’s worth of yardages and reading Pinehurst’s challenging greens to the young LPGA star.
Long 4/ Short 5 – Pinehurst #2 grabs for the time being the distinction of being the first US Open Course to feature four par 4 holes in excess of 500 yards in length. For Saturday’s third round the players encountered a statistical anomaly on consecutive holes.
The tee was moved back at the par 4, 4th and played at 542 yards. The par 5, 5th played twelve yards shorter at 530 yards. Even tougher for the players was the fourth played into the strongest breeze all week.
Senior Moment – Normally the shot of the day might come from one of the contenders in the US Open Championship, not from a 53 year old. Saturday at Pinehurst Kenny Perry, playing on his US Senior Open exemption, elicited the loudest roar of the week.
Playing from a fairway bunker on the 473 Yard Par 4 14th Perry played a hybrid from 224 yards out and rolled it in for a deuce. Perry shot three under on his incoming nine, 74 over all.
Survival Saturday – Because your best performing players for the week are the ones who survive the cut and tee it up on Saturday. Naturally course scoring improves.
Saturday at Pinehurst #2 drying conditions and difficult hole locations produced the highest scoring average of the first three days. At 73.8 the course was a stroke and a half higher than Friday’s second round and a half stroke higher than Thursday