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Day Three at the US Open: Not Just Another Saturday at Oakmont

Dustin Johnson looking at putt with a 36-whole lead at 2016 USGA US Open

Day Three at the US Open: Not Just Another Saturday at Oakmont

BY Kevin Krest

@KevinKrest

Busy Morning:

Saturday mornings in most PGA and major tournaments are tranquil, with the back nine deserted and quiet. Not so at Oakmont Country Club, site of this year’s 116th US Open Championship. Due to torrential rains Wednesday night and into Thursday, less than half the field was able to complete the second round by last night. Nine groups were still on the course at about 8:45 pm, when darkness forced suspension of play. Those players came out this morning at 7:15 to complete their rounds. At 7:00 am, the second round began for the wave that played all day Thursday and briefly Friday morning. With a day off and still moist conditions, I would expect the scores to be pretty good from this group.

Golf tournaments, because of the role of weather, always contain a bit of luck. Players either go out Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, or Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. We’ve seen a number of instances in recent years where a group of competitors get on the “wrong side of the weather”. It remains to be seen, but the wave that was forced to play 36 holes in hot and steamy conditions on Friday may end up in that situation. Of course, every player to make the cut will be forced to play 36 at least one day, so perhaps it will all even out. It will be interesting to see how many players from each wave make it past the second round.

Under the circumstances, the USGA probably did the best they could, using the normal process of sending the morning group out for another round yesterday. It just made it very difficult for all players to get their rounds in before dark, and they didn’t. If the other wave had been ready to go off yesterday afternoon, it might have bought the USGA some time, but given that the greens had to be cut and rolled, and the pin placements changed, it most likely wouldn’ t have made any difference. We expect the third round to get underway this afternoon by about 3:00 or 3:30, depending on how long it takes to get the cut made, greens taken care of and pairings determined. The players will be going off the first and tenth tees in threesomes in an effort to get the round in this evening. It will be tight, but even if some players have to come back out early Sunday morning, it looks as if the USGA will get its wish of having a normal final round, with twosomes all teeing off at the first hole.

So here at Oakmont, the weather is perfect, the best players in the world are playing one of the best courses on the planet, and I’ll be bringing you updates throughout the day. Although there is still a lot of golf to be played, we know for sure that Dustin Johnson will again be in one of the final groups this afternoon. He may end being the story of the day as he once again attempts to grab his first major championship. And as I’ve written for the last couple of weeks, this course always seems to produce a new major winner. After yesterday, there were only three anywhere close to the top of the leaderboard, so it could certainly happen again.

[Photo: sportingnews.com]

 

 

For more follow Kevin Krest on Twitter @KevinKrest and don’t forget to check out my new book, “Offsetting Penalties – A PK Frazier Novel” and my first two, “Illegal Procedure – A PK Frazier Novel” and “Roughing the Passer – A PK Frazier Novel”, available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords.  Tune into www.WPFLRADIO.com at 8:40 am EST every Friday for my Beyond the Commentary segment on “Lou in the Morning” with Lou Vickery and Jonathan McMath.

Day Three at the US Open: Not Just Another Saturday at Oakmont

Day Three at the US Open: Not Just Another Saturday at Oakmont

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