Monday 18 December 2017

Despair and delight at halfway

Mark Garrod

There was agony for some and ecstasy for others when the US Open second round was completed at Congressional near Washington DC yesterday morning.

Twenty players were unable to finish after two rain delays on Friday and the pressure was on a handful of them to try to survive the cut.

Australian Nick O'Hern missed a six-foot birdie putt on the long ninth and so missed out, while American Jesse Hutchins took a bogey six there to fail by one as well, while compatriot John Ellis bogeyed the 18th to finish on five over too. He had dropped shots at three of the last four holes.

But in contrast South African Christo Greyling and Canadian Adam Hadwin, playing together, made it on the number after playing the last four holes of the front nine in three under.

Greyling birdied the sixth, seventh and eighth, Hadwin the sixth, eighth and ninth.

For 28-year-old Greyling it meant he would play the final round of his debut on Father's Day 20 months after his father committed suicide.

The former amateur star, who has battled depression himself after being put on medication to combat severe acne, came through two stages of qualifying and in the second of them birdied four of the final seven holes to go through with nothing to spare.

A total of 72 players advanced to the closing 36 holes -- led, of course, by Rory McIlroy, 11-under-par and six clear of Korean YE Yang.

Sergio Garcia was part of a five-strong group in third place, but they were all nine adrift, while Robert Rock was one further back, Lee Westwood had 12 shots to make up, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell 13 and world No 1 Luke Donald 15.

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