With 12 holes to play today with a scheduled start at 7:30 and an hour drive to the course, this was a very early day for the oldest guy in the field!
Upon arriving at Erin Hills, it was obvious that we wouldn’t be playing golf for a while. After almost 1:30 minute delay, at 9:00 am we started back up at Erin Hills. I had 7-18 left to play, and I knew that I needed somewhere between 3-4 under on the last 12 holes to qualify for match play. A little easier said than done on this future US Open venue (2017) that measures approx 7,800 yards long with some pretty strong winds blowing.
The real deal with Erin Hills is if your really long, you have a HUGE advantage. Many of the holes have steep downhill run off if you can carry your tee shot 290-310 yards. The guy hitting it 280 will not get the roll over the hill and will be left with over 200 yards to many of these 500+ yard par 4 holes. The US Amateur is now basically a top flight college event, as just about every bag on the range had a college name embroidered on the side it. The bombers had 6-8 irons shots into these long par 4 holes, and the rest were hitting long irons or rescues into some of the longer par 4’s like #10.
In the end, I played a good round of golf at Erin Hills and shot even par 72 on a course that is rated 78 with a 145 slope. The amazing thing is how good these kids are today. 80 players out of 312 shot even par or better for 36 holes. This is quite remarkable as you’d have thought the typical +5 or +6 would make match play…this was not the case as 20 guys at even par played off for 4 spots in the match play field and the right to play my fellow Olympian Gregor Main who shot -10 (tied a record) and is seeded #1 for match play.
The match play was suspended due to darkness, so stay tuned for more US Amateur results tomorrow!