What I’ve noticed on the course is the players don’t feel the breeze above the trees, especially on #6 on the second shot. The other little secret is putts towards Lake Merced are a little quicker and break more than what the player sees. These putts usually break two inches more per 10 feet, like Tigers putt just did on the 16th hole. Having watched Tiger yesterday inside the ropes up close and personal, I noticed he didn’t hit very good bunker shots on the 6th and 7th holes coming in yesterday, and today he didn’t get up and down out of any bunkers again, which used to be his forte. But what a crazy good shot Tiger made on 17 when his ball chased on the green and down the shaved hill. BUT like most he misread the putt as it pulled towards Lake Merced does not let that putt go right.

Sadly it looks that my four days of work with Dustin Johnson will result in a missed cut at +9. The cut looks like +8 right now, and Dustin could already be on the private jet heading home. He’s better keep an eye on the scores as he may have the 7:30 tee time tomorrow morning. I think that Dustin’s start had a lot to do with the rhythm that he never seemed to get into. To only make one birdie over 36 holes with his talent is quite hard to believe, but shows you how being a little off over the first 36 sent players packing. I was in the locker room watching a mass exodus at 2:30 PM today. Here is a shot of Tiger taking it back on #4 on Thursday






I thought this article written about the 7th hole was well done with the picture below. I think the players all know how easy it would be to make a bogey 5 on this drivable par 4, like Tiger did today.

HOLE NUMBER 7 THE SLEEPING GIANT -It has an uphill fairway, a convoy of bunkers on the left side, a two-level green, and a big hump in the middle, and it’s as close to a “Welcome” mat as you will find at The Olympic Club.

It’s the seventh hole, a 288-yard par-4 that’s not exactly friendly, except it gives that appearance because of the neighborhood it’s in. The opening six-hole stretch of the 2012 U.S. Open is one brutal patch of real estate, where casualties are known to pile up in a stack of bogeys, or worse.

For Friday’s second round, the seventh hole played at 275 yards, 249 to the front of the green, and the flagstick was tucked in the back right corner.

On Thursday with the hole playing 254 yards, Ernie Els, Ian Poulter and Charles Howell III made eagle on the hole.

Jim Furyk, who made birdie on his way to a 1-under 69, thought for a moment when considering whether the seventh really is a friendly place to visit.

“It can be,” Furyk said. “But if you make bogey it’s not. It’s definitely a relief not to have to hit a 3-wood and a 5-iron to the hole, put it this way. It’s definitely a relief, but it’s also definitely not easy.”

After he saved par at the seventh during his round of 69, Nicolas Colsaerts said he felt getting out of there with a 4 was just fine.

“It’s a hole you can take advantage of. If you get a good shot, you’re going to have a chance for a 2, but if you miss your first, you’re going to struggle to save par, or maybe save worse than a 5,” Colsaerts said. “I think it needs to be treated the same way as the rest of the course.”

With respect, he meant.

Nick Watney played the hole in birdie-par the first two days and said that calling the seventh a welcome sight isn’t exactly true.

“Well, at least you’re not back on your heels playing that hole,” he said. “You play a good shot, you get rewarded. Sometimes it’s hard to hold that green. I think it’s the perfect U.S. Open hole, a short par 4 with trouble. Believe me, you can still make bogey.”

Matt Kuchar was three over through three holes and massaged a birdie out of the seventh.

“When you get through the first six, you don’t know if you ever are going to get any relief, but there is a chance for a 3 there,” he said. “But even that can go wrong for you. Actually, I don’t see much relief anywhere.”

No one would argue with that, not with the way the scores were trending skyward.  But the seventh offers at least a hint of kindness, making it stand out among the other 17 on the course.

Courtesy Thomas Bonk is a San Francisco-based freelance writer who is contributing to usopen.com this week.

Hole 7 Sidebar



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