Saturday, June 16, 2007

The horror story continues

If you were not petrified by the Exorcist, Oakmont is sure to scare the living daylights out of you. You can be rest assured that Henry Fownes was looking down from his heavenly abode with a great deal of glee, seeing big names being swallowed effortlessly by the beast like course. Those who survived were left nursing their shattered pride for the course spared no one. Phil Mickelson was the biggest name to miss out on the weekend action with a 7 over par round which gave him a total of 11 over par, missing the cut by one stroke. Yes, you heard that right. The cut fell at 10 over par.

At the end of day two Angel Cabrera takes the lead at even par, his final putt for birdie ensuring that Phil missed out on the weekend. The rule for the cut line is the top 60 and ties and anyone within 10 shots of the leaders are saved from the cut line. Had it not been for the amazing birdie by Cabrera on the final hole, Phil would still have been in the competition. I guess that's why the French came up with expression C'est la vie...Such is life!

With the early pace that Dougherty had set it seemed that he would pull away from the field after he found himself 3 under par for the tournament and three shots clear off the field, but Oakmont spewed enough venom to ensure Nick's collapse over the rest of the round. He finished at 5 over par where he accompanies Tiger Woods and some others for tied 13th position. When he tees off on Saturday he will be accompanied by Tiger Woods. Atleast they are fortunate(we will look for a better word) enough to have an excuse to return on Saturday. There will be several notable absentees such as Colin Montgomerie, Henrik Stenson and Richard Beem who are presently looking to get as far away as possible from the Oakmont Country Club.

After good iron shots from the fairway players are often found sizing up their putt for what looks like a likely birdie. If they miss the putt, they end up with a good 5-6 footer coming back for par.That is how difficult the greens are. It is the par's which will determine the champion this year at Oakmont and not birdie's. Nothing sums up the difficulty of the greens than a comment once published by a reporter covering the Open quite a few years back-:

"Putting on the greens at Oakmont is like putting on a marble staircase and trying to hole out on the third hole from the bottom"

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