Planet Golf — 19 June 2015 by Bob Sherwin
Reed ties Spieth for U.S. Open lead

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wa. – Patrick Reed used a eagle on the par-4 12th hole at Chambers Bay to help him share the second round lead with resurgent Jordan Spieth at the 115th U.S. Open.

Reed (pictured), the 15th ranked player in the world, finished with a 36-hole score of 135, 5-under par. He bogeyed the final hole to drop into the tie.

Spieth, playing in the morning on a more receptive 7,695-yard course, shot a 3-under 67 for his two-round 135.

Dustin Johnson, dueling with Reed all afternoon, bogeyed four of his final five holes to shoot 1-over for the day and is in third place at 4-under after 36-holes.

“I just didn’t hit the putt like (Thursday),” Johnson said. “That was pretty much the difference.”

Branden Grace, who was 3-under in his morning round, is tied with Johnson.

Australian Jason Day had a jarring medical concern late in his morning round. He fell down on his final hole, the par-3 ninth, and needed medical attention for about 12 minutes.

“I was walking with him, the next thing I know I turned around and I think he got dizzy and slipped and fell,” said Spieth, who was part of his threesome.

Day, who has a history of vertigo, gingerly got up and despite dropping to one knee twice, he finished the hole – and the round – with a bogey for a 2-under overall. He was quickly driven to the scorer’s tent then treated by the medical team at Chambers and the Franciscan Medical Group.

His agent Bud Martin said in a statement that Day was diagnosed with “Benign Positional Vertigo” and added that “he is hopeful he will be able to compete this weekend.”

Despite the distraction, Spieth finished the hole with a 12-foot birdie.

“That was one of the better birdies I’ve ever made given all the situation,” he said.

Reed had a one-shot lead after he birdied three of his first five holes. But Johnson, who leads the PGA Tour with an average driving distance of 317.6 yards, tied Reed at 6-under with a birdie on the tough 508-yard, par-4 seventh.

Johnson followed that with a birdie on the 614-yard, par-5 eighth, just missing his eagle putt.

At the same time, Reed missed his 15-footer par putt at No. 7 to fall two shots behind.

Reed recovered at the narrow but drivable 281-yard 12th. He put his drive on the green and rolled in his eagle to tie Johnson at 7-under at the time. The two would combine to drop a combined five strokes to the finish.

Spieth, the reigning Masters champion, took advantage of the benign putting surfaces in the morning to catch up with the first-round leaders, Johnson and Henrik Stenson, who faded to a 4-over in the afternoon and is 1-under after two rounds.

“My patience and the realization that this golf course is going to test your nerve and it’s how you rebound from it,” Spieth said.

It was much like Thursday when the morning players clearly had better putting conditions and better scores.

“It was cold this morning, really cool. Really hot now. So basically, two climates,” said Jamie Lovemark, who shot a 2-under 68 and is 2-under overall. “The greens are way better, as expected. I saw a bunch of low rounds (in the morning Thursday) so I knew it could be done.”

What happens in the afternoon is the greens dry out and the invasive poa annua grasses sprout above the fescue grasses, creating bumpy surfaces. There were 13 sub-par rounds in the morning and just three in the afternoon.

World’s No. 1 Rory McIIroy slipped on the back nine and is 4-over, barely making cut.

Daniel Summerhays shot a 3-under 67 and is among a group of four players at 3-under.

The best round of the day was by J.B. Holmes in the morning, a 4-under 66. He sits in a tie with three others at 2-under overall.

NOTES: Tiger Woods finished with a 6-over 76 for a 36-hole 156. He was third last in the 156-player field at 16-over par. “On a golf course like this you get exposed and you have to be precise and dialed in,” Woods said “And obviously I didn’t have that. Obviously, I need to get a little better for the British Open and I’ll keep working at it.” It’s the second time he missed the cut in a U.S. Open. … Rickie Fowler, a legitimate contender coming in, was not much better than Woods. He finished at 14-over, tied for 149th. …Justin Rose, at an even-par 140, fell back when he took a triple-bogey on No. 7. He still was well within the cut. … 45-year-old Phil Mickelson struggled to a 4-over 74 but made the cut at 3-over. … defending champion Martin Kaymer missed the cut at 6-over.

 

 

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Bob Sherwin

Bob grew up in Cleveland, an underdog city with perennial underdog teams, and that gave him an appreciation and an affinity for the grinders in golf, guys such as Rocco Mediate, Jhonattan Vegas and star-crossed John Daly. This is the 46th year for Bob as a sportswriter, the first 34 working for newspapers throughout the west, Tucson (Daily Star), San Francisco (Examiner) and Seattle (Times), and the past 10 years as a freelancer. He has covered just about every sport, including golf tournaments, Tucson Open, Bing Crosby/AT&T Pro-Am, the 1998 PGA Championship, the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, the 2010 U.S. Amateur the 2015 U.S. Open and the annual Champions Tour Boeing Classic. He also writes articles for golf magazines. For most of his 20 years at the Seattle Times his primary beat was the Mariners. He then picked up Washington men’s basketball in the winter. He also was the beat writer for the Sonics, including 1996 when they played the Bulls for the NBA title. After a lifetime hacking on public courses, he finally gave in and joined a country club in 2011, the Members Club of Aldarra near Seattle. Despite (or perhaps because) of his 14 handicap, he won the ‘Super Senior” (65 and older) championship in 2017. He has a pair of aces – 37 years apart – and in 2009 came agonizingly close to his ultimate golf goal of scoring in the 70s when he finished with an even 80. He lives in Seattle, and spends part of his winters in Marco Island, Fla.

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