U.S. SENIOR OPEN
Round 2: Notable and Quotable
June 30, 2017 | PEABODY, Mass.
By Michael Trostel and David Chmiel, USGA
The 129s by Kirk Triplett (62-67) and Kenny Perry (65-64) are the lowest 36-hole totals in U.S. Senior Open history. Michael Allen held the record, shooting 130 at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club. Triplett and Allen were college teammates at the University of Nevada.
The 11-under-par totals by Triplett and Perry also tie Tim Jackson (2009) for the lowest 36-hole score in relation to par in championship history.
Perry, on the downhill 12-foot par putt he made on the eighth hole: “That green … if you have vertigo, you’ll roll right off if you’re standing on it. I played almost 2 feet of break and tried to hit it a foot off my putter. It ran right in the middle and kept my momentum going.” Perry made five birdies over the final 10 holes to post a 6-under 64 on Friday.
In the 2001 U.S. Senior Open at Salem Country Club, only one player (Isao Aoki) had a sub-par score through 36 holes. At present, 43 players are under par (play was suspended at 6:41 p.m. EDT due to inclement weather, with 24 players left to complete their second rounds at 6:45 a.m. EDT on Saturday).
Of the 132 completed rounds on Friday, 37 were under par. There are 24 golfers yet to complete their round and two of them are under par for the day. The record for most sub-par scores in a second round at a U.S. Senior Open is 39, set at Inverness Club in 2011. The record for any round is 40, set during the first round of this year’s championship.
The 36-hole cut is projected at 1-over 141, which would be the lowest cut score and also the lowest score in relation to par in U.S. Senior Open history. The previous low was 2-over 144 at Inverness Club in the 2011 championship.
Doug Garwood, two shots off the lead after shooting 64-67–131, on the back problems that have plagued him since 2014 and forced him to lie down at one point during his Tuesday practice round: “I use the analogy of a three-legged dog. I’ve got to quit trying to run like a four-legged dog and just run like a three-legged dog. I need to play with what I’ve got.”
No players carded a bogey-free round on Friday. Six players had bogey-free rounds on Thursday.
The witches of Salem might have cast a spell over the par-4 second hole. Through Friday, the 485-yard hole is the toughest on the course, playing to a frightening stroke average of 4.54. The hole has yielded only six birdies, while forcing the field into 143 bogeys, a dozen double bogeys and two of the dreaded “others.” There were more bogeys (77) than pars (67) at No. 2 on Friday.
Tom Watson (69-69) and Bernhard Langer (67-65) tied Hale Irwin for most rounds in the 60s (21) in their U.S. Senior Open careers. Watson also tied Jack Nicklaus for second place in most sub-par rounds (26), trailing only Irwin, who has 27.
Watson, on the joy he gets from playing in front of the fans: “I love the galleries here. Every time we play in a U.S. Senior Open, we have the biggest galleries of the year. It’s great playing in front of a lot of people.”
David Frost, on why Bernhard Langer motivates other players in the field: “He’s like a machine. His routine is so good … it’s like nothing else enters his mind. He’s an inspiration. We all measure our games like, come on, let’s beat Langer this week.”
Gene Sauers (5-over 145) will be just the third defending champion to miss the cut in the U.S. Senior Open in the last 11 years. Roger Chapman missed the cut in 2013, and Allen Doyle missed it in 2007.