U.S. SENIOR OPEN
Round 3: Notable and Quotable
July 1, 2017 | PEABODY, Mass.
By Michael Trostel and David Chmiel, USGA
Kirk Triplett’s total of 195 is the lowest 54-hole score in U.S. Senior Open history. The previous record was 198, set by Olin Browne at Inverness Club in 2011. Triplett’s 15 under par matches Browne’s 54-hole mark from 2011 in relation to par.
Triplett is attempting to become the fourth start-to-finish winner in U.S. Senior Open history. The others are Dale Douglass (1986), Simon Hobday (1994) and Browne (2011).
Triplett, comparing his love of competition to the Celtics and Lakers rivalry: “When those guys look back on it – maybe not when they are in the heat of the moment – but when they look back on it, they absolutely love what they were a part of. That’s my goal. I want to embrace it. I want to love that I have a chance to win a USGA championship tomorrow.”
Kenny Perry (14-under 196), on what makes Kirk Triplett such a tough competitor: “That man can chip. He’s unreal. He doesn’t make many mistakes. I’m going to have to play really good tomorrow to get ahead of him. He’s a very controlled player and he chipped in twice today … which was unreal.” Perry will attempt to become the sixth multiple winner of the U.S. Senior Open. He also won the 2013 championship at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club.
Of the last seven groups to play on Saturday, only Triplett (66) and Perry (67) broke par in their rounds. The other 12 players combined to shoot 24 over par.
Triplett, when asked if hitting approach shots first when playing with Perry could be an advantage: “Being 30 yards behind someone is never an advantage. Never. But I play with my son all the time and he hits it 30 yards past me, so I’m used to it.”
Triplett’s caddie, Fred Sanders, was Perry’s caddie when he won the 2013 U.S. Senior Open at Omaha Country Club. Triplett and Perry were paired together on Saturday and will again be in the final group on Sunday, teeing off at 2 p.m. EDT.
Ray Bourque is one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history, but the honorary chairman of the 2017 U.S. Senior Open says he isn't upset about the low scoring at Salem Country Club. “I’ve been a member for 25 years,” said Bourque, who plays to a 6.2 USGA Handicap Index. “We all are so proud. It’s classic Donald Ross – tough but fair. I watch the shots live, but I tape the broadcast and watch it again when I get home. I am in awe of how good these guys are. Look at the names on the leader board – it’s going to be a great finish.”
Brandt Jobe’s 8-under 62 ties Triplett (2017, first round) and Loren Roberts (2006, third round) for the lowest score in USGA Open championship history. Jobe made nine birdies and one bogey in his round, which included a 6-under 29 on the second nine. He started the day tied for 29th and ended it alone in third place.
Jobe’s five consecutive birdies (Nos. 12-16) ties a U.S. Senior Open record shared by 10 others. Jeff Sluman also accomplished the feat (Nos. 10-14) in the first round this year.
Jobe, on birdieing all four par 3s in the third round: “Well, 2s don’t add up as fast as 3s or 4s.” He leads the field by playing the par 3s six under this week.
In the 2001 U.S. Senior Open at Salem Country Club, only three players had sub-par totals through 54 holes. This year, 31 players are under par through three rounds. The most sub-par totals for a championship is 36 at Inverness in 2011.
An amateur made the 36-hole cut for the 14th consecutive year. Robby Funk, the lone remaining amateur, was the first player to tee off in the third round. Kevin Wood, the head golf professional at Salem Country Club, served as his marker.
Robby Funk, on holing a 6-foot putt on his 36th hole to make the cut on the number: “I’m pretty sure I yelled because I came in this week wanting to be low amateur. This is my first major championship. My eyes were set on the goal, which was winning the low am medal.”
Sixty-one players made the 36-hole cut of 1-over 141. That is 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 in the 2011 championship.