One bad hole ruined the momentum and then ironically, the bright sunshine and lovely golfing conditions may well have made things that much more difficult for me at the 109th US Open.
Interestingly, when we returned on Friday morning to complete our first round - I had played eight-and-a-half holes the previous day — I made huge gains from two straight birdies on the ninth and tenth. Starting from five-over after eight holes, I had a great feeling with birdies on the ninth and the tenth to come to three-over.
That was followed by a par on 11th and then came the crusher. A triple bogey from a greenside bunker left me wringing my hands. That triple bogey was a result of a skulled shot from the sand, which was hard due to the rain on Thursday. Then I duffed a shot and a chip later, two-putted. The seven on the par-four messed up the hopes of a comeback. I ended with a 78, which means I will need to play low to have a chance of getting into the final two rounds. As many of us, battered by the relentless rain and horrible conditions on Thursday, trooped in, the second wave was going out to play their first round in ideal conditions. Such is the luck of the draw.
What’s worse is that on Saturday, when we go out for the second round, the conditions are again expected to be windy and cold and there is possibility of a thunderstorm. Ironically, again, many of the guys who went out for the first round on Friday are likely to play most of the second round on Friday itself.
Many of the top contenders, who went out early on Thursday, ended with huge over par scores. There is Tiger Woods at four-over, but that was after being even with four to play. Angel Cabrera, winner at the Masters, also brought in a 74 and Padraig Harrington had a 76. Ernie Els had a 78.
The first round ended with left-hander Mike Weir, the 2003 Masters champion, taking the lead at six-under 64 and Peter Hanson, who had qualified for the tournament with a hole-in-one at the qualifiers, was at 66. David Duval, Ricky Barnes and Todd Hamilton were at 67.
The same players started the second round with a 60-minute turnover time. But when play was stopped on Friday, Lucas Glover, 69 in the first round, had moved into the lead as he was five-under through 13 holes in the second round. Barnes, two-under through nine, was second at three-under. Weir and Hanson were tied at four-under. As for my plan for the second round and the rest of the tournament, I am going to give it my best shot in the second round.