First things first. Verne is the realest. And if you are gearing up for football season and you need a Lundquist fix, then check out this golf tournament on TV. That’s right, Verne Lundquist is back in the booth. He only bungles a few golfers names, and only states the obvious every 45 seconds, but I do enjoy the “Yes, Sir!” golf broadcast Verne more than the Bama-loving, Gary-deferring, lost-decade Verne.
On to the golf. This is a tale of two golf courses. The one golf course played as difficult as day 1 through the morning and early afternoon, with carnage and high scores aplenty. Then the rains came. Not that much, and fairly late in the day (around 4 pm), but it was enough to soften the greens to a significant degree. This “second” golf course allowed pros to quit the defensive gameplay and start hunting pins.
The morning gave us scores such as UGA’s own Paul Claxton and his 83. UGA’s Chris Kirk and his 76. Unless you’re totally on your game and you pull off UGA’s Kevin Kisner and his 2nd consecutive 67. Which was the anomaly. By early afternoon, Kisner had a 4 stroke lead and the broadcasters were pondering if any mercies would be bestowed on the field by the God of Attrition.
That God decided to cloud up the sky and turn on the faucets. The subsequent rain delay was only an hour or so, but it turned the bathtub firm greens into putting surfaces softer than a baby’s bottom. This allowed players like Jason Day and Justin Thomas to shoot 66. Francesco Molinari and Hideki Matsuyama to shoot 64. Balls that used to bounce over the green or roll off the side were now stopping dead or backspinning just by the hole. And Kisner suddenly had company at the top of the leaderboard.
The delay also prevented all players from finishing the round. About 20 players still have a few holes left to finish Saturday morning. Those who did finish include UGA’s Bubba Watson, +7 and missing the cut. Russell Henley, who shot 71 and is currently tied for 61st. Brian Harman, who shot 75 and fell 23 spots to T31. Hudson Swafford is the lone Dawg still on the course, is 1 under par for the day and hugging the cut line tighter than Urban Meyer’s 2009 health records. He has 3 holes to play, including the easiest hole on the course, so here’s hoping Big Hud pulls through to give us 4 ‘Dawgs making the cut.
Oh, and if you like UGA representation, not only is Ernie Johnson hosting the TNT coverage, but Billy Kratzert (BBA 1974) is giving on-course commentary.
Round 3 tee times won’t be announced until mid-morning Saturday, but expect Henley to start around 11:00, Harman around 12:00, and Kisner around 2:15 pm. Coverage is on TNT from 11am-2pm, and CBS from 2pm until conclusion of play.
And as always...