In a rare turn of events for a US Open track, favorable conditions have yielded some low scores through two rounds at Torrey Pines. And two former Georgia Bulldogs are among the thirteen golfers below par headed into the weekend.
Russell Henley followed his first round 67 with another under par round, this time a one-under 70 to co-lead the tournament with Brit Richard Bland. Henley actually had a good shot at the outright lead, but slipped up on the par 5 ninth, three putting from around twenty feet to fall back to the field. Still, it’s been a great tournament so far for the Macon native who seems to have all the parts of his game in shape right now. Henley isn’t the longest hitter on tour, but as long as the course conditions continue to reward iron play and putting he stands to remain in the hunt.
Bubba Watson, who is a practitioner of the long ball, sits two shots back at -3, tied for 5th. Bubba has assiduously avoided success in US Opens, where the course setup rarely favors his grip-and-rip approach to tee shots, and where viciously penalizing trips into the rough is the main TV draw. I suspect even Bubba would admit that this sort of event isn’t really his kind of party, and that he’s probably only one or two errant drives from disaster. But if he can avoid that and steal a couple of birdies, he could make this one interesting on Sunday.
TV coverage is ongoing now on NBC. Henley and Bland will tee off this afternoon at 4:35 eastern/1:35 Pacific. Watson will hit the course at 4:13/1:13 with Jon Rahm, who’s looking to win his first major. Until later...