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Jun 15, 2018 4:21 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Updates From The 118th U.S. Open At Shinnecock Hills On Friday

Dustin Johnson on the course on Friday.  DANA SHAW
Jun 16, 2018 8:05 AM

UPDATE: FRIDAY, 5:00 p.m.

Dustin Johnson, after two rounds of play, leads all 156 players at the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club after shooting 4-under par through Friday. He is by far the leader of the tournament with Scott Piercy, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose all even par.

The cut to make the third round is expected to be 8-over par. That would include some big names, at the moment, such as Henrik Stenson (+1), Rickie Fowler (+2), last year's Open Champion Brooks Koepka (+3), Jim Furyk (+4), Justin Thomas (+4) and Phil Mickelson (+7). Those who would not make the cut currently include Tiger Woods (+10), Jordan Spieth (+10), Bubba Watson (+13), Rory McIlroy (+13) and Sergio Garcia (+14). Kevin Kisner (+12), who has East Hampton native Duane Bock on the bag, would also not make the cut, nor would Adam Scott (+12), who is caddied by Shinnecock Hills' Lenny Bummolo.

Chris Babcock, the 24-year-old Canadian pro who has Shinnecock Hills caddy Eric Ryder on the bag, is also not projected to make the cut. Babcock shot an 8-over 78 on Thursday, and a 6-over 76 today, his most notable blow-up coming on the par-5 fifth hole, where he posted a 10. His round today included birdies on the fourth, 11th, 15th and 18th holes, but the 10 on the fifth and a double-bogey on 16, plus two other bogeys, spelled defeat.

Ryder, who originally hails from New Hampshire, has been caddying at Shinnecock for 18 years, and this was his first time caddying in the U.S. Open.

UPDATE: FRIDAY, 2:45 p.m.

After posting an 8-over 78 on Thursday and a 5-over 75 today, it doesn’t look like Australian golfer Adam Scott will make the cut, which is a shame, because he had longtime Shinnecock Hills Golf Club caddy Lenny Bummolo on his bag this week. Scott posted only three birdies over the course of the two days, with 12 bogeys and two double-bogeys, struggling at times to find the fairways and the greens. While the scores didn’t turn out the way they’d hoped, the relationship between Scott, the 2013 Masters winner, and Bummolo did not seem to suffer. Forged initially by mutual friendships and rounds played at Shinnecock in years past, the pair expressed respect and admiration for one another after Scott’s run in the championship ended on Friday afternoon.

“I got lucky,” Bummolo said. “He’s a class act; there’s nobody nicer out there. He felt as bad for me that I didn’t make the cut.”

Bummolo spoke about the experience as he walked off the 18th green, with people shouting out “Lenny! Lenny!” and clapping for him from the clubhouse steps.

Bummolo said the experience of caddying for Scott was markedly different from previous U.S. Opens at Shinnecock, when he was on the bag for Justin Hicks in 2004 and Mike Sanfilippo in 1995 (who both missed the cut), saying the crowds that followed Scott—who was in a group with Swedish player Henrik Stenson and German player Martin Kaymer—were “rowdier,” and that the talent of the players in the group was considerably better than what he was surrounded by with Hicks and Sanfilippo.

For his part, Scott said he was happy to have Bummolo, who he tapped to carry his bag primarily for his knowledge of Shinnecock’s notoriously tricky greens.

“He’s gone out of his way for me here this week,” Scott said after he finished up. “I really felt like I was playing well enough to be in with a chance over the weekend, but I didn’t do well yesterday under very tough conditions. And we had to hang in there today, and we only hung in there for nine. I felt like it could have gone the other way and we could have been in this thing, but we’re not.”

Mother Nature didn’t help. Scott and the rest of the field dealt with strong winds on Thursday, and because of an early tee time today, he played the front nine in light rain, which he said made shot-making difficult at times. Despite missing the cut at the Open at Shinnecock both this year and in 2004, Scott said the course will remain one of his favorites in the country.

“The whole golf course is a challenge,” he said. “Every mistruck shot or slightly wayward shot is severely penalized, and it’s very very hard to scramble. You’re not normally playing in these conditions and it’s very extreme, so when you’re not quite on your game, you get very very severely penalized. That’s the U.S. Open.”

With two unwanted days off, Scott said he didn’t have specific plans, but one item on his to-do list is to hire a new caddy. Bummolo got the U.S. Open assignment because Scott had decided to let go of his regular tour caddy after making it out of sectional qualifying in Columbus, Ohio, earlier in the month to stamp his ticket to Shinnecock. Asked if he would try to lure Bummolo away from his workplace of 31 years, Scott laughed, but did not decisively rule it out.

“I think the members wouldn’t let me do that,” he said. “I don’t think they’d like me too much if Lenny left. It would ruin a lot of their rounds.”

UPDATE: FRIDAY, 9:50 a.m. 
Wenchong Liang of China just eagled hole No. 1. He kept his initial tee shot on the fairway, then pitched his next shot on to the green just to the right of the hole, where the ball rolled perfectly into the cup. It will certainly help Liang who is looking improve upon his current 12-over par score and qualify for the next round on Saturday.
There is a stiff mist overtaking the course at the moment, prompting both players and fans to bring out their umbrellas.
UPDATE: FRIDAY, 9 a.m.
After a day when the wind blew and Shinnecock Hills stumped and thumped some of the best golfers in the world, the competitors are no doubt hoping some lighter winds on Friday, and maybe a sprinkle of rain, will help them get back on their feet and make it to the weekend rounds. 
Four golfers are tied for the lead at just 1-under par after Thursday’s stiff west winds made getting on Shinnecock’s slick greens a bear. 
“They didn’t experience this strength of wind during the practice rounds,” veteran Shinnecock caddy Tim Fox said. “Love it.” 
The marquee group—featuring Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas—is off early this morning, 8 a.m. 
Traffic has continued to be the talk of the tournament because of the hours-long commutes that spectators, tournament staff and even players are having to endure.

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Who cares? Just finish and leave.
By Draggerman (941), Southampton on Jun 15, 18 9:26 PM
Every restaurant was mobbed last night. It’s paying for someone.
By Fred s (3192), Southampton on Jun 15, 18 9:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
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