Duke, UNC products miss cut at U.S. Open
Pinehurst No. 2’s back nine turned out to be the place where this year’s U.S. Open ended for golfers with Duke and North Carolina ties.
Former Blue Devils Joe Ogilvie and Ryan Blaum, as well as ex-UNC golfer Mark Wilson, misfired far too often on their final nine holes on Friday causing all three to miss the cut.
Wilson scored four bogeys with no birdies on his final nine holes to finish with a 6-over-par 76 for his round and 6-over for the tournament. That left him one stroke shy of the 5-over par score that would have qualified him to play in the U.S. Open’s final two rounds Saturday and Sunday.
It’s the fourth time in four U.S. Opens that the 39-year-old Wilson, a pro since 1997, has failed to make the cut.
Blaum found himself at 3-under par for the tournament after a birdie on the 10th hole Friday. But Blaum proceeded to record four bogeys on his final eight holes to land at 7-over.
“Pretty disappointed,” Blaum said. “I didn’t hit the ball as well as I did yesterday. I putted a little bit better. But I made some bogeys that were some bad swings and bad breaks down the stretch. Unfortunately that’s my demise for the week.”
Blaum’s words were fitting for fellow former Duke golfer Ogilvie as well.
Ogilvie, playing in his final U.S. Open, appeared to have a chance to make it to the weekend for the fourth time in U.S. Open play. The 40-year-old shot 1-under par for his first nine holes on Friday. But he was 7-over par over his final nine holes, including double-bogeys on 17 and 18, and finished at 9-over par for the tournament.
Ogilvie said his decision to use the 5-iron rather than the 6 on No. 17 doomed him to a bogey there, which caused him to gamble in an attempt to eagle No. 18.
“I chose a 5-iron and I should have hit the hard 6,” Ogilvie said. “Once I did that, the air went out of the room.”
Former Duke golfer Kevin Streelman shot 5-over par in Thursday’s first round and entered Friday needing a strong score to have a chance to make the cut. But he failed to shoot a birdie on Friday en route to a 7-over-par round that left him at 12-over and done for the week.
Paired together for the second day in a row, Wilson and Ogilvie were among the first golfers to tee off Friday when they began play at 7:07 a.m. They found greens that had been softened by the half-inch of rain that fell Thursday night.
Having shot even par on Thursday, Wilson started his second round solidly with a birdie on the 399-yard, par-4 first hole.
But he had trouble with the much-longer par-4 hole No. 2 (513 yards), which he bogeyed.
After rallying with a birdie on another short par-4 at No.3, he once again bogeyed the longer par-4 at No. 4.
His round began to unravel with back-to-back bogeys on holes 6 and 7. And, while hitting only 12 of 18 greens in regulation on the day, he was unable to position himself for birdies to make up for the bogeys.
After those two birdies on his first three holes, Wilson failed to record another birdie.
Ogilvie also had trouble setting himself up for birdies on Friday. He hit only 10 of 18 greens in regulation and was 22 of 36 (61.1 percent) for his two-day U.S. Open week.
His average driving distance Friday was 259 yards, below average for the field.
With 15 years on the tour, Ogilvie said he already had been thinking that this would probably be his final year as a professional golfer. He said Friday that he had played his final U.S. Open and he intends to retire as an active player when this season ends.
“I’ve really enjoyed being a pro golfer,” Ogilvie said. “I’ve met a lot of great people. I love golf. But to a certain extent, I’m a depreciating asset. I want to build an appreciating asset. I’d like to put my Duke degree to use.”
Blaum was strong off the tee but erratic on Friday. He hit only 8 of 14 fairways and 8 of 18 greens in regulation.
“I just needed to put better and hit it better,” Blaum said. “Those two things together and it would have been a much better two days.”