Bethpage Black bounces back on day two

Day two of the US Open at Bethpage Black was in stark contrast to the opening day on Thursday and so was the scoring.

Those players fortunate enough to have had an afternoon tee time on Thursday enjoyed perfect conditions again on Friday before darkness brought play to a close just after 8.00pm New York time.

Bethpage Black was simply stunning in the manner in which she recovered from Thursday's deluge and a credit to the drainage systems in place and the field staff who worked feverishly all night to ensure play could get under way as scheduled.

When the siren sounded for play to cease on day two however, no player had yet completed their second round, the closest were those who had closed the day after 15 holes. They will return early on Saturday morning, weather permitting, to complete round two before those looking to start their second rounds head out.

Amongst those still to start their second round include Tiger Woods, who sits dangerously close to the cut line but will no doubt pull out all stops to ensure he is in contention this weekend.

If all goes according to plan, round two should be completed tomorrow but the forecast suggests that may be a long shot. There is an 80% chance of rain and the chance of a thunderstorm predicted for tomorrow.

When play was called today, Lucas Glover, who had completed his opening round of 69 just three and a half hours earlier, had taken the lead with a brilliant stretch of holes in his second round. He birdied his 1st, 4th, 9th, 10th and 12th holes to move to 6 under and one ahead of Rick Barnes and two ahead of Canada's Mike Weir and Sweden's Peter Hanson. Todd Hamilton is next at 3 under.

Earlier in the day Glover had started his US Open campaign with a double bogey but after that potentially shattering start here he was leading his national open. Glover has had a good season in 2009 finishing runner up at Quail Hollow and third at Torrey Pines - two tough venues. His best finish in a major championship to date was when 20th at the 2007 Masters although he has yet to make a cut in three attempts at the US Open.

Apart from his shaky start, Glover has been almost faultless today, finding 27 of the 31 greens and requiring only 51 putts in 31 holes. He deserves his lead but he and the others who were blessed with the afternoon draw on day one will all be aware of their good fortune. Still it is one thing to get a lucky break and another to take advantage of it.

Mike Weir had led after an opening round with a superb round of 64 earlier in the day. Weir led by two from Sweden's Peter Hanson who had only gained a start in the event courtesy of a hole in one during a playoff for one of the final places available at the IFQ at Walton Heath two weeks earlier.

In a surprise and welcome return to form, Adam Scott is the leading Australian at this stage, moving to 2 under par for the tournament through 11 holes of his second round.

Scott has found his putting touch and looked a completely different player to that we have witnessed in recent months. He has been back at his London base working on his game and the results are there for all to see. It is early days yet but so far so good for the 28-year-old.

Michael Sim is the next best of the Australians after finishing off his round this morning with a round of 71 to be at 1 over and in a share 25th position. He, along with several other of the Australasians, will not get their second rounds underway until mid morning NY time at the earliest.

Geoff Ogilvy is at 3 over, Rod Pampling at 4 over, Steve Allan and Robert Allenby at 5 over, David Smail at 6 over, Stuart Appleby, James Nitties, Doug Batty and Michael Campbell at 7 over and Matthew Jones at 8 over.

The cut is difficult to predict at present given the variety of conditions that might prevail but at this stage it could well be 5 over, with the ten shot rule a chance to affect that either way. Any player within ten shots of the 36 hole lead gets the opportunity to tee it up in round three irrespective of what position he is placed at that time.

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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