Presnell showing fighting character

Alistair Presnell's name stood out like a beacon for Australian golf fans as he approached the midway point of his second round at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

At even par for the Championship, Presnell stood just one shot behind Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk. These were giddy heights but he was handling the occasion with all the aplomb of a veteran.

Presnell started his round well with a series of pars although an opportunity went begging at 11th where he almost holed his approach and then missed a three footer for birdie.

His first dropped shot came at the par three 13th and again it was the result of a missed short putt after an excellent bunker shot appeared to have set up a par save.

At the par four 14th Presnell was forced to run his approach under a tree limb to the front of the green and save par but at the next he three putted from 18 feet behind the hole after getting caught in the fringe.

Then would come the fightback. At the 609 yard par five 16th, Presnell pitched to 18 feet and holed from off the edge for birdie then at the next he hit two great shots to 25 feet and two putted for birdie to get back to even par and within one of the lead of the lead.

It was heady stuff as the inexperienced Victorian appeared to handle the situation with relative calm. To be playing this event for the first occasion and to have fought back from a couple of early mishaps today gives him encouragement for what will be a tough battle over his closing nine holes of round two.

Whatever way things go for Presnell from here he will leave the US Open a lot more experienced and confident player as a result.

Presnell was warmly encouraged by the huge American crowds who had flocked to the course to see Tiger Woods and others. But here amongst the midts of all of that was a young Australian performing well above expectations. To have watched him play the opening nine was something very special, even for this veteran journalist.


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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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