Senden right in the mix at US Open

John Senden's outstanding third round of 68 at the US Open at the Oympic Club in San Francisco has created an opportunity for the superb ball striker to be right in the hunt until tomorrow's closing stages.

Playing in the company of World Number three Lee Westwood, Senden played the tough opening stretch of six holes solidly, his only mistake coming at the par five 5th where he missed the fairway and did well to escape with a bogey.

Senden missed a great opportunity at the 7th to get his round moving in the right direction when he three putted after finding the green at the reachable par four but hit what must have been one of the shots of the day to the par three 8th to two feet and holed it for birdie.

He was able to reel off a series of pars over the next few holes, missing one good chance at the 11th before a birdie at the 14th moved him to 4 over and on the edge of contention. He missed a chance at the 17th when he missed the fairway at the reachable par five and could only lay up but at the last he holed a curling right to left putt from 12 feet right of the flag to move to 3 under and at that point was just two from the lead.

"Senden talked about the benefit of playing with Westwood. "We had a good day, fed off each other. Lee played well. I was excited to play with Lee. He was the highest ranked player still left in the field, I guess. And that was really nice.

"I played with Lee maybe once before, maybe twice before back in Europe, he said after his round. "I enjoy his company. I just love watching him play. He's solid and we had a good day. We chatted and we felt good. Hopefully he felt good with me. He shot a good score as well."

"I had a putt from above the hole on the hole before and it was really slippery there, he said when discussing he putt on the last. "A lot of break on that putt. Any time you're above the hole on any of these greens it's difficult. So it's all about the defensive play when you're above it, and just felt better on the green today.

"I had some chances that I still could have made, but I got my share too today. So that was good. I put together around where it was a solid ball striking and solid putting. I'm happy with it.

"I really thought that par figures were a great round, he added when asked what his mindset was heading into today. "I think that it all would depend on what the leaders are doing too, whether you're back in the game. So shooting 2 under and seeing the leaders not going anywhere, I think we have a chance to give it a shot tomorrow."

"I like it," added Senden when asked how he felt about his position for tomorrow. "I think that's why we practice, I've been getting more and more experience in the Major Championships. I need to enjoy tomorrow and it will be a tough day. Every day's tough around this golf course, but Sunday with the pressure and going out there and just playing my game and do the best I can."

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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