AUSTRALIANS Jason Day and Adam Scott will return to Oakmont Country Club to finish their second rounds of the 2016 US Open after play was suspended because of darkness on a marathon Friday.
When they return to the course on Saturday morning, though, they will have separate goals to achieve over their final three holes of the second round.
Scott has one eye on the leaders as he fought back to within four shots, while playing partner Day is looking at the cut line hoping to play the final 36 holes of a major championship he entered as favourite.
After Scott and Day carded morning first rounds of 71 and 76 respectively, they returned to the course less than two hours later to begin their second rounds.
However, with only four holes to play Scott and Day, along with playing partner Louis Oosthuizen, heard the horns that were blown around the course and finished the par-3 6th hole, their 15th for the round.
Day made bogey on the 6th after finding the greenside bunker and is now 1-under for his second round, 5-over for the tournament and tied for 56th.
On the other hand, Scott left the course in a happier mood after making birdie at the 6th hole to claw back the shot he dropped on the 2nd and is 1-under for his second round.
Scott is now in a share of 14th at even-par for the tournament, only four strokes behind American leaders Andrew Landry and Dustin Johnson. Landry, however, has only played 18 holes.
“It was a long day but it was a good day,” Scott said of his 33 hole Friday.
“I am holding my ground and if I can finish this round off solid with some pars then I will really be in good shape for the weekend.
“It was great to make the birdie to finish there because I feel like that’s where I should be.”
The pair started the afternoon round from the 10th tee and Scott made bogey on the difficult par-4 but bounced straight back with a birdie on the 11th.
After negotiating the 12th with a par, the longest par-5 in US Open history, Scott then made another birdie on the par-3 13th hole after stiffing his tee shot to five feet.
Althoughbogied the 14th he made up for that dropped shot by driving the green on the short 17th hole and saw his ball rest on the left fringe.
His long eagle try wasn’t hit hard enough but the former US Masters champion eventually carded a birdie.
“I holed a couple of putts but I missed a couple I would have liked to have holed,” Scott said. “Generally hit it pretty good so I am there or thereabouts and not too far away to contend.”
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With three weather delays yesterday and more rain overnight, a total of 58 millilitres of rain had dampened the course before play on Friday.
“At a US Open it is really hard to play that many holes and at this course it is a slog of a walk in the wet also,” Scott said.
“So that’s tough but everyone will be feeling tired so no real excuses.”
Fellow Queenslander Day had to bounce back in the afternoon after a 6-over morning round left him dangerously close to an early exit from the tournament.
“It was just a really long day and I’m disappointed with my first round because that is what got me in the position I am in,” Day said at the end of play on Friday.
“But I have three holes left to see if I can improve that score and I’m looking forward to trying to do that tomorrow.”
The Australian started the afternoon with a birdie on the par-4 10th hole when he saw a 13 foot putt drop into the cup. Seven pars followed before he rounded out his front nine even-par after a bogey on the 9th hole.
Before his next bogey on the 6th hole, Day’s back nine at Oakmont was setting him up for an excellent finish to the round after going 2-under through the first five holes of Oakmont’s front nine.
Day found the thin fairway on the heavily bunkered par-4 2nd hole, but his approach was phenomenal, his ball pitching beyond the pin before trickling back to within a foot.
The World Number One made birdie there before another on the par-5 4th hole, two holes before his round was prematurely ended.
“The three holes tomorrow are important to make the weekend and then I will be trying hard to get back to even-par for this championship because it’s going to get tougher over the weekend and hopefully that will have me back in it,” Day said.
“Just about everything wasn’t working at times. Particularly everything after my tee shots. Approach, short game and putter just weren’t as crisp as they could have been. Hopefully I can turn it all around tomorrow.”
Day and Scott will return to the course early tomorrow before the next half of the draw begin their 18 holes of the second round, with Australians Aron Price (7:00am) and Marc Leishman (8:17am) set to tee off later in the morning.
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