Mike Davis, the USGA’s executive director, has always liked fiddling with the tee boxes at No. 3, intrigued by the kind of set-up he used Friday where he pushed the tee box up to 315 yards and gave players an option to try and drive the green. It’s the kind of risk-reward scenario Davis loves, especially with such a narrow opening to the domed green and three relatively imposing bunkers to the right, left and front.
In Thursday’s opening round, No. 3 played at 391 yards and yielded 11 birdies against 30 scores of bogey or worse. Friday? Seventy-five birdies and an eagle against 12 bogeys or worse.
For what it’s worth, Kaymer managed to drive that green and delivered an easy two-putt birdie.
8) Only one amateur made the cut Friday.
Twelve amateurs began competition Thursday. But only 19-year-old Matthew Fitzpatrick punched a ticket to the weekend. Fitzpatrick delivered rounds of 71 and 73 and is in a tie for 44th at 4 over. But even with his youth, his low amateur accomplishment comes with a footnote. Even before the tournament, Fitzpatrick had targeted this U.S. Open as his final event as an amateur. He will turn pro next week and start cashing checks from there.
Another amateur who was in position to see the weekend at Pinehurst No. 2 was Brian Campbell, who plays his college golf at the University of Illinois. Campbell was inside the cut line until making a bogey on his final hole, the 169-yard par 3 ninth to slip to 6 over.
9) Looking for the goofiest sequence of Friday's second round? It came from 45-year-old Ken Duke at the 169-yard par 3 9th hole.
Duke’s tee shot was only a tad off line, but took a bit of an angry bounce, burying deep into a thick clump of wire grass above a sand trap left of the green. After assessing his possibilities – or lack thereof – for several minutes, Duke had little hope. So his best option, he and his caddie decided, was to use the toe of his putter to hit a croquet shot sideways into the sand.
“Just needed something with a square edge to get it going back in the bunker,” Duke said.
His biggest hope?
“I'm a pretty good bunker player. We were just trying to make four,” Duke admitted.
He did one better, holing the shot out of the bunker for a par. It was a nice moment. But Duke shot a 72 Friday and missed the cut at 7 over.