EARLY Second-Round Notes, 2017 U.S. Open, Friday, June 16
Paul Casey’s 1-under 71 in the second round included a triple bogey 8 at the par-5 14th hole. With a bogey at No. 15, Casey sat 4-over through six holes for the round before reeling off five straight birdies (holes 17-3) and closing with six consecutive pars.
Casey’s 137 (-7) 36-hole total betters his previous-best through 36 holes at the U.S. Open by four strokes (72-69—141, Chambers Bay, 2015).
Casey’s previous-best position through 36 holes at the U.S. Open was 6th in 2010, when he eventually finished T40.
Casey also shot 137 after 36 holes at the 2015 Masters to sit T3 headed into the weekend, eventually finishing T6.
Casey has held three 36-hole leads/co-leads on the PGA TOUR. He went on to win the 2009 Shell Houston Open after sharing the 36-hole lead. At the 2007 Safeway Open he finished T7 after leading at the halfway point. In 2014, he finished T13 at the Memorial Tournament while holding the 36-hole lead earlier that week.
Casey is seeking his second top-10 finish in his 14th U.S. Open appearance. His lone top-10 (T10) came in 2007, one of seven cuts he’s made in this event.
This week marks Casey’s 53rd start in a major championship. A T3 at The Open Championship in 2007 is his best result at any major. Casey finished sixth at the Masters this year, five back of winner Sergio Garcia.
In 15 starts this season, Casey has recorded 10 top-25s with his best showing coming at the Safeway Open (T3). He is currently No. 26 in the FedExCup standings, seeking to improve on his career-best fifth-place finish a year ago.
At the 2009 Shell Houston Open, Casey defeated J.B. Holmes in a playoff for his only PGA TOUR win. After 54 holes, he was in a six-way tie for the lead and carded a final-round 72 to force overtime. Casey also has 13 victories on the European Tour, the most recent coming at the 2014 KLM Open.
Si Woo Kim
Despite a bogey at his final hole (the 153-yard par-3 is the shortest hole on the course) when he failed to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker, Si Woo Kim fired 2-under 70 to sit 5-under through 36 holes. His only other bogey came at the 12th hole and three of his four birdies occurred consecutively (holes 17-1).
Kim, making his 64th PGA TOUR start and first appearance at the U.S. Open, missed the cut in the only two major championships he has previously contested – the 2016 PGA Championship and this year’s Masters Tournament.
Kim won this year’s THE PLAYERS Championship to earn his second career PGA TOUR victory in his 61st PGA TOUR start. His maiden win came at the 2016 Wyndham Championship.
At the age of 21 years, 10 months, 16 days, Kim is the youngest winner of THE PLAYERS Championship. Adam Scott was 23 years, 8 months, 12 days when he won in 2004.
Kim is the fourth-youngest player to win twice on the PGA TOUR in the last 25 years:
1996 Tiger Woods 20 years, 9 months, 6 days
2001 Sergio Garcia 21 years, 5 months, 15 days
2015 Jordan Spieth 21 years, 7 months, 16 days
2017 Si Woo Kim 21 years, 10 months, 16 days
Kim has a mixed bag of results this season on TOUR with eight missed cuts and five WDs. Along with his victory at THE PLAYERS, his only other top-10 showing was a T10 in his season-starter at the CIMB Classic.
Kim currently sits No. 25 on the FedExCup standings. Last season, Kim was one of two PGA TOUR rookies to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs finale, the TOUR Championship. He ended the season at No. 17 in the FedExCup.
Kim is No. 7 in the International Presidents Cup team standings and No. 32 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Kim is one of eight Korean-born players to win on the PGA TOUR and the fifth with multiple victories: K.J. Choi (8), Y.E. Yang (2), Sangmoon Bae (2), James Hahn (2), Si Woo Kim (2), Kevin Na (1), Seung-Yul Noh (1), Danny Lee (1).
Si Woo Kim will turn 22 on June 28 this year. A player of Korean-descent in their 20s has won on the PGA TOUR each of the last six seasons:
Anthony Kim – (2010 Shell Houston Open/24 years, 9 months, 16 days)
Kevin Na – (2011 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open/28 years, 17 days)
John Huh – (2012 OHL Classic at Mayakoba/21 years, 9 months, 5 days)
Sangmoon Bae – (2013 AT&T Byron Nelson/26 years, 10 months, 29 days)
Seung-Yul Noh – (2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans/22 years, 10 months, 29 days)
Sangmoon Bae – (2014 Safeway Open/28 years, 3 months, 21 days)
Danny Lee – (2015 The Greenbrier Classic/24 years, 11 months, 11 days)
Si Woo Kim – (2016 Wyndham Championship/21 years, 1 month, 24 days)
Si Woo Kim – (2017 PLAYERS Championship)/21 years, 10 months, 16 days)
Kim remains the youngest player to graduate from PGA TOUR Q-School. He finished T20 at the 2012 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament at PGA West in Palm Springs at the age of 17 years, 5 months, 6 days. Kim’s rookie season on the PGA TOUR was in 2013, but only made eight starts because he did not turn 18 until June 28. Kim returned back to Web.com Tour until he locked up his PGA TOUR Card for the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season by finishing 23rd on the 2015 Web.com Tour priority list.
Kim won the 2015 Stonebrae Classic on the Web.com Tour.
Xander Schauffele backed up a first-round 66 with 1-over 73 in round two. The 23-year-old was tied for the lead at 7-under early in the round but was derailed by a double bogey at the par-3 13th hole.
Schauffele is making his first start in a major championship after shooting 64-71 and surviving a five-man playoff for the final two spots in the Memphis sectional qualifier.
Schauffele is seeking to become the first player since Francis Ouimet in 2013 to win the U.S. Open in his first attempt. He’s also looking to join Ouimet, Ben Curtis (2003/The Open Championship) and Keegan Bradley (2011/PGA Championship) as a title winner in his first major championship appearance.
Schauffele advanced to the PGA TOUR this season after finishing 45th in the priority ranking of the Web.com Tour. The former San Diego State golfer finished T5 at the Sanderson Farms Championship in his second start as a TOUR member. His only other top-20 finish this season was at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, when he paired with Tag Ridings in the two-man team event to finish T11.
Schauffele’s best results on the Web.com Tour came in back-to-back weeks in July last year when he finished third at the Utah Championship and followed with a T3 at the Ellie Mae Classic the next week.
Schauffele’s mother is from Chinese Taipei (but grew up in Japan) and his father is half French and German.
Current Masters champion Sergio Garcia (70-71) contested his first U.S. Open in 2000 and is making his 18th consecutive U.S. Open start this week, with a T5 finish last year one of five top-10 results. Garcia’s best finish was T3 in 2005 but he followed that result with his only two missed cuts in the event in 2006 and 2007.
Garcia is attempting to become the fourth player to win two majors in the same year since 2008: Jordan Spieth (2015 Masters Tournament and U.S. Open), Rory McIlroy (2014 Open Championship and PGA Championship), Padraig Harrington (2008 British Open and PGA Championship).
Garcia is seeking to become the 17th player to win the Masters and U.S. Open during their careers, with six players performing the feat in the same season (designated with an *):
Gene Sarazen 1922, 1932 U.S. Open; 1935 Masters
Byron Nelson 1939 U.S. Open; 1937, 1942 Masters
Ralph Guldahl 1937, 1938 U.S. Open; 1939 Masters
*Craig Wood 1941 U.S. Open; 1941 Masters
*Ben Hogan 1948, 1950, 1951, 1953 U.S. Open; 1951, 1953 Masters
Cary Middlecoff 1949, 1956 U.S. Open; 1955 Masters
*Arnold Palmer 1960 U.S. Open; 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964 Masters
Billy Casper 1959, 1966 U.S. Open; 1970 Masters
*Jack Nicklaus 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980 U.S. Open; 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986 Masters
Gary Player 1965 U.S. Open; 1961, 1974, 1978 Masters
Tom Watson 1982 U.S. Open; 1977, 1981 Masters
Fuzzy Zoeller 1984 U.S. Open; 1979 Masters
Raymond Floyd 1986 U.S. Open; 1976 Masters
*Tiger Woods 2000, 2002, 2008 U.S. Open; 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 Masters
Angel Cabrera 2007 U.S. Open; 2009 Masters
*Jordan Spieth 2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open
2011 FedExCup champion Bill Haas shot a bogey-free 4-under 68 to follow his even-par 72 and sit 4-under through 36 holes. Friday’s 68 is Haas’ third sub-70 round in 26 career rounds at the U.S. Open and his first bogey-free effort in the championship (68/R2/2017, 69/R2/2016, 68/R3/2011). Although Haas has made 22 cuts in 30 major championship appearances, his lone top-10 result is T9 at last year’s Open Championship. Haas’ best result in eight starts in the U.S. Open is T23 in 2011.
Rising Texas A&M senior Cameron Champ (a) celebrated his 22nd birthday with an opening-round 2-under 70 and went one better with 69 in the second round, mixing five birdies with two bogeys. Champ, a Sacramento, Calif. native, survived a two-man playoff at Newport Beach CC after shooting 63-74 to advance from sectional qualifying. The U.S. Open has had eight amateur winners (5 players): Francis Ouimet (1913), Jerome D. Travers (1915), Charles Evans Jr. (1916), Robert T. Jones Jr. (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930), John Goodman (1933). The last amateur to finish inside the top 15 was Spencer Levin (T13) in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills.
Justin Thomas, who trails Dustin Johnson by 293 points in the FedExCup standings, backed up an opening-round 73 with a 3-under 69 and will comfortably advance to the weekend. Notable players who will likely miss the cut include world No. 2 Rory McIlroy (78-71) and world No. 3 Jason Day (79-75).
England’s Danny Willett withdrew due to a back injury before starting the second round.
Erin Hills Notes
The par-72 Erin Hills measured 7,845 yards during Thursday’s opening round, the longest course in tournament history. At 7,839 yards in the second round, Erin Hills is also the second-longest course in U.S. Open history. The previous-longest layout for the U.S. Open was 7,695 yards in the second round of 2015 championship at Chambers Bay.
The par-5 18th hole measured 676 yards in the second round, making it the second-longest hole in tournament history. The 12th hole at Oakmont last year measured 684 yards in the first round.
Erin Hills is the first par-72 setup in a U.S. Open since 1992 when Pebble Beach Golf Links hosted and ninth since World War II.
Erin Hills is the third course in the last decade to host a U.S. Open for the first time (Torrey Pines/2008/won by Tiger Woods, Chambers Bay/2015/won by Jordan Spieth)