After about a two hour delay, the second round of the US Senior Open is well underway. Olin Browne still leads halfway through his round, at -8. He’s had an up and down day, going as deep as -9 on seven, but then giving two back on the very next hole. The bad news for Browne is that he’s now got to go into the back nine and try to hold on. I’m going to join his group at fourteen and see how he faces the FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH (14-18).
The rain has naturally softened up the greens. Shots that I saw roll away yesterday were today staying in place. The rain has had effects on spectators, too. An adjacent field used for a parking lot has been closed in favor of a hard surface lot at the University of Toledo a couple of miles away.
Earlier, I watched the group of Mark Eiebe, Peter Senior and David Eger negotiate their way around the Five Fingers of Death. Wiebe was -4 at that point, and solidly on the leaderboard. Senior, at -2 was on the cusp. Fourteen, however, began a slide for Wiebe. Caught inside on the sweeping par 4, his only apparent choice was to lay up to 60 yards. His pitch shot wasn’t too bad, leaving him with a make-able putt. Wiebe missed long, though. Then, swiping casually at the comebacker, he missed again. Chastened, he lined up his last and put it in. But the damage was done: Double Bogey and a fall to -2.
On sixteen, Wiebe had a good drive to around 190 to the green. He left his second several feet short of the green, though, on the left front. From there, he three putted. You can’t reasonably expect to two putt if you don’t put your approach anywhere near the hole. Now, it was Wiebe at -1.
Wiebe almost gave up another on 17, when he again left it short. The hole, however was fortunately cut down front, and managed to get it in for par. To his credit, Wiebe managed to get back to 2 under on 18, with a tee shot down the middle, followed by a terrific iron just above the hole. The putt, however tentative on a downhill slide, let him finish out the first nine at -2. The good news: he now faces the much easier front nine, with the worst behind him. As of this moment, he’s back on the leaderboard in at T11, having gotten a bird on the par 3 third.