Olin Browne Leads US Senior Open At Seven Under

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olin Browne leads the first day of the US Senior Open at seven under, on the strength of eagles on the par 5 fourth and eighth holes. His big plays as the day was closing out catapulted him past Mark O’Meara and Michael Allen who had spent the entire afternoon sitting on the lead at -5.

Browne’s first eagle came on the par 5 fourth. His drive left him 216 to the hole, which he attacked with a 3 hybrid. From there, he had just a six footer for eagle. On the eighth, a monstrous 566 yard par 5 dogleg, he holed out his third shot from 97 yards.

In some ways, Browne had the advantage of finishing on the much easier front nine. Like most, he fought hard against the more difficult back nine. Starting on ten, Browne went one under on eleven, then picked up another shot on the par 3 twelfth. From there, he gave one shot back on sixteen, which is turning out to be a killer.


My bogey came on 16.  I hit an errant tee shot.  I was in the first cut of rough down the left side.  It doesn’t present a very good angle, and I had a tree in my way.  I hit a 3 hybrid from there and it ticked the tree and came town about 77 yards from the pin, where I proceeded to hit it on the green and not make the putt.

It was a fairly commercial back nine.  I drove the ball pretty well the rest of the time, and I think got up and down out of a couple of sand traps when I needed to to keep the momentum going, but that back nine is a beast.

Browne agreed that the key to the back nine was survival:

Twelve is a super challenging par 3.  The water is going to come into play all weekend, I’m sure, and then 13, 14, 15 are really hard par 4s.  15 is a super par 3, and 16 and 17 are chop buster par 4s.  And then 18 you’d better hit a good tee shot or you’re not going to hold that green.  It’s a challenging back nine.

As I noted Monday and Tuesday after walking the course, checking yardages and quizzing the rangers, the back nine—and especially 14 through 18—are going to be the key to this tournament. If a player can get ahead on the front nine, and then hold on through the back, he’ll get into contention.




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