x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Barnes sets Open scoring record

Ricky Barnes set the US Open 36-hole scoring record on Saturday by finishing two trips around Bethpage Black with an eight-under 132.

Ricky Barnes, right, lines up his putt on the seventh hole during the second round of the US Open on Saturday.
Ricky Barnes, right, lines up his putt on the seventh hole during the second round of the US Open on Saturday.

FARMINGDALE, NEW YORK // Ricky Barnes set the US Open 36-hole scoring record Saturday by finishing two trips around Bethpage Black with an eight-under 132. Tiger Woods, meanwhile, remained well off the leaderboard as rain returned to still-soggy Bethpage Black. Barnes, the 2002 US amateur champion, completed his second round Saturday morning, making three birdies in nine holes for a 65. The previous 36-hole record was 133, set by Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh at Olympia Fields in 2003.

"It's pretty cool," Barnes said. "Obviously at the beginning of the week you didn't think that score was out there. Obviously with some tees moved up and the soft greens helped it out. And obviously with my ball-striking was the most probably impressive part of the first 36 holes." Barnes has hit 31 of 36 greens this week; the rest of the field is only hitting the green in regulation about half the time.

"If you would have told me I would have been eight under and only (a) one-shot lead, I would have said, 'You're kidding me,'" Barnes said. "But I'll take it. It was solid play. And I'm happy with the position I'm at." Woods was not. The defending champion and world's No 1 shot 69 on Saturday, only getting to three over for the week and within 11 shots of Barnes's lead. Barnes led Lucas Glover by one shot; Glover had a chance at matching the US Open and all-time major championship record with a 20-foot birdie putt on his final hole Saturday morning, only to leave it short and settle for a bogey-free 64.

Glover said he was thinking about shooting 63 as he stood over that birdie putt on the last hole, then lamented that he, in his words, "weenied out." Although, in fairness, he did not have much else to complain about. "I'm very pleased," said Glover, who did not even make the cut in any of his three previous US Open appearances. "Probably as good a round of golf as I've played. I'm very excited." First-round leader Mike Weir, who has finished in the top 20 at the US Open for seven of the past nine years, was two shots off Barnes's lead at six under.

*AP