U.S. Open: UW's Pan, Cal's Kim in top 10

The second round of the 113th U.S. Open is not quite in the books, so while the cut has not been made one thing is for sure: Washington's Cheng-Tsung Pan and Cal's Michael Kim are in serious contention for the major championship -- both are in the top 10 with Pan one stroke off the lead and Kim two shots back. The top 60 plus ties will move on to the third and fourth rounds at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.


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Surely Pan's hot start to the championship was just a fluke; beginner's luck, if you will. That's probably what most were thinking when the Husky amateur finished off Thursday at 2-over after a 2-under start. The Washington sophomore didn't quite see things that way however, and found himself one shot off the lead at even par through 27 holes and in a tie for third. So while he still has nine holes to play before his second round is in the books (he's currently 2-under on this go around the course), not only is Pan in a great position to make the cut, he has a shot to win the whole dang thing. His most impressive stretch of the day arguably came on Nos. 5 and 6 where he hit two great approach shots that led to an easy birdie putt and huge par save.

 

 


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You like good approach shots? You should have seen Michael Kim's on No. 1 (his ninth hole of the round). That led to a tap-in for birdie and got him to 1-under for his round. As if that weren't enough, he proceeded to do this on the next hole:

Like Pan, Kim did not finish his second round on Friday. And, like Pan, he is well above the projected cut line (currently +8 here and +7 here) at +1 with seven more holes to play before more weekend golf for him becomes official. Just two shots off the lead, Mr. Kim currently sits in a tie for eighth.


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Last we checked on Michael Weaver, dude was 2-over through 10 in his first round heading into the day. Well, he shot 2-over on the rest of his opening round to start his second at 4-0ver. Thursday and Friday were similar for Weaver as he backed up that 74 with another one. As such, he finished his 36 at 8-over, meaning he is going to have to sweat out Saturday morning. As of now, +7 is the magic score, but that could certainly change and is why the projected cutline can be different than the current one.

 

 


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Chris Williams got off to a promising start on Thursday, but Friday proved to be a much tougher day for a good chunk of the field. That trend did not escape Williams, who ended up at +9 after 36 holes, and that looks like it probably won't be good enough. Minus-1 through 10 holes when play was suspended Thursday, Williams shot 6-over on his last eight of the first round to card a 75 in his first 18. That was just the start of things for Williams, who would hang around a 1-over for his second round before double-bogeying No. 11. He ended up completing his second round one shot better than his first with a 74 (+4). Most likely you can say goodbye to Chris Williams the amateur and hello to Chris Williams the professional; the Hogan Award Winner reportedly begins his professional career next weekend at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.


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NCAA individual medalist Max Homa was unable to repeat the magic he created in Georgia a couple of weeks ago, finishing Friday at 11-over after tallying 78 in a second round that featured three double-bogeys (he also had to finish the last 12 holes of his first round, going 1-over on that stretch to card a 73 for his first 18). Homa will not play anymore for Steve Desimone's gang, but he will remain an amateur for a while so he can try to make the Walker Cup team in September (a match pitting amateur golfers from America against amateurs from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). If Homa can make clutch putts with ducks trying to distract him, he can go on to have a successful pro career when it begins.


Quarterback competitions are underway as preseason practices start across the conference.

Big boys update -- Lefty (aka Phil Mickelson) is tied for the lead with Billy Horschel at -1 for the tournament after a Friday 72 that was highlighted by a long birdie putt on 18. Also, Tiger Woods shot a 70 to stay at 3-over (he finished up his first round on Friday by carding a 73).

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