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Short par-3 15th hole presented plenty of challenges at U.S. Open

Bryson DeChambeau Bryson DeChambeau - The Canadian Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Country Club features two of the longest par-3 holes in U.S. Open history. On Saturday, it also had the shortest.

The 15th hole played at 81 yards, supplanting the seventh hole at Pebble Beach, which played at 92 yards in 2010 in the final round.

“I’m the happiest man alive that I hit that green,” said Bryson DeChambeau, who got a par. “With my wedge game and how fast I can move a golf club, I’m super happy that I was able to control the distance.”

Most were happy to take par and move on by aiming a little left of the flag toward the middle of the green and trying to get to spin down the slope.

Of the 65 players Saturday, there were only 11 birdies. There were 49 pars, five bogeys and a double bogey by Brooks Koepka.

“I think most of the par 3s you’re kind of happy with par on this course. It’s different. It’s interesting,” said Shane Lowry, who was at even par for the tournament.

The 15th had three holes-in-one during the first two days. Matthieu Pavon and Sam Burns both aced it Thursday when it was playing at 124 yards. Matt Fitzpatrick followed Friday from 115 yards

Through three rounds, it is the fifth-easiest hole with a 2.820 scoring average.


LACC Director of Golf Tom Gardner played as a marker for Ryan Fox, who went out as the first competitor of the day.

Gardner was asked early in the week by USGA managing director Jeff Hall to be a marker if an odd number of players made the cut. He found out Friday night while driving to a cocktail party that he would be needed.

“I’m not a competitor, but to be able to say that I got to play a U.S. Open setup on the weekend and see what it’s like and see the energy of the crowd and see the pins and the firmness and the rough and everything that goes along with it, I can’t really describe it,” Gardner said.

Gardner, who had LACC Head Golf Pro Rory Sweeney as his caddie, received plenty of cheers from club members throughout the round, especially when he teed off on the first hole and walking up the 18th fairway.

Fox shot a 1-under 69 and was 1 over for the tournament.


Cameron Young put a golf ball in one of the most unexpected spots. Young's tee shot on the 10th hole, landed in the golf ball holder inside the cart of one of NBC's on-course reporters.

Young was able to take a drop because the ball wasn't playable and was able to get up and down for par.

“My first though was just a little bit of comedy about that's where it ended up. My second thought was I had no shot from there,” said Young, who shot a 2-under 68 and was even par for the tournament.


Si Woo Kim was standing on the 15th tee when he got hit by Keith Mitchell's second shot on the 14th hole that went wildly astray.

The ball landed in front of Kim before bouncing up and grazing him on his right side. Kim jokingly fell to the ground and faked an injury as Mitchell was walking toward the tee box.

“His ball was going to go into the rough and it hit me and stayed in the tee box. It helped save him a stroke,” Kim said.

Being hit might have also benefited Kim, who birdied the 15th en route to a 1-over 71.

Despite the wild shot, Mitchell still managed to make par on the par-5 14th and was 1 over for the day.

“I ended up going 40 yards left of the flag and pulled it. I probably had the worst iron play from the middle of the fairway in my life today,” Mitchell said.


Padraig Harrington is the second-oldest player to shoot under par through three rounds at the U.S. Open. The 51-year-old Irishman was 1 under for the tournament after a 3-under 67.

Julius Boros was 53 when he was 3 under through three rounds at Oakmont in 1973.

Harrington is trying to become the fifth player 50 and over to finish under par after 72 holes. He would join Steve Stricker (2017), Raymond Floyd (1993), Boros and Dutch Harrison (1960).

“I’m just going to play same as today, I’m just going to go and hit every shot individually,” Harrington said. “I know it’s cliché and all that. Just seeing if I can go out there and keep my head mentally in the game.”


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