Todd falls from contention, says he'll still gain from Open
Brendon Todd's first U.S. Open Championship, being played in his home state where he was a three-time high school state champ not too far up the road from Pinehurst, was going great until his first-ever U.S. Open weekend round on Saturday afternoon.
Paired with tournament leader Martin Kaymer, who took a six-shot lead into the day at a record-setting 10-under par, Todd found trouble two holes into his round and it never turned around for the tour pro from Cary and Green Hope High grad.
Following a double-bogey six on No. 7, Todd had put bogey or worse up five times already and had gone from four under par beginning his afternoon to one over. Four more bogeys in a five-hole stretch, Nos. 11-15, took Todd entirely off the leaderboard and he finished with a 79.
Todd didn't chalk the rough day up to nerves. He said he was more nervous while winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship, his first PGA Tour victory, in May.
"I mean, Dallas, for sure, 17, 18 there was pretty nerve-wracking. Even the first tee shot on the Saturday in Dallas I remember being nervous," Todd said.
"I kind of got that out of my system and felt pretty good today," he said.
Todd, who has plenty of experience at Pinehurst dating back to his high school and junior successes, thought the course was set up tough, then momentum went bad quickly for him.
"Yeah, the pins were very aggressively set, especially early on, on the back corners," he said.
After three straight bogeys, nothing went right the rest of the way.
"In a U.S. Open, for sure," he said when asked about the difficulty of turning momentum around in a major, and on a course such as this.
"There's no chance to hit the ball close when the pins are tucked like that. You never get that birdie to get your momentum going back the other way," Todd said.
Todd, who shot rounds of 69 and 67 to play in the last pairing yesterday can still make it three good rounds out of four at his first U.S. Open. Falling out of contention is obviously disappointing, though he says he will still gain a lot from this week.
There is likely to be another huge gallery for Todd to play in front of in the final round. He'll have his local supporters and he's paired with Phil Mickelson.
"That's impossible to separate from the experience, for sure, because we play golf tournaments to win," he said. "But still, it's cool to have fans out there. It's cool to be in the final group at the U.S. Open. All in all, I'll take a lot from it."