Add U.S. Open contention to Todd's big season
PINEHURST, N.C. – Then again, maybe this experience stuff is overrated.
That’s one way to explain the presence of Brendon Todd in the final pairing of Saturday’s third round of the 114th U.S. Open.
No U.S. Opens on his resume? No major championships? No problem.
Heck, the onetime University of Georgia standout hardly blinked when he saw a leaderboard with his name nestled beneath that of Martin Kaymer.
PHOTOS: 2014 U.S. Open (Friday)
Check out photos from Friday's second round of the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.
“When I got that first birdie (on No. 3), the name went up there. It’s cool,” Todd said after shooting 67 to get halfway home in 4-under 136, six behind Kaymer. “(But it’s) not something that is like a super shock for me. I’ve been a pro for seven years. I’ve been on some leaderboards now for a while, so I don’t put much stock in it and I don’t look at it a whole lot.”
True, all of that, but the thing is, the 28-year-old Todd only recently broke through on the PGA Tour. Having split 2013 between the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour, he settled into a rhythm in the early part of this season. Just four weeks ago, Todd cashed in at the HP Byron Nelson Classic for his first win.
Beyond the $1.242 million paycheck, Todd earned priceless confidence and job security. When he followed with a T-5 and T-8 at the Colonial and Memorial, respectively, it swept him in on a rush of momentum.
Todd tid-bit No. 1: He had one top 10 in his first 65 PGA Tour tournaments, but he’s got five top eights in his last 14.
Todd tid-bit No. 2: He ranks seventh in putting and eighth in scrambling.
So, no, he’s not surprised to be where he is, penciled in for the final pairing in Round 3 with Kaymer (65—130). He’ll employ the same game plan that got him where he is, the closest pursuer to a runaway Kaymer.
“Driving it in the fairway. And scrambling. That’s what I do best,” he said. “When I play well, I drive it straight, I scramble well.”
Like Kaymer, who played hours earlier, Todd played a bogey-free second round. Unlike the German, he hasn’t gone 65-65. But it’s not like he’s throwing back his 69-67.
PHOTOS: 2014 U.S. Open Fashion, Friday
See the apparel from Friday's second round of the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
“If you had asked any player at the beginning of the week, ‘If you were 4 under through two days, would you take it or would you be in the lead?’ Everybody would have said yes.”
Todd shook his head, like everyone else, stunned at how brilliantly Kaymer has played. The former Bulldog actually watched the morning golf and saw how great the leader’s play has been.
“He hit a shot on 17, the par 3, and it landed 10 feet left of the hole and he was like shocked. He was like mad. I mean, those were my good shots this week, so he’s obviously playing a really good level of golf.”
Todd, however, will gladly show up Saturday and try and change the landscape. “If he shoots 10 under again in the next two days then he’s superhuman. We’ll just have to try and wear him down.”