Caddie blog: Chun one shy of Open cutline
Well, the parade has finally ended at St. Andrews and I couldn’t be more proud of Eric Chun and how he represented himself and Northwestern University.
The 20-year-old was one shot away from playing the weekend in his first appearance at a Major Championship. With winds gusting at 40+ mph, Eric’s second round was definitely a grind, getting up and down for par seven times.
Chun stepped up to the famous 17th hole at 1 over par for the tournament. He piped a drive over the St. Andrews Hotel that traveled 306 yards in the middle of the fairway. He hit a low 3-iron from 184 yards that looked perfect from the fairway, just trickling up the slope. Then we heard the infamous “ooooohhhhhhh” from the crowd, as it just rolled over the back onto the rocky path, short of the road. We actually used the rules to our advantage, getting relief from some casual water, enabling Eric to drop on the grass.
He hit a pure flop shot into the wind that landed 18 feet below the hole. He would take three putts to get down from there and the wicked Road Hole claimed another victim.
We were notified by an official as we approached the 18th green that play was being suspended due to severe winds, but we were allowed to finish. Eric carded a par on the 18th and his 3-over 36-hole finish would be one shot short of making the cut.
Chun would walk off the course with his head held high, knowing he played very well and gained some valuable experience. He will be the first to tell you he has a long way to go, but it was a big confidence builder, beating former major winners like Ernie Els, Geoff Olgilvy, Padraig Harrington and Tom Watson.
He walked over the Swilcan Bridge, played with his childhood Idol K.J. Choi, teed it up with Tiger, Westwood and Zach Johnson. It was a joy for me to watch such a humble college kid, get to experience an opportunity of a lifetime.
Final Creme Brule count: 30.