VIDEO: Maddening to magical, Duke's hole out
PINEHURST, N.C. – In the end, it didn’t have much of an impact on Ken Duke’s championship, but he still is the leader in the clubhouse for having made the wildest par of the week.
It came at the par-3 ninth in Friday’s second round, and when we tell you he one-putted you might not even blink.
But if we told you that one putt sent the ball into the bunker, would you be intrigued, even mildly?
Of course you would, so here’s the way it unfolded:
Duke came up short with his tee shot at the par-3 ninth, and when his ball hit the front of the green and rolled into one of those wiregrass bushes that populate the Pinehurst No. 2 landscape, all he could do was scratch his head.
“Just a bad break. That’s what you get out here sometimes,” he said.
He thought of wedging the ball out sideways. Then he considered his putter and hitting the back of the wiregrass bush with hopes of moving the ball onto the putting surface. But finally, Duke used his putter and with the toe of the blade going first, he knocked the ball into a greenside bunker.
“I’m a pretty good bunker player,” he said, though he didn’t stray from the truth. “We were just trying to make a four.”
Instead, Duke holed the shot. An improbable par, to say the least.
It came a most opportune time, too, because after having opened with a 75, Duke had birdied Nos. 1, 3, and 4 to get to 2 over, inside the cut. A bogey at the eighth slowed his momentum and the bad tee shot at the ninth threatened to keep him on the slide. Instead, the par buoyed his spirits as he headed to the back nine.
Alas, Duke struggled coming home, shooting 72 to miss the cut at 7 over.