Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Golf: Casey's Taking It Easy on Route 66; Dougherty Endures a Nightmare

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Golf: Casey's Taking It Easy on Route 66; Dougherty Endures a Nightmare

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Nestor

PAUL Casey turned in a stunning performance in the second round of the US Open at Oakmont as Nick Dougherty suffered a nightmare.

Englishman Casey shone yestertday, shooting a four-under-par 66, the lowest round of the tournament, to vault into contention at the season's second major.

For Ashington's Kenneth Ferrie, there was a six-over 76 which left him ten over for the tournament on 150 and looking likely to survive the cut following his halfway exit from the season's first major, the Masters.

Yesterday, Ferrie stood at three over for his second round after a double bogey at the third hole and he was seven over after 14 holes. But he put in a strong finish, closing out with par, birdie, par par. The USGA announced yesterday that the greens were back up to their practice round speed after Wednesday's thunderstorm, but that mattered very little to Casey, in contrast to the rest of the field.

After digging himself a hole on Thursday, Casey dug in yesterday, firing five birdies with just one bogey to lie at a three-over 143 after 36 holes.

"A 66 is way beyond my expectations and I am still a bit surprised at the score I shot," Casey said. "This is right up there in terms of my best round ever. If I had kept the bogey off the card, without a doubt it would have been. But I consider the US Open to be the toughest test in golf. This is possibly the toughest golf course I have played and I feel very, very lucky to have shot 66 on it."

Dougherty, who led after the first round on two under, was failing the test of Oakmont miserably a day after passing it in flying colours.

Starting on hole 10, Dougherty had three pars to start his round before a birdie at 13 put him at three under, but he immediately ran into trouble at the next.

A three-putt bogey there was followed by a double-bogey six on the next, and another dropped shot on the 18th took him out in 38. …

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