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U.S. OPEN OAKLAND HILLS | NOTES

It Has Been Sweet and Sour 16 for Woods

June 16, 1996|THOMAS BONK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — What's this about Tiger Woods and the 16th hole at Oakland Hills?

On Thursday, he hit two balls into the water at No. 16 and shot quadruple-bogey eight.

On Friday, he birdied the hole.

And on Saturday, he hit another ball into the water. Then after he made bogey, Woods took a ball out of his pocket and tossed it into the pond.

Why?

"That ball is for tomorrow," Woods said. "I had three balls in there already, so I needed to even things out. Hopefully, it'll work."

Caddy Jay Brunza said Woods told him the ball toss was "a peace offering."

Woods finished with a 77 and saved par at 18 when he made an 18-foot putt from the short fringe with a three-wood.

"That's just something I've been working on in practice," Woods said.

Woods probably could have used a little more work on his irons, which he blamed for his play Saturday. His 54-hole total of 222 is 12 over par.

*

For all the players' moaning about the difficulty of Oakland Hills, Jack Nicklaus said, well, what's the big deal?

"It's as tough as it's always been," said Nicklaus who shot 69 and is at five-over 215.

"Yesterday it was difficult. Today it's difficult. Tomorrow it'll be difficult. I've played Oakland Hills since 1961 and it hasn't changed in 35 years."

*

Two Chip II: From the rough on the 17th hole, Wayne Westner hit a chip shot and the ball struck the club face again.

The 34-year-old South African thus repeated a feat made famous at Oakland Hills by T.C. Chen, who blew his fourth-round lead in the 1985 U.S. Open when he hit the ball twice on the same swing on the fifth hole.

Westner made triple-bogey six on the 17th hole.

*

After his second round of 72, Sylmar's David Berganio decided he needed to make a change. So he replaced his caddie, high school buddy Dave Bernard, with veteran caddy Casey Kerr, and went out and shot . . . another 72.

"Same score, but it wasn't Casey's fault," said Berganio, who is five shots behind Tom Lehman at three-over 213.

Berganio said he parted amicably with Bernard and would pay him for the whole week but wanted Kerr's experience. Kerr usually carries Fuzzy Zoeller's bag.

Actually, Kerr had a busy day. He caddied for Anthony Rodriguez, who went off in the first twosome at 6:54 a.m., and finished in time to make Berganio's 1:34 p.m. tee time.

*

How's that again? Mark Brooks said he thinks four or five under par will be good enough to win today.

"I'll tell you one thing--I wouldn't take two under right now and sit in the clubhouse," Brooks said.

It would be better for him if he did. Brooks is three over at 213.

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