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U.S. OPEN

Start to finish, Oakmont is the winner

Day 2: Course average is 77; Casey shoots 66

June 18, 2007|Chris Dufresne

How it played: Like an unmerciful monster. Par-70 Oakmont yielded a second-day scoring average of 76.9 as players fought hard to keep their composure and keep their scores down. There were 36 scores of triple bogey or higher.

The 435-yard par-four 10th hole played to an average of 4.692. Angel Cabrera made birdie on his last hole to finish one-over 71 and take a one-shot lead into the weekend over Bubba Watson.

Cabrera, at even 140 through 36 holes, was the only player at par or better. His birdie putt on his last hole knocked 19 players, including Phil Mickelson, off the cut line, which fell from 11 over to 10. It ended at 30 Mickelson's streak of cuts made at majors. Tiger Woods shot a 74 but stood only five shots back entering the weekend.

Saw it coming: Players complaining about the difficult USGA course setup. Leading the charge this year was Mickelson, who was miffed he suffered his injury while practicing in rough that was later trimmed. Mickelson said, "It was dangerous what I did, because the rough was twice as long and I thought that they might play it like that ... "

Didn't see it coming: England's Paul Casey's shooting a 66, which was almost 11 strokes better than the course scoring average. Casey certainly didn't see this coming after shooting seven-over 77 on Thursday. Given the tough conditions, Casey's round was being called one of the best ever played in a major.

Some thought it more impressive than Johnny Miller's final-round 63 at Oakmont in 1973.

Quote of the day: Tiger Woods, asked to comment on the course conditions at Oakmont: "It's simple. If you're a 10-handicap, you're not going to break 100."

-- Chris Dufresne

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