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Fun at The US Open

August 23, 2012


“Just found this article that the Emerald interviewed me at the US Open. I didn’t realize the guy was a writer for the newspaper. lol” – Ethan Holub

 

 

After a shaky start, Martin in good shape after Round 1 of the US Open

By WILL RUBIN

Published June 14, 2012

 

 

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The ball hit the green and started curling toward the hole, the people in the grandstand standing and willing the ball onward. After the ball hit the pin and lipped out and Casey Martin’s next putt did the same, concern flashed across faces in crowd, worried it would be a long day for Martin in his return to golf’s major stage after a 14 year absence.

“I was nervous and hit a poor drive on 1 and made a tough bogey,” Martin said after the round. “Then I hit a really really bad shot out of the fairway on No. 2 and was just like, what?  This could be a long day.

“The first five or six holes were a stress. Then obviously they were really hard, but I missed a couple putts and did some stuff that wasn’t great.”

After those infamous six holes – ones Martin referred to as  “very intimidating” on Monday – the University golf coach birdied the treacherous par-4 seventh, and persevered through some missed opportunities on the back-9 to shoot a 4-over 74. In comparison, former champion Phil Mickelson shot 76, and world number-one Luke Donald carded a dismal 79 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

“I haven’t had time to really think about that; I’m very happy about that, obviously,” Martin said of his standing among the world’s best. “The tournament’s not over and they’re so good, they will come back … My goal is just to relax somehow out there and be able to hit shots like I think I’m capable of and see what happens.”

As Martin worked his way around the course Thursday, he was followed by yells of “Go Casey!” or “Go Ducks” off of nearly every tee box and green, along with a hoard of friends and family who made the trip to the Bay Area to cheer Martin on. Friends Aaron Stansbury and Ethan Holub – for whom Martin will be the best man when he gets married later this year – were both proud of Martin’s efforts, even as scoring opportunities slipped by the hole on 13, 14 and 15.

“I’m super proud of him,” Stansbury said. “I don’t think it’s nerves (that forced Martin’s miscues), the guy is so mentally tough and prepared. He’s got a trust in the Lord that I admire.”

As play ended on Thursday, Martin was in a tie for 52nd and eight shots back of the leader, which would put him above the cut-line.The top 60 on the leader board (and ties) advance past Friday’s cut to play on the weekend. Should Martin play well tomorrow, he’ll be in good shape to survive that cut.

“I want to enjoy it, it’s hard to enjoy it when you’re popping with your nerves and stuff,” Martin said.” I want to do well so bad that I don’t want to get in my way. So tomorrow it will just be a real challenge to stay relaxed and try to enjoy it.”

 
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