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15 things that showed how hard Pinehurst No. 2 played Saturday

By Alex Myers

PINEHURST, N.C. -- After two days of relatively easy scoring for a U.S. Open, Day 3 at Pinehurst No. 2 played a lot more difficult for the 67 golfers who made the cut. The fact that only two of them (Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton) managed to break par is proof enough, but here are 15 other examples of how tough it was out there:

1. Toru Taniguchi shot 88. 88! That's a tour pro playing "bogey golf."

2. Taniguchi wasn't alone. Three other players shot at least 80. A total of 11 players shot 78 or worse.

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3. Kenny Perry said, "It was probably the hardest setup I've ever experienced in a major championship." At 53, he's played in a lot of majors.

4. This picture of Phil Mickelson:

blog-phil-struggle-0614.jpg

5. This GIF of a seemingly good shot ending up in a really bad spot:

rolling-3-518.gif

6. Everyone was raving about Martin Kaymer's BOGEY on No. 4. It was still a bogey!

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7. Retief Goosen, Bill Haas and Ryan Moore each shot one over par. They all moved up 14 spots on the leader board.

8. This picture of ... wait, who is that? (*Checks photo caption*) This picture of Steve Stricker:

blog-stricker-struggle-0614.jpg

9. This GIF of another seemingly good shot rolling into a really bad spot:

rolling-518.gif

10. This quote from Graeme McDowell: "It's very, very difficult mentally, to stay in it. You start thinking to yourself, 'I'm not even sure if I want to play tomorrow.' It's not really enjoyable. It's not enjoyable. It's very difficult. But it's the U.S. Open."

11. It was HOT. Even Martin Kaymer broke a sweat. Barely.

blog-kaymer-struggle-0614.jpg

12. Kaymer shot one over on the front nine (which averaged 37.16) and picked up more than a shot on the field.

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13. Speaking of that front nine, six of the holes allowed four or fewer birdies. Nos. 2 and 6 allowed one each. Again, 67 of the best players in the world made the cut.

14. Kevin Na was alone in second place when he twirled his club after hitting what he thought was a perfect approach shot on No. 14. He walked off the green with a double bogey.

15. USGA executive director Mike Davis seemed very satisfied.

blog-mike-davis-struggle-0614.jpg

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July 28, 2014

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