__ Jeff Brehaut, playing in his first major championship in 21 years as a professional, shot rounds of 73-75 and should make the cut.__
“The biggest thing is I haven’t been great, but I’ve been out here a while and not played in a major,” the 44-year-old said Friday. “This is a little bit of validation.”
Brehaut finished his second round by making a tough six-foot putt for bogey at No. 8 and five-foot par putt at No. 9. Yes, he knew he was flirting with the cut line.
“I knew I was around the cut,” he said. “I was grinding over every shot.”
Brehaut said second-round conditions were much tougher than the first round, but knows tournament officials can make it even tougher by tucking the pins.
“We haven’t even seen it hard yet,” said Brehaut, who lives in Los Altos, Ca. and is good friends with Juli Inkster. “They (USGA) can make us look foolish, but I don’t think they need to do that.”
Brehaut, who has split time on the PGA Tour and Nike-Nationwide Tour during his career, tried to qualify for the U.S. Open about 12 times before succeeding this year. Oakmont pro Bob Friend, a good friend, found him a house near the course for $5,000 for the week, enabling Brehaut, his wife, two kids, parents, brother and caddie to all stay together.
“I’m a little claustrophobic with everybody,” he said. “But it’s a pretty special place.”
Assuming he makes the cut, Brehaut hasn’t put any limitations on himself.
“If I can make the cut at my first U.S. Open, that’s something I could be proud of,” said Brehaut. “I’d love to do something heroic on the weekend.”
Steve Stricker, after shooting 73 for a 36-hole score of 8-over:
“Once you get on the greens around here, the fun has begun. You look like a fool sometimes.”
He three-putted three times Friday.
“One little miss-read and the ball ends up five-feet away,” he said. “Everybody is stumbling on the greens.”
Contibuting Editor, Golf Digest.com