The Loop

Not a routine 66

Paul Casey shot a 60 before, but today’s 66 at Oakmont tops even that.

The 60 I shot in college was a great round of golf,” he said, “but it’s not at a U.S. Open golf course, not quite the same kind of pressure…right now because it’s fresh in the memory, without a doubt, it’s the best round of golf I’ve ever played.”

Casey, after a long session on the range last night, did not try to do too much. “The goal today was to go out and shoot something level, a couple over maybe if I could do that and finish below 10-over or so,” he said. Instead, he kept a level head — “a sandy divot lie on two didn’t really bother me,” he said — and shot four-under par.

It was such a good round that other pros clapped for him as he finished on the ninth, his final hole. “Nick Dougherty walked off the green and pointed at me and gave me the thumbs-up,” said Casey. “Ricky Barnes followed.”

Brandt Snedeker, who went around in 73 said, “I feel like I shot 65 or 66.” Imagine what a 66 feels like. The round was almost too good to be true, especially after opening with a 77. Casey joked that fellow competitors, __“will think I walked off after 14.” __

--Jeff Patterson