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US Open Round 2: Brendon de Jonge Stares Down His First Major

It was a day for two's - round two, two under par, tied for 2nd - for most of the day. Brendon is strategically positioned in the rear view mirror of Germany's Martin Kaymer, 2010 PGA Champion, with a US Open 36-hole record tying 130 ready to strike like Nyaminyami, Zimbabwe's very own Loch Ness monster.

If there was ever a nondescript round of golf in an Open Championship this was one for the books. Martin Kaymer continued his stranglehold on the 114th US Open at Pinehurst with another 65 - five birdies, no bogeys! His last bogey came 30 holes ago playing the following holes 9 under par. The possibility exists that another Rory McIlroy runaway could occur with Kaymer six shots ahead of his nearest competitor and Brendon T4 one stroke further back. After round 1, 98 golfers were within 8 shots of the lead, today 8.

Nondescript because no one appears to be chasing with only 11 players in red figures. The leaderboard is strewn with the likes of Goosen, Els and Furyk, all US Open winners, with a snowballs chance of sniffing the first page of the leaderboard. The only major winners to challenge for the lead are 2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley,  2013 US Open Champion, Justin Rose and 2013 Masters Champion, Adam Scott all only a mere 10 shots of the German Kaymer a/k/a The Machine - TEN - are you kidding me?!? Nondescript because you have two segments of golfers - those who are oblivious to the leaderboard and Kaymer. We got a helluva tournament going once you Ctrl+Alt+Del Herr Kaymer.


The lack of drama and excitement suits Brendon de Jonge just fine as he methodically cruised the Coore & Crenshaw track with relative ease. I didn't say stress free, but he toured the 7500 yard layout without significant damage. His search for his first major could come to fruition on Father's Day Sunday provided he navigates what will be the most difficult 36 holes of his twelve year professional career. Pinehurst couldn't have played any easier as soft and suspect as it has been over the past two days.

Brendon's day began in his major form with bogey on the first hole from a difficult pin placement. Not to worry though, as customary to his playing style he bounced back with birdies on the 315 yard 3rd hole playing a sweet short iron to the guarded pin and a second birdie on converted five par 523 yard par four that would energize the rest of his round. He played the next 12 holes in even par with his working man's play taking with bogey 5 on #8 and birdie on the par 3 15th complete with posed finish knowing he'd stoned it. The hiccup on the par three 17th was only one of a few loose shots that were gobbled up (yeah I know - hush) by the somewhat less than docile Pinehurst teeth thus far.

Tee to green, Brendon had a respectable day grading out to a "B" for his efforts. Hitting the ball "ehh-okay" off the tee 10 of 14 fairways hit unlike his perfect play on Thursday as the native waste areas were not that difficult to play from. However, getting to the green, the key to winning at Pinehurst this week, was somewhat exciting for Brendon hitting only 10 of 18 matching the field average much worse than yesterday's 89%. True to our Blue Collar guy persona, his putting is what salvaged the round with three fewer putts from yesterday's total with 28 blade whips besting the field average of 1.66. Skies were ominous throughout midday breaking to moderately sunny overhead as the afternoon rounds began.  However the morning group didn't have as much of an advantage as prognosticators suspected they would.  Threatening skies continue to be on the horizon as the forecast is for several storm systems to work their way through the Carolinas over the next 24 hours.

Sadly, America's hero, Phil Mickelson will have to wait until next year to finish second or perhaps even win when the event is hosted by Chambers Bay somewhere in Washington. C'mon USGA stick with classic tracks - smh; might as well play at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota - no one's heard of that either! Now that we've eliminated the sixty plus hacks, we can get on with the REAL tournament. However the post-Tiger evolution has begun! Kevin NaHideki Matsuyama and Brendon Todd are names few know of in addition to American's Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker looking for their first major win also within striking distance of The Machine in Martin Kaymer.

With legacies on the line and statements to make with their play, the world's top golfers were just not that at today's cut down day. Yesterday's round saw players coddled for fear of the unknown reception of the rebirth of Pinehurst No. 2 having 15 rounds under 70 yesterday and 19 rounds under 70 today. The day wasn't totally relegated to the Martin Show, even though one could argue his perfection was, well perfect. The "Throat Punch of the Week" goes to Jamie Donaldson and Hunter Mahan who ruined their chances for Open glory by hitting each other's ball - a mistake you'll only make once in your career. No worries, our man Brendon isn't one to find drama in his rounds.

He may, however adopt the Nyanimyami as his moniker should he rise up the leaderboard and overtake Kaymer and other posers much like the mythical serpent-like creature who lives in the murky depths of a lake in Zimbabwe children's lore. It's a given, I don't care what anyone says, Kaymer will backtrack with the impending storms en route to the Sandhills of North Carolina. Because THAT's the only thing that will ruin his journey for a second major championship. With that impediment comes the frustrations of keeping gear dry, maintaining a level head when all around you is not ideal and only the patient will survive. Say goodbye to "The Heavyweights" as Kevin Stadler's caddie called the pairing - relax and have a sense of humor people - as Brendon brings his Blue Collar style to the final two rounds at Pinehurst and don't be surprised if the Nyanimyani rears his head at Pinehurst Saturday afternoon.