OAKMONT – Friday, we came to praise the undersized unknown who led the U.S. Open.
Saturday, we gathered to bury him. It is the circle of life at a major golf tournament.
Pro journeyman Andrew Landry finished off a remarkable 66 Friday with a single birdie putt, the exclamation point to a rain-delayed first round. He then retired for the rest of the day to allow the Open field to play catch-up.
Unfortunately he had to return Saturday morning and play additionally.
The fellow who described himself as an unspectacular par-making machine began in form, with pars on his opening five holes. Then the universe began its inevitable self-correction.
No. 6, par 3 – Bunker, 12 feet to hole, two-putt bogey.
No. 7, par 4 – Left rough, advance the ball halfway to green (120 yards), 25 feet to hole, two-putt bogey.
No. 8, par 3 – Bunker, blast across the green into more trouble, gouge it out to 39 feet from hole, two-putt double bogey.
And, poof, all the gains Landry had made in the first round had vanished. He was back to even par. He was not expected back among the contenders. Now, it was a matter of salvaging a much-needed sizeable payday.
BUT WAIT A MINUTE, UPDATE TO THE UPDATE. STOP THE DIGITAL PRESSES: Landry shot a 3 under 32 on the back nine to put himself back in the mix at 3 under after two rounds. The guy is much more resilient than originally believed.
He seemed to have made one financial gain already. Conspicuous on a sleeve of his golf shirt Saturday – a sleeve empty the day before – the Texan sported the logo of an Austin-based tea company.
Rocky had Shamrock Meats, the Bad News Bears had Chico’s Bail Bonds and now Andrew Landry had himself a sponsor.