PINEHURST, N.C. — A UGA golfer already owns the first major of the golf season.
Why not add the U.S. Open as well?
Brendon Todd surged up the leaderboard Friday at Pinehurst No. 2, but he’ll have his work cut out for him over the weekend. Even with a 3-under-par 67 that left him in second, he trails Martin Kaymer by six shots.
“Kaymer’s performance has been incredible,” Todd said. “He’s playing a brand of golf that we haven’t
seen probably in a long time, since maybe Tiger (Woods).”
Bubba Watson won the Masters Tournament in April, and former UGA golfers have been on a tear all season on the PGA Tour. Eight former golfers from Athens qualified for this week’s major.
Todd wasn’t the only former Bulldog to excel Friday. Chris Kirk, his roommate at UGA, shot 68 and is tied for 10th. Erik Compton also had 68 and is tied for 14th.
Russell Henley (70-74) and Harris English (69-75) made the cut with one shot to spare.
Henley, who played with Todd and Kirk in an all-UGA grouping the first two rounds, got to cheer on his former teammates up close.
“I like playing with those guys,” Henley said. “I know the road for BT hasn’t been as smooth as he wants, but man he’s playing some great golf.”
The news wasn’t as good for Watson, who missed the cut by one shot after rounds of 76-70. The same went for Hudson Swafford, who shot 76-70. Kevin Kisner had rounds of 75 and 77 to also miss the weekend.
Todd recently won the Byron Nelson Championship to join in on the Bulldog victory parade. He’s hoping the confidence will continue.
“This is a major, a little bigger stage,” he said. “But now that I have played so well over the last month, I’m a little more comfortable now than I was before. And I think it’s going to feel pretty similar and if I can just go out there and remain calm, I think I’m going to play really well.”