American Ken Duke was making a nice run early in the second round of the U.S. Open, birdying three of the first four holes to get back to 2-over par and a good shot at making the cut.
But as will happen, Pinehurst No. 2 struck back.
First Duke bogeyed the eighth hole. Then, despite hitting what appeared to be a nice tee shot on the par-3 ninth hole, the ball bounced away from the green and ended up right next to a big chunk of wire grass, which appeared to be put in that spot for the sole purpose of gobbling up unsuspecting golf balls.
If the ball had landed about six inches to the left, he probably has a short putt for birdie. Instead it ended up in the worst possible spot. Now Duke is facing a bogey or worse.
The clump of wire grass stopped the ball from rolling into the bunker. But now the grass is directly behind the ball. Both announcers were in agreement that the only choice at this point was to take an unplayable lie and drop the ball elsewhere. They joked that even their wives would scold them for even thinking about not taking a drop in this situation.
Duke actually toyed with the idea of trying to hit the ball with his putter, but eventually thought better of it. What was clear was that he did not want to drop the ball despite there being no advantage to pushing the ball left or right.
After several minutes of pondering what to do, Duke used the toe of his putter and pushed it into the bunker. He apparently preferred being in the bunker over dropping near where his caddie was standing.
And now we see why. Now in the bunker, Duke had the ninth hole right where he wanted it converting one of the more daring pars you will see this week at Pinehurst.
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