Saturday, August 09, 2008

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Play was suspended at 2:16 p.m. as a massive front doused the course with rain on Saturday.
By that time Argentina's Andres Romero had already tied the competitive course record at Oakland Hills, making seven birdies while shooting a five-under-par 65. With the best round of the week by two strokes, he moved from a tie for 48th place to a tie for eighth as players waited for the storm to dissipate.
"I played an excellent round, almost perfect," Romero said through an interpreter.
Several pin placements were more accessible than they had been all week, which explains the rash of red numbers Saturday. Camilo Villegas was four under for his first 14 holes, two over total. Fredrik Jacobson, Graeme McDowell and Prayad Marksaeng were three under for the day when play was suspended.
Steve Flesch, who started the day three over par and went off with fellow lefty Phil Mickelson at 1:10 p.m., made two birdies in his first five holes and got to one over. Mickelson was even for the day, three over total, while South Africans Ernie Els and Retief Goosen were in lockstep. Playing in the same group, they were both one under through 13 holes and five over for the tournament.
Romero's 65 was a 13-shot improvement over his 78 on Friday, when much of the damage came on the par-4 16th hole, where the green is guarded by a lake. Romero kept spinning his approach shots back into the water and made a quadruple-bogey 8.
"I played a great first shot, then a perfect 9-iron from 140 yards," he said of his disaster. "It bounced in the front of the green, but like the wind blows just in the moment, and it went down to the water. Then again I had tried to make a good shot, but again a lot of backspin, again into the water. After that I got mad and I played very disconcentrated, not very concentrated the whole rest of the round."
Romero got his revenge on the hole Saturday. He made a birdie 3.

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