U.S. Open 2019: Patrick Reed, Rhys Enoch just made the cut in radically opposite ways
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Rhys Enoch began his day at 7 over par. Patrick Reed began his day at even. By the end of the day, their names sat next to each other on the U.S. Open leaderboard, two over par, inside the cut line by a single shot, two drastically different routes to the same number.
Reed’s Friday round will draw far more headlines, particularly for the way it finished. The brash American had scrambled his way around Pebble for 17 holes, hitting just eight greens in regulation but holding steady at even par. That put him comfortably inside the cut line, barring disaster — but disaster is exactly what came his way.
At No. 18, Reed found the right rough with his tee shot, laid up into the left bunker and hit his third shot long. His next chip went poorly, sailing long and left of his target and into the rough in front of the green.
What happened next turned Reed into a viral sensation. He stubbed his chip, which traveled just a few yards and failed to make it back onto the green. Then, after a moment’s contemplation, he slowly raised his wedge and snapped it over his knee like a piece of dry kindling.
It was a surprisingly smooth transition to his next shot: caddie Kessler Karain handed him the next wedge in line and Reed made a matter-of-fact up-and-down for double bogey and a 2-over 73.
Enoch, on the other hand, began the day with no rational reason to believe he’d stick around for the weekend. At the U.S. Open, you don’t tend to make up ground. Nor did he get off to a hot start; Enoch bogeyed the first hole to slip to 8-over for the tournament. Then he flipped a switch. Birdie at 4. Eagle at 6. Birdie at 7. Birdie at 9. Suddenly, he’d played six holes in 5 under and was within shouting distance of the cut.
Bear in mind that Enoch is hardly a thoroughbred Tour player. The 30-year-old baby-faced Welshman plays most of his competitive golf on the Challenge and Sunshine tours, developmental circuits in Europe and Africa. No matter. Guys shoot low scores there, too.
His bogey at 11 was a setback, but birdies at 13 and 16 took care of that. At 17, teetering on the cut line, Enoch made a clutch up-and-down from the front bunker. And at 18, he shorted a wedge but chipped it to three feet and poured that one in. 78-66. Most improved.
On Thursday, Enoch only beat nine players in the field. On Friday, only one man — Gary Woodland — equaled or bettered Enoch’s round of 66. How’s that for inspiration?
There’s a lesson here, something inherent to the beauty of possibility in golf. The point is not to praise Enoch and shake our fists at Reed. Instead, the point is this: Tomorrow, the inspirational rallier and the object of ridicule will start fresh. If either is going to play any factor in this golf tournament, he’ll need to go low.
Rhys Enoch and Patrick Reed will play together tomorrow at 7:47 a.m., in the second pairing out. They’ll have plenty to talk about.
You can see Saturday’s complete tee times HERE.