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AT&T National at Congressional, third round disrupted by violent storm.

Tiger making a move

Tiger Woods/ McDermott/Getty Images

Brendon de Jonge leads the AT&T National after a disrupted and delayed third round at Congressional Country Club. The delay was caused by a violent electrical storm overnight, with winds gusting at 70 mph, breaking ancient trees in half and destroying plant life over the whole course. The public and volunteers were asked to stay away for the day while the grounds people attempted to clear away the debris. The playing area itself was not really affected and after a five-hour delay the tournament third round commenced behind closed doors. A very strange atmosphere for all the competitors, very similar to just playing a practice round, only it was for real.

Brendon spoke about his quiet round, with hardly any spectators;

” There was just no buzz, and it was hard to get the adrenaline going. Kind of felt like you were playing a Tuesday practice round or a qualifier. But I obviously understand why they had to do it. I think we had three today, maybe four for a couple of holes, but then he left us.”

Brendon had a -2 under par round of 69, for a tournament total of -7 under par. Following close behind is Tiger Woods and Bo Van Pelt, who both shot rounds of -4 under par to be  at -6 under par, just one shot adrift of the leader. Joining them at tied for second spot is the young South Korean player, Seung-Yul Noh who had a third round score of -2 under par and equal with Tiger and Bo at -6 under par for the tournament. Best round of the day went to Billy Hurley 111 with his -5 under par, 66, which moved him back up the leaderboard in a tie for fifth place, with a score of  -6 under par, a good recovery from yesterday’s average round.

Tiger also commented on the lack of people, although he drew the largest crowd, about 100 fans;

“I’ve played in front of people like this, but not generally for an 18-hole competitive round. Whether we have thousands of people or we have a small handful of people out there, it doesn’t change the execution of the shot. What does change is when I hole a shot like I did on 6, it’s not going to be as loud today as it normally is. The gallery wasn’t something I was thinking about, I was just trying to play. This was a Saturday round. It was a chance to play myself into a tournament.”

Bo Van Pelt had a message for Tiger;

“I told Tiger that was a Bo Van Pelt crowd, so I was used to that. I was very comfortable with 10 or 15 people watching me play golf.”

AT&T National @ Congressional, Mahan beats the heat to lead by two.

Higher temps, lower scores

Hunter Mahan /Carr/Getty Images

Hunter Mahan had a second round of -6 under par , 65 to lead the AT&T National by two strokes at Congressional Country Club, with a tournament score of -7  under par. Three players are tied in second spot, Brendon de Jonge, Jimmy Walker and Robert Garrigus, these guys are at -5 under par and are in good position going into the weekend.

The heat index reached a high of 109 degrees for the second round of the AT&T National, where players battled a tough Congressional course and very dangerously high temperatures by mid afternoon. Survival was the story much of the day, Brendon de Jonge,  who played in the morning and is from Zimbabwe, where it can get notoriously hot, said after his round;

” It was kind of draining, it’s starting to get just hot now, really, really hot.”

Jimmy Walker battled his way round;

“We know how to battle through the heat and stay hydrated, take your hydration pills and little mixed drinks. It’s the fans you’ve got to worry about because they’re out walking around and they don’t get into this type of stuff and get out and walk in it too much. I saw one lady that went down today, and I’m pretty sure it was probably from dehydration.”

Robert Garrigus also spoke about the heat;

” If there’s no rain, it’s going to be something else. I think it’s a mental thing because we’re all physically fit for the most part. I’m a lot more physically fit than I used to be. If you can just mentally just put it out of your head, my caddie was telling me yesterday, hey, man, just think of the tournaments you’ve played well in; Tampa it was smoldering; Memphis it was smoldering. You play well in the heat because you don’t think about it. It’s one of those things where if you can just get past the fact that you’re dripping sweat all over your golf ball, you can block it out. It makes a big, big difference.”

Tiger Woods thinks being as fit as he is, helped him in the heat;

“I live in it, I live in Florida. It’s not quite this hot, but it’s definitely more humid than this every day. I think it’s one of the reasons why I had success at Southern Hills, because I felt physically fit, didn’t have a problem with it. I’ve played some good tournaments over the years in Malaysia and other places where it’s hot, and certainly fitness, running all those miles and lifting all those weights, it comes into play when you get days like this, and consecutive days like this.”

Tiger managed to  recover today with a -3 under par round, which included a 48 foot Eagle putt.

Vijay Singh had a -1 under par second round and is in the group with total score of -4 under par. First round leader Bo Van Pelt could not match yesterdays good effort, slumping with a poor round of +2 over par, 73, and a -2 under total. He is joined on that score by  Billy Hurley 111, yesterdays news boy, was unable to match his first round score and tumbled down the leaderboard with a sad +2 over par round, leaving him at even for the tournament.

USPGA AT&T National @ Congressional Country Club, Bo Van Pelt Leads.

        471as.jpg

Bo Van Pelt leads by one shot after the first round of the AT&T National at a tough Congressional Country Club with a -4 under par round of 67, on the par 71 lay-out.

There are three players tied for second spot on -3 under par, they are; V.J. Singh, Brendon de Jong and Jimmy Walker. One shot further back on -2 under par are; Pat Perez, Jason Day and the top story of the day man Billy Hurley 111.

Tough course, tough man

Billy Hurley 111 / Stan Badz/PGA Tour

Billy Hurley 111 has a degree from the United States Naval Academy and has served as a Lieutenant on the U.S.S. CHUNG-HOON. Billy shot a 2-under 69 in the opening round and is just two strokes off the lead of Bo Van Pelt at Congressional Country Club, he is also a one-time U.S. Walker Cup team member who now calls nearby Annapolis home. As Billy said;

“Nobody has ever went to a service academy and played out here. But as far as fitting in out here, the background gives me a little bit of a story. I think there’s certainly a mental toughness that I learned from the Navy that translates well into golf, but the pressures and the life are very different. For whatever reason, I play really good when it’s hot. This is certainly a special tournament, and I think that any time that we as an American public take time to pause and remember, reflect and honor the military, it’s a great thing.”

Bo Van Pelt was happy with his position;

 “I mean, made a good up and down on 18, hit a good shot there that had gone long into the back bunker and had a pretty tough shot and hit it to about a foot and just kind of kept my momentum going after birdieing 17. Hit a good drive on No.1, it’s just a hole I’ve always kind of hit driver off of to just be aggressive. It’s a tough fairway to hit, and had a good number. Been working on my wedges a bunch. Been feeling like I need to improve in that area. I was working specifically today before I played, a shot I was hitting a bunch. So it was like 98 yards, and when I got 93 I thought I had a pretty good number.”

VJ said he had played well;

” I played well. I hit a lot of good shots, made a lot of birdies, and finally I made a couple of putts, which I guess is the key to playing good golf is you’ve got to make putts, and I did that. I actually thought it had kind of spun back in front of the hole, and all of a sudden this guy behind the green started going nuts. Yeah, you never know when those are going to happen, so it’s nice to get a deuce.  I thought I was going to go out and really shoot a low one, and then I bogeyed three in a row after that. You’ve got to be patient. You’ve got to keep calm out there. I gathered myself and made some more birdies coming in. All in all, I played really nicely, and I’m playing good golf.”

Tiger Woods was never under par in the afternoon and opened with a 1-over 72, he said;

“It’s certainly, I think, a little retribution for what happened last year. Don’t be mad at me. I didn’t play. “

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