UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Illinois sophomore Nick Hardy was the last player on the course Friday night, and his 25-foot par miss at 9:15 p.m. local time allowed 15 pros to play the weekend at the U.S. Open.
“I basically had no rest last night,” said the 19-year-old amateur, who had an 8:03 a.m. start time for the third round, but he perked up after seeing a few players on the range.
Of course, a few thank-yous were in order, because Hardy’s miss single-handedly moved the cut line from 4 over to 5 over, allowing players such as Webb Simpson, Jimmy Walker and Sergio Garcia to make the cut.
In the locker room and on the range Saturday, a few players and caddies “were joking around with me, just saying I’ll buy you dinner,” Hardy said. “I’m like, no, that’s against NCAA rules.”
Hardy, in the first group off Saturday, played alongside NCAA champion Bryson DeChambeau of SMU, who competed as a marker after missing the cut.
Hardy, one of six amateurs to play the weekend (the most since 1966), shot 77 in the third round.
“I think all these guys that are playing here just come prepared,” he said. “They know how to play the game and are very good players.”