BETHESDA, Md. – Forgive Robert Rock for not having much energy after two rounds of U.S. Open golf at Congressional. He got into the country at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, had to get over jet lag and played two rounds at a course he had never seen in this condition. Despite all of that, Rock still finished his first two rounds of the Open at 1 under par.
The Englishman shot even-par 71 in Friday’s second round to hang within striking distance of second place and within 10 shots of tournament leader Rory McIlroy.
Rock says that he only had enough energy to play nine holes on Friday. Fortunately, those nine holes were the tougher back nine at Congressional. Sadly for Rock, he was spent for the more susceptible front nine holes to close. A bogey at the 18th – his ninth – crushed his spirit.
“I took three from the edge on 18 which was disappointing and I felt every bit of energy disappear and I thought it was going to be a battle after that,’ Rock said. “That nine was very scoreable too so it was a shame. I couldn’t get the shots to go normal distances. I just didn’t have it in me.”
Rock is not saying that he would be 11 under if he didn’t have to fly across the Atlantic on an emergency Visa after winning his first European Tour event last week, but he feels a better two-round total was possible.
“I was expecting a harder test here,” he said. “I haven’t played as well as I did last week. I’ve driven the ball nicely and hit some nice iron shots but I’ve not putted as well as last week. Last week was the best putting week I’ve had ever.
“But I’m one under and I feel I should have been six or seven.”