Anxious wait for Kulacz at US Amateur
BY Anthony Powter | US Mens Amateur Tour | 2007 US Amateur Championship | Round Two | 22 Aug 2007
Rick Kulacz currently is at plus 7 after 36 holes, right on the projected cut for the match play format at the US Amateur. The Australian does not yet know if he’s in or out. He does know there’s a possibility that he a few others will be required early tomorrow to battle it out for the last few qualifying spots and that’s about it.
Because of a four-hour delay due to characteristic seasonal San Francisco fog on Monday, the US Amateur has been behind schedule. American Jason Kokrak’s 3-under 137 currently tops the two day leaderboard, though dozens of players have yet to complete all 36 holes.
When darkness fell and forced the postponement of the second round, forty-eight golfers were six over or better through 36 holes, while seventeen others were six over or better though 27 holes. Sixty-three golfers, including Kulacz, went to the clubhouse at seven over or better, and another 20 golfers were seven over or better through 27 holes.
A tie for 64th place, which is typical at the US Amateur, will force a playoff to determine which players remain alive and play for the Championship proper. At present the US Amateur is more of a “numbers” game, with those hovering around the seven over mark jockeying for inclusion to get into the match play format.
In Kulacz’s case he’s finished his 36 holes and can do nothing but sit it out before he knows where he stands.
“I’m not in yet and will most likely be in a playoff,” remarked Kulacz from the clubhouse this afternoon. “There will be a bunch of guys for limited spots. I’ve been hitting the ball well today, but just have had too many putts.”
Players usually do not reflect on “what if” situations, preferring to move on irrespective of what’s occurred in the past, but there are exceptions. In Kulazc’s case, should he look back on the part of his game that has evaded him this week at the Olympic Club, it’s been his putting.
Thirty-five during the first round followed with thirty-three today. Those stats don’t cut it at this level of competition and Kulacz knows that.
“I hit the ball well again but had just too many putts with thirty-three today. I had a eight footer on the last for birdie and missed it. That was so disappointing because the way I’m hitting it, I really should be right up there.”
That missed birdie putt may prove costly, had it fallen Kulacz would be 6 over and inside the buffer.
“I will now have to go out there early tomorrow and wait for them to finish then see how many spots there are up for grabs. I’m guessing around 15-20 guys for like five spots. Really wish I had made some putts and this would not be an issue, but that’s golf and there’s now more work to be done.”
New Zealand’s Danny Lee has no reason to wait, having qualified for the match play format proper, finishing a very creditable T6 at even par with rounds 69,71. Jamie Arnold’s US Amateur has ended after he finished +13 following rounds 77,76.
The projections coming from the USGA are that 74 players will make the projected cut. There currently 84 players are at that mark or better, whilst 63 players have finished at the projected cut or better.
A playoff appears imminent and Kulacz is ready for the challenge, what has happen has happened and he is moving forward and in the right direction, let hope so is his putter.