Landry grinding it out with final group at US Open
OAKMONT, Pa. The galleries began to fade.
Andrew Landry, the no-name pro that the national media predicted would flounder, was making his detractors look prophetic. He was 4-over through eight holes in the second round of the U.S. Open, having just made a double bogey on the par-3 eighth.
Oakmont Country Club is not the average municipal golf course. It’s considered by many to be the most difficult 18 holes in the world.
The Port Neches-Groves graduate wasn’t going to recover, right?
Landry shot a back-nine 32, which included back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18, to put himself in the final pairing of the third round. Then, the galleries returned - and ran 10-people deep in some spots.
“We see it every week, they’re just normally not following us,” said Landry’s fiance, Elizabeth Domingue, a fellow PN-G graduate. “I’ve tried to keep him focused and not try and watch a whole of TV or read a whole lot of the media. We try to keep our mind on what’s important, and that’s our tee time.”
With 23 holes remaining in the 116th U.S. Open, Landry, a virtual unknown 72 hours ago, is two strokes off the lead in solo second place.
“I feel very comfortable,” Landry said. “I feel like this golf course suits me very well. I can just get out there and play my game. I’m not the player that’s going to go out and shoot 28 under par. I’ve never been that guy, so I’m always the guy that’s going to just dink it around right there and make pars and throw in a couple birdies.”
So far, that’s an apt description of his play. Landry carded 33 steely pars, 10 birdies, five bogeys and one double bogey.
Ranked 624th in the world, Landry - who spent his youth playing in Groves’ ‘Pea Patch,’ course - is 3-under, two behind Shane Lowry, who has four holes left in his third round. Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood are tied for third at 2-under.
None of the top three are finished. Play will resume at 6 a.m. today.
It’s been a stop-and-go week for Landry - and the rest of the field. On Thursday, he shot a 4-under 66, the lowest-ever opening round score in nine U.S. Opens contested at Oakmont. But Thursday, Landry had to endure three different weather delays before returning to the course at 7 a.m. Friday to hit one shot - a 10-foot birdie putt to complete his record round. Saturday brought 31 holes, and he will play 23 today.
“I’ve just been hanging out with family and friends, keeping my mind off of it and eating and drinking waters. Not beer, not cold beer,” Landry said with a rye smile. “Obviously my name’s been mentioned quite a bit. It’s definitely very pressured.
″(Seeing my name on the leaderboard) is pretty outstanding. It feels awesome. It’s very humbling, and I really want this one bad.”
Kyle Rowland is a freelance writer.