Golf

Two-round days not new for Wise, who plays 31 holes in professional debut

lsmith@theolympian.com

Aaron Wise watches his putt on the 12th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Wednesday.
Aaron Wise watches his putt on the 12th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Wednesday. The Associated Press

Playing two rounds of golf in one day isn’t out of the ordinary for Aaron Wise.

At the University of Oregon, Wise, the 2016 NCAA Division I champion, played plenty of two-day tournaments where he recorded 36 holes one day, 18 the next.

But a two-round day during his professional debut at the 116th U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club?

Yeah, that’s a first for the 19-year-old.

“I thought 36-hole days were behind me, but it’s something you have to deal with,” Wise said. “The guys had a tough time yesterday — they had to (play) with all of the thunderstorms and delays.”

Wise never even teed off on the opening day of the tournament, which was delayed three times for thunderstorms and eventually suspended.

Friday, he was one of 78 golfers to attempt a 36-hole day. He started at 10:01 a.m. and made it through 31 holes. He birdied the par-5 No. 4 to move to 7-over-par 129 before play was suspended at 8:42 p.m. due to darkness.

Long day, but Wise took the positive spin.

“We got to play so much golf,” he said.

He — and 26 others — will wrap up their second rounds Saturday, while the other half of the field, including current co-leader Andrew Landry (tied with Dustin Johnson at 4 under) will still be playing catch-up.

Wise, who earned a trip to his first major by winning the sectional qualifier at Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver, didn’t sweat the grueling day. He said he’ll be ready for five more holes Saturday morning.

“It was tough out there, but it was a lot of fun,” Wise said. “Playing a U.S. Open is obviously really exciting.”

BODINE CARRIES LOAD FOR 36 HOLES

Emerging star Tony Finau was also part of the afternoon wave that played both rounds Friday.

On his bag is University Place’s Greg Bodine, who is a cousin to Michael and Andrew Putnam.

When was the last time Bodine went 36 holes in one day?

“Last Monday (for U.S. Open sectionals),” Bodine said. “And we went 37.”

Bodine pointed out that both Finau (26) and himself (28) are fit 20-somethings, and that the extra work wasn’t an issue.

He also pointed out that the footing of Oakmont, which has taken on 2.97 inches of rain between Thursday and Friday, was fine, except behind the greens at the third and sixth holes.

CHIP SHOTS

Eleven players broke par in the first round, which set a new opening-round record at Oakmont (previous was nine in 1994). … Landry, ranked No. 624 in the world, led the field at the conclusion of the first round at 4-under 66. That’s the lowest opening-round score by a player competing in their first U.S. Open since T.C. Chen shot a 65 in 1985. Landry made one shot Friday to complete his round — a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 9. … Think a two-round total of 166 ranks up there as one of the highest in U.S. Open history? It doesn’t. American Zach Edmondson’s 26-over-par is about average for highest totals not to make the cut. Alex Kim shot the same score at Chambers Bay last year, and all eight of the previous highest two-round totals at Oakmont were a 166 or higher. The highest two-round total in the modern era is a 184, which Joseph Roccisano shot in 1958 at Southern Hills Golf Club in Hawkinsville, Georgia.

Staff writer Todd Milles contributed to this report.

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