PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Ten amateurs made the U.S. Open field. Two made the cut. And both surged into the fringes of contention Saturday.
Scott Langley cracked the top 10 for a while after he made eagle at No. 6. He finished with a 77 and is 8 over after three rounds.
Langley is on the run of his life, winning the NCAA championship two weeks ago after entering the event ranked 26th, according to Golfweek. The 21-year-old lefty said no matter what happens at Pebble Beach, he will return to the University of Illinois for his senior year.
"School is very important to me," the accounting major said. "I want to finish what I started. I want to win a Big Ten championship with my team and play in the (2011) Walker Cup."
Russell Henley, who just completed his junior year at Georgia, shot a 72 Saturday and is 6 over for the championship.
The highlight of his Friday round came when he chipped in for a birdie on No. 14 and then chest-bumped his brother/caddie, Adam Henley.
"This is a tremendous experience," Henley said, "and I am enjoying every minute of it."
So give Langley and Henley birdies, and they are not alone.
Birdie: The USGA. Trimmed 34 yards off the fourth hole, leaving 290 yards. Tom Watson took a shot with a driver, saying: "It's a lot of fun to go ahead and take a crack at that green." Jerry Kelly hit a 3-wood to 14 feet but missed the eagle try.
Bogey: Mike Weir. Hard to believe he held the lead briefly Thursday. Weir shot an 83 Saturday, his highest score in 42 career U.S. Open rounds. And he made an eagle on No. 4.
Birdie: At the risk of being repetitive, the USGA. Cut down No. 7 to 99 yards, the shortest hole in U.S. Open history (post-World War II). Stewart Cink was among those applauding the move. He made birdie. Ian Poulter, not so much. He turned to an NBC camera after his tee shot and griped about the front-left pin placement.
Bogey: Steve Stricker. A third-round 77 means Stricker, ranked second in the world earlier this year, will remain free of a major victory.
Birdie: Davis Love III. He climbed the leaderboard by carding a 5-under 30 on the front that featured a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch. "You have to play for birdies," Love said, "because I'm not going to win shooting even par (Sunday), for sure."