FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - Sean O'Hair stood outside the clubhouse at Bethpage Black basking in bright sunshine, happy to have played his first 36 holes in the U.S. Open without one raindrop falling on his cap.
The West Chester resident finished the last seven holes of his second round yesterday morning with pars and wound up with his second consecutive 69 for a 2-under-par total of 138. That was good for a tie for seventh place, 6 shots behind the leader, Ricky Barnes.
O'Hair was part of the 78-player half of the field that did not have to play in Thursday's heavy rain, but competed in warm and dry conditions Friday and yesterday morning. O'Hair concluded his round about 9:30 a.m., three hours before rain started falling.
"It's ridiculous - the draw has definitely been on our side," he said. "I know we've had perfect weather for two days, but I don't feel guilty at all. I've been on the bad side of the draw plenty of times."
However, it was raining when O'Hair returned to the course for his third round. He was next on the tee to start the round when officials suspended play for the day at 6:55 p.m.
O'Hair continues to monitor the situation at home as his wife, Jackie, prepares to deliver the couple's third child just about any day. He said he talked to her yesterday before the resumption of his round.
"She was half-awake," he said.
O'Hair added that while he thought about his wife between shots, he had been able to focus on his golf.
As for his second 69, O'Hair described it as "very boring golf, which is good."
Duval's comeback. David Duval won the 2001 British Open and once was the No. 1 player in the world. Now, at 37, he is trying to get his game back in shape and contend again for titles.
Duval showed flashes of brilliance in his first two rounds, standing in a tie for fourth with scores of 67 and 70. He birdied three of his last six holes when he returned to the course yesterday morning.
"I love playing the game," Duval said. "I love competing. But more than that, I'd really like for my wife and my family to see how I can actually play this game. They haven't seen me at my best, and I want them to."
Duval earned a berth in the Open during sectional qualifying this month in Columbus, Ohio. He called that achievement "a big boost for me," because he had put extra pressure on himself to qualify but "managed to control myself and play real well that day."
Amateur's hour. Nick Taylor of Canada, a junior at the University of Washington, said he was a bit surprised to be only the third amateur in Open history to card a round of 65.
"I wasn't hitting it that bad," Taylor said of his first-round 73. "I flew a couple of greens and missed a couple of putts. But I was still kind of confident and I knew I had some birdies in me."
Yes, he did - seven, in fact, including one at the 18th hole that enabled him to join a select club that includes Jim Simons, whose 65 came in the 1971 Open at Merion.
Hanging around. Taylor was one of three amateurs to make the 36-hole cut of 4-over 144. Drew Weaver of Virginia Tech and Kyle Stanley of Clemson were the others.
Pros who weren't as fortunate included David Toms at 145, Justin Leonard at 146, Zach Johnson at 147, Paul Casey at 150, Padraig Harrington at 152, and Ernie Els at 155.
The cut figure tied the second-lowest in Open history.