By BOB HARIG
© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 17, 2001
TULSA, Okla. -- Bryce Molder intends to turn pro soon, and a day such as Saturday only reinforces his decision.
Molder, a former star at Georgia Tech who finished tied for fourth at the NCAA Tournament two weeks ago, shot the best score in a U.S. Open by an amateur in 15 years, since Sam Randolph in 1986 at Shinnecock Hills. Molder's 2-under-par 68 also was the first under-par round by an amateur at the Open since Matt Kuchar in 1998.
"I think it reinstates in my mind how I feel as a golfer, coming out of college," said Molder, 22, who had a 69.43 scoring average this season and won three tournaments for Tech. "I feel like I can play at this level. I don't feel like I am there yet, I feel like I've got some work, but I feel like when I play really well, I can play with any of the guys out here. More than anything, it's some confidence to carry with me."
WHAT?: Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen was in for quite a surprise when he arrived. He had been assessed a two-stroke penalty, which made him miss the cut.
His rules breach occurred before the start of play Friday morning, when Janzen was about to resume his first round. At 7, Janzen used a towel to absorb moisture from the fairway before replacing his ball that was in play. That is a violation of Rule 13-2, which has to do with improving your lie.
That's a two-stroke penalty for which Janzen never signed. He thought he had made the cut at 5 over, but the two-stroke penalty pushed him to 7 over. The cut came at 6-over 146. "Ordinarily, when a player fails to include a penalty and signs for a score lower than should have been recorded, the result is disqualification," said Reed MacKenzie, USGA vice president and chairman of the Rules of Golf committee.
But a USGA official observed the violation, and failed to inform Janzen, MacKenzie said. That's why disqualification was waived, but the penalty still applied.
"If I could have got to the red (numbers), I could have won the tournament," said Janzen, who won in 1993 and 1998. "I was ready to come out here and shoot a good score."
As for how much help it gave him, Janzen replied: "I hit it over the green anyway."
DIVOTS: Jarmo Sandelin withdrew late Friday night, choosing not to return and complete his second round. At 10 over, he knew he would not make the cut. ... There were 79 players who made the cut, the fourth-most in history. The most: 108 in 1996 at Oakland Hills. ... New Port Richey's Tim Petrovic shot 76 and was tied for 69th.