Souhan: Rask grinds his way into the weekend at U.S. Open

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 14, 2014 - 12:40 AM

Clayton Rask beat the cut and incoming storms to play the weekend.

– Clayton Rask and his entourage were among the last people on Pinehurst No. 2 on Friday night.

Marshals had issued a weather warning. He couldn’t be sure he would finish the round. With two holes to go, he knew that one bogey might cause him to miss the cut in his first U.S. Open.

On the eighth hole — his 17th of the day, because he teed off on No. 10 — he watched his drive kick off the fairway and land behind a tuft of grass. His next shot rolled into a gully, coming to rest on a downslope near the green. It was from that location that John Daly once famously struck a shot that had rolled back to his feet, then swore off ever playing in a U.S. Open again.

“It was a 100-to-1 shot,” said his caddie, Eric Chiles.

Rask, the Minnesota native and former Gopher, pulled out a 60-degree wedge and clipped a shot to a pin he couldn’t see. Later, he would hear that his ball lipped out. He made a 5-footer to save par, then birdied the ninth hole, giving him a 71 in the second round of the U.S. Open, a 4-over-par total, and a weekend tee time in a rather exclusive club.

He’ll tee off at 9:06 a.m. Twin Cities time Saturday. Rask has yet to make it onto the PGA Tour, but he will play the weekend in a tournament that prides itself on providing the toughest test in golf.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Rask said. “But it’s a great feeling, and a little icing on the cake knowing that I’ve been working on this for so long. I see guys out here that I know, and I know I can play with them. This was my chance, and I wasn’t going to let it slip away without a fight.”

He finished both rounds with a birdie.

“That’s been one of the things I’ve had trouble with in the past, is finishing a round,” he said.

As Martin Kaymer took a six-shot lead, two former Gophers demonstrated how the U.S. Open can be uplifting or disheartening, depending on where your tee shots land.

In the morning, Donald Constable followed his first-round 81 with a 73, improving dramatically but missing the cut.

“It’s a big learning experience,” Constable said. “I always talk about the fact that I can get better every day, and in turn I can get better every year. This is another stepping stone. You know, 99 percent of the golfers in the world dream of what I’m doing this week, and I’m doing it at the age of 25.

“Today I showed myself that I can play out here. This is very different than an average tour event. It’s the Open.”

Because it’s the Open, Rask was able to drive all night after a Canadian PGA Tour event to qualify in Oregon. He found a host family, and rounded up his fiancée, family and friends.

Rask might be the first pro golfer to get an endorsement deal from a company that makes red sauce.

“We’ve eaten lots of spaghetti,” he said. “That’s been our carbo-loading.”

His host family in Pinehurst provided a pool table and pasta. Chiles, who apparently does not consider Rask emotionally fragile, beat him in pool before Round 2.

“Eric Chiles is a pool shark,” Rask said. “I want that in the Star Tribune.”

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: U.S. Open Round 2

    Friday June 13, 2014

    U.S. Open; Round 2. Martin Kaymer posted his second-straight 65 on Friday to lead.

  • Kaymer stands far above the crowd at 10 under at U.S. Open

    Saturday June 14, 2014

    Martin Kaymer’s 10 under was improbable as well as record-breaking.

  • U.S. Open leaderboard

    Saturday June 14, 2014

  • Clayton Rask watches his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

  • Rask

  • Former Gopher Clayton Rask will get to play the weekend at the U.S. Open, hoping to move up in the final two rounds.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 2 Bottom 6th Inning
Washington 1
Seattle 1 Bottom 6th Inning
Baltimore 1
Texas 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Cleveland 5
Colorado 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Detroit 3
Cincinnati 1 Top 6th Inning
Miami 1
San Francisco 5 Top 8th Inning
NY Mets 0
LA Angels 4 Top 5th Inning
Tampa Bay 1
NY Yankees 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Boston 3
Minnesota 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Toronto 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Houston 0
Milwaukee 1 Top 2nd Inning
St. Louis 0
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 8:35 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez 8:40 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Atlanta - M. Minor 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/7/14 6:00 PM
NY Jets
San Francisco 8/7/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New England 8/7/14 6:30 PM
Washington
Cincinnati 8/7/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
Seattle 8/7/14 8:00 PM
Denver
Dallas 8/7/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Philadelphia 0 1st Half 20:00
Sporting Kansas City 0
Winnipeg 27 FINAL
Hamilton 26
Toronto 10 14:51
Montreal 5
Brt Columbia 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Calgary
Connecticut 43 3rd Qtr
San Antonio 30
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close