PINEHURST, N.C. -- Toru Taniguchi entered the U.S. Open as the 359th-ranked player in the world, and Saturday at Pinehurst he shot a number that might have made your average bogey golfer feel as if he could someday become, well, the 359th-ranked player in the world.
A 46-year-old with 19 victories on the Japan Tour, Taniguchi shot 18-over 88 at Pinehurst after making the cut on the number with rounds of 72 and 73. This is Taniguchi's ninth U.S. Open and only his second appearance on the weekend. He became the early face of the USGA's attempt to turn the course into a torture chamber for a reduced field that included 13 players who entered the day under par.
The brutal pin placements promised to make this a long day in the sun for all involved.
"Boo Weekley in with an 80," tweeted legendary golf writer Dan Jenkins, "including a three-hole streak of triple, double, double. Guys who missed the cut got the better end of the deal."