Tacoma’s T.J. Bordeaux knows how to “ride the bicycle” in golf – which means he is apt in getting up-and-down for pars from some hideously difficult spots.
On Monday, he did it over and over en route to one of the afternoon wave’s best scores – a 2-over-par 73.
“I felt like I hit enough (quality) shots to shoot a lot lower than 73,” Bordeaux said. “It’s that hard out there. I was happy with the way I struck the ball.”
Chambers Bay is difficult enough to score on in docile conditions. Once the winds kicked up, he knew golfers who played in the afternoon would be facing arguably the toughest conditions of anybody on either course – Chambers or The Home Course.
Introduced at the first tee, 75 family members, friends and pals at Fircrest Golf Club gave a howling cheer – loud enough to be heard from all corners of the venue.
“Cool,” the golfer said.
And he started with three consecutive bogeys.
I was coming out with the mentality, 77 or (higher) doesn’t kill you. But after a bogey-bogey-bogey start, I thought, ‘Let’s get a par,'” Bordeaux said. “From there, you had to grind, and try and make putts.”
On No. 7, he made a 20-foot putt to save par.
On the eighth hole, he two-putted from a high slope behind the green.
On No. 9, he did the same from a treacherous side of the putting surface.
Then he got going. He drove the green at the par-4 12th, and made birdie. And two holes later, even after his drive landed in a pot bunker in the middle of the fairway, he got up-and-down from 152 yards, making a 10-foot putt to save par.
A birdie at No. 17, and in close for another birdie at the finishing hole at Bordeaux thinking of a 72 – except that his 2-foot putt went all the way around the hole and spun out.
“The ground is so firm around the cup, it hit it and it repelled it like it was cement,” he said.