Feldberg One Day Closer
With one day left in the USDGC, David Feldberg continues to cling to the lead despite pressure from three contenders clipping at his heels. Feldberg shot a 62 (-6) to give him a (-26) going into the final round.
Not far behind lie Nikko Locastro, defending champion Nate Doss, and Phil Arthur, who are at (-23).
After the round, Feldberg said things weren’t clicking like they were for the previous two days. He also said he wasn’t finding the breaks with OB. However, he was glad that he was able to soldier through to the back half and end up again on the lead card. He collected bogeys on holes 4 and 10, but still secured eight birdies.
On the cusp of a second Open championship, Feldberg admitted that holding the lead at the Open comes with an enormous amount of pressure.
“One missed shot and you’re not in the lead anymore,” Feldberg said.
Locastro, of St. John, Mo, had the hot round of the day with a 58 (-10). He collected eight birdies and also tallied an eagle on hole 12.
Doss, of Scotts Valley, Calif., put himself in position on Friday for a strike at the lead in round 4. Despite faltering on hole 18 with his only bogey of the day, Doss said his round was solid otherwise. He said he needs another strong performance.
“I think what I did today is what I need to do tomorrow,” Doss said.
Doss also acknowledged the increasing pressure mounting at the end of the week. That, coupled with the potential for stormy Saturday weather, was putting a lot on the players’ mind. Many were already bracing for the rain. Saturday’s forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms throughout the day.
Doss said that although it helps that he’s already conquered the rigors of the Open in 2008, he acknowledged that Feldberg has already done it, too.
“I think it will come down to who has the better day,” Doss said.
Arthur, whose best finish has been 23rd, sat in second place for the second straight day. He said he played solid despite slip-ups on hole 11 where he double bogeyed and on hole 16 where he took a bogey. Arthur impressively eagled 12 for the second day in a row.
He said a strong finish is a must for Saturday.
“I want to shoot in the 50’s to give myself a chance,” said Arthur, who won the 2009 Worlds Master title.
Friday was also cut day. The top 120 and ties continued on.
Crowds continue to increase
Throughout the day, and especially for the lead card, more spectators could be seen gathered around the holes and tee pads. Though, the big crowds are expected for Saturday, sizable clusters were common.
Earlier in the day, Scott Peerbolte, of Huntersville, N.C., was checking out action on hole 5 with his eight-year-old son, Aiden. Peerbolte, who has been playing for about two months, was curious about the big-time pros.
“I just wanted to see how they really played,” he said.
Spectator Andrew Judson’s birthday present from his wife was his first trip to the Open. Judson, of Sylva, N.C., came with his wife and two kids and was impressed how close the action was.
“It’s been a lot more personable then we expected it to be,” Judson said.