GOLF: Justesen likely done after second round at Open

Live Oak High graduate Erick Justesen. PHOTO BY USGA/STEVE

The Live Oak graduate finished 2-over-par 73 Friday at
CordeValle to fall to 3-over for the tournament. The cut was even
midway through
SAN MARTIN — Erick Justesen’s homecoming weekend at the Open was short and bittersweet.

The 25-year-old Live Oak graduate drove much better in the second round Friday at CordeValle Golf Club but was less fortunate on the green. His 2-over-par 73 put him at 3-over for the tournament and likely out contention for making the cut, which was even midway through the afternoon.

“Every hole was good until I got to the green,” Justesen said. “I needed a seeing-eye dog. It was rough. I couldn’t get comfortable with the putter.

“It’s not like I was indecisive or anything. I know I can putt; I’ve made big ones before. It just wasn’t dropping today.”

Justesen, who was 1-over after Thursday, bogeyed the par-3 third hole, par-4 eighth and had a double bogey on the par-5 ninth to fall to 4-over. He played much better on the back nine, collecting birdies on the par-4 10th and 13th.

Justesen was pleased with how he measured up in his second PGA Tour event and first since the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in June.

“Anytime you get out here and see where you are in compared to some of the best golfers in the world, it’s a great opportunity,” he said. “Obviously, winning in golf means you have to putt well. … You have to be comfortable with your putter and just trust yourself. That’s a lot in golf, and I just didn’t have it this week.”

Justesen has a month to improve before his next big event. On Nov. 19, he tees off in the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School — he earned an exemption through the first, at Bayonet Course in Seaside – another venue that is close to home for Justsen. He played Bayonet many times in high school and while in college at Cal State Monterey Bay.

The third and final stage of Q-School is scheduled for December.

Until then, Justesen plans to resume play in the Nationwide and Canadian tours.

“There’s a little more weight off your shoulders when you play outside of Q-School. You can just play golf,” Justesen said. “At Q-School, you have to do well now. It’s a privilege to be in the second round, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

“Hopefully, it’ll be a big winter for me.”

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