SI Vault
Tim Rosaforte
June 26, 1995
Not Cutting It
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June 26, 1995


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Double Chen

Whatever became of Taiwan's Tze-Chung Chen? This year marked the 10th anniversary of his fabled double-hit chip shot in the final round of the 1985 Open at Oakland Hills. In the lead by four strokes at the time, Chen left his approach in a patch of thick grass short of the 5th green. He opened the club face, and when he hit the chip, the club stuck momentarily in the grass and hit the ball twice. When amateurs hit that shot now, it is simply referred to as a T.C. Chen.

Chen went on to score a quadruple-bogey 8 on the hole, dropping him into a tie for the lead. He bogeyed the next three holes, shot 77 and finished in a tie for second with Dave Barr, a shot behind Andy North. It was called the biggest single-hole blowup since John Shippen's 11 on the 13th hole at Shinnecock in 1896.

Chen continued to play on the PGA Tour and won the 1987 Los Angeles Open in a playoff against Ben Crenshaw. Since using up his two-year exemption for that win, though, he hasn't competed full time in the United States. Now 37, Chen is playing on the Japanese tour with his older brother, T.M., and finished 49th on that tour's 1994 Order of Merit with $250,000 in prize money.

The Short Game

Gary Hallberg made the 27th recorded hole in one in U.S. Open history (and the first in six USGA competitions at Shinnecock Hills) when he aced the par-3 7th on Saturday. The hole is patterned after the famous Redan hole at North Berwick, Scotland, and sits up on a knob of sandy-based soil, with the putting surface sloping away from the tee. It's hard to hold a tee shot on the green, let alone get it close to the hole, but using a five-iron from 182 yards, Hallberg was able to make the ace on the way to a round of 69 and a 28th-place finish on Sunday. It was the first hole in one at an Open since Sandy Lyle made one on the 12th at Baltusrol during the final round in 1993....

The missed cut by Fred Couples (77-72-149) was his third straight. The last time he missed three in a year was 1990....

Patrick Moore, a 25-year-old mini-tour player from Davidson, N.C., stepped to the first tee in his first U.S. Open and made quadruple-bogey 8. Moore played the next 17 holes in three over and shot 77....

During first-round play on Thursday, Scot Tyson, a 31-year-old club pro from Highland Lakes Golf Course in Buchanan Dam, Texas, made the highest number on a single hole and shot the highest score in the tournament. Tyson's quintuple-bogey 9 on the 3rd hole started with a hooked tee shot into the woods and ended with a four-foot missed putt. He finished with a 16-over-par 86, but that's a far cry from the worst round ever in U.S. Open competition. That distinction belongs (probably forever) to the 157 put up by J.D. Tucker at the Myopia Hunt Club in 1898....

With the conclusion of the Open, it's the duty of course superintendent Peter Smith to return Shinnecock Hills to normalcy. Nearly 100,000 spectators—and the hospitality tents they caroused in—left their mark on the course. "It'll look like some kind of alien landing site in a movie," Smith said of what he expects to find when the tents next to the 1st hole are removed. He estimates it could take three months for the trampled grass to recover.

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