Brandt, meanwhile, played his way onto the leader board. In the first round he holed a lengthy birdie putt at number 10, the new par-3 by the clubhouse and one of Congressional's two signature holes (along with the 18th). He also holed a bunker shot for a birdie at the 12th and breezed to an even-par 71. After a storm delay in the second round, he had slipped to three over par and was in danger of missing the cut, but he rallied with a birdie-eagle-par-birdie spurt that began as soon as Jennifer brought the kids out to watch him finish. After Jobe teed off at number 5, he headed over to the ropes to say hello. He was greeted by Brittan, who said, "Pink power, Dad!" At his daughter's suggestion he had worn a pink shirt, and in a show of support Jennifer and Brittan donned pink tops too. (Jackson settled for a pink wristband.) Jobe birdied that hole, and then the scene turned surreal. At the par-5 6th a late-evening sun was at his back as raindrops fell from a mystery cloud. Jobe trusted his new right-to-left ball flight and played a daring three-iron shot over a greenside water hazard, sticking it close. When he made the eagle putt, the crowd—the "crowd" being, at 7:30 in the evening after a rain delay, his family, including his mother, Kay, and his dad, Bill—went wild. The churning sky was like a painting, a mix of gray and silver and billowy white clouds. The shadows were long. The moment was worth savoring.
Jobe birdied the 8th, then hit a brave fairway wood to the par-5 9th just off the back fringe. An up-and-down for birdie would get him to two under and into a tie for third, but the horn sounded, ending play. He came back on Saturday morning to finish and settled for par, a one-under 70 and a late third-round tee time.
Early in the week Jennifer had said, "This could be his year." Upon further review, it already is.
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