Marc Turnesa of Rockville Centre, the only local golfer in the U.S. Open, had a strong back nine after the rough start on Congressional (he hit his first-ever Open shot into the water and made double bogey on the 210-yard 10th).
He shot par for the back nine and finished the first day 5 over, which was not all that bad, considering he was 5 over after nine holes. Turnesa was disappointed at having missed "four or five" makeable birdie putts on the back nine, but acknowledged that that's just the sort of thing that happens in a U.S. Open.
I asked him what made the difference on the back nine and he said, "I didn't have a 210-yard hole over water."
It was a thrill (and an agony) for his dad, Mike Turnesa Jr., the head pro at Rockville Links. "It was exciting for him and exciting for me," the elder Turnesa said, adding that it was also quite nerve wracking, watching and wanting Marc to do so well. Still, not a bad jump on Father's Day weekend: watching your kid play in the U.S. Open.
Rockville Links, incidentally, was designed by Devereux Emmet, as was Congressional. The elder Turnesa pointed out that Congressional is a lot longer, with a lot more property.