Fort Worth native Hunter Haas did not make the cut at this week's U.S. Open. But he was one of only 20 golfers to break par in Friday's second round, when he posted a 70 _ a 10-stroke turnaround from an opening 80 _ and finished 36 holes at 8-over par. The figure was one stroke above the cut line at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif.
If not for Friday's 45-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole by second-round leader Stuart Appleby, Haas would have played on the weekend in his Open debut. But Appleby's putt moved the Aussie to 3-under par and set the cut at 7-over for all golfers within 10 strokes of the lead.
Haas, 31, waved goodbye after 36 holes and will return next week to the Nationwide Tour. But not before making an impression on his father, Jim, who got to watch his son play for the first time as a professional in one of golf's major championships.
"After watching Hunter come back the way he did (Friday), I think he can play with anybody out there," Jim Haas said Saturday. "It was a great experience on a really tough course. We though 8-over would hold up (to make the cut) until Appleby ruined everybody's day. But after he made it, Hunter's comment was, 'It's not a big deal because I've done it to other guys, too. That's just part of the game.' And it is. I really hope Hunter can build on what he did (Friday). He played an absolutely fabulous second round."
_ Jimmy Burch