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Nearly identical triple bogeys from Tony Finau and Ludvig Aberg minutes apart derail their US Open hopes – WJBF

DAVE SKRETTA, Associated Press

48 minutes ago

Ludvig Aberg of Sweden looks at his tee shot on the eighth hole during the third round of the US Open golf tournament on Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Pinehurst, NC (AP Photo/Matt York)

Ludvig Aberg of Sweden looks at his tee shot on the eighth hole during the third round of the US Open golf tournament on Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Pinehurst, NC (AP Photo/Matt York)

PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — Tony Finau and Ludvig Aberg suffered a major dent in their U.S. Open dreams when they made their way around the exact same green about 30 minutes apart Saturday during a third round played in oppressive heat at Pinehurst No. 2.

Finau started the day two shots behind Aberg, the night’s leader, and both were firmly atop the leaderboard when they arrived at the 13th, a relatively easy par-4 that was among the easier holes of the day.

Things went sideways in a hurry for both of them.

By the time they were done, they were all muttering about a triple bogey.

The terrible mess didn’t take either of them out of the tournament, but allowed Aberg and Finau to make three more shots on Bryson DeChambeau on Sunday. He shot a 3-under 67 in the third round to take the lead at 7 under, leaving Aberg five behind after his 73 and Finau another shot back after his round of 72.

“Obviously 13 will stand out to me as a hole that was, in my opinion, the toughest pin in the entire championship,” Finau said. “That green is pretty crazy, right where that pin is. Just the wrong time to miss a shot.”

Finau played the round with Rory McIlroy, who he has known since they played in the Junior Ryder Cup as children. Both were in the mix on Saturday when they arrived on the 13th – McIlroy two off the lead and Finau three – and both hit nice approach shots, only to see their balls spin backwards off the devilish Donald Ross-designed greens and into a staging area .

There their paths parted.

Finau tried to go up the slope but instead sent his ball over the green and into a bunker on the other side. His shot from the sand went back over the green and almost to the exact same spot in the staging area. By the time he threw within 10 feet and missed the ensuing putt, Finau was left with a triple bogey.

“I looked straight at the flag, pulled it a little bit and came all the way down. From there I decided to hit a putt from 20 yards from the green. I haven’t had a good lie. I didn’t really want to pitch it. I ended up playing ping pong there,” he said.

“Anything can happen on this golf course. I’m just happy with the way I finished. I couldn’t give it up anymore.”

McIlroy saw the putter fail his friend from the green, so he opted to hit his ball on the surface with an iron. He saved par, eventually shot 69 and was tied with Matthieu Pavon and Patrick Cantlay, three shots off the lead.

“I love the test that Pinehurst presents, and you have to focus and concentrate on every single shot,” McIlroy said. “This is what a US Open should be.”

Two groups behind Finau and McIlroy, Aberg arrived on the 13th with some momentum from a birdie on the 10th. He was 5 under, two behind playing partner DeChambeau, and joined in with his typical machine-like consistency.

Then he made the same kind of mess as Finau on the same hole.

First, the 24-year-old Swede sent his tee shot into the native area to the left of the fairway. Aberg got his second 25 feet short of the green, but then sent the ball into the bunker from behind. His next shot rolled through the green into the same staging area that confused Finau, and a pitch and two putts later, Aberg also had a triple bogey.

There were four scores of double bogey or worse on the 13th hole during Saturday’s third round.

Two players in the battle made it two.

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AP Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf