U.S. Open. Martin Makes It Interesting. June 14 2014
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Martin showed the first signs of tension as he could only card a third round of +2 over par 72 at the U.S. Open. Although he did not reach the dizzy heights of the first two days, but at -8 under par he will take a five shot lead into the final round.
Martin remained cool and said he actually played well;
" It was good. I didn't play as well as the first two days, but I kept it together. I felt like today if you have 25 feet or 30 feet on every green, you've done well. The USGA put the pins in very, very tough positions. On 18 it was probably the easiest pin today and, fortunately, I could take care of it."
"I made a couple bad swings on the first nine, put myself in bad positions, but I only made bogey, which is okay. Only one birdie and one eagle, so I'm happy."
Eric Compton and Rickie Fowler are tied in second spot at -3 under par, both players shot -3 under par 67 to move up the leaderboard.
Eric is playing in just his second Major Championship at the age of 34, but even more remarkable is the fact that he has undergone two heart transplants, how brave is that. He said he was not putting pressure on himself;
"I felt comfortable today and even when things weren't going well, I wasn't getting over anxious. But it is a Major and I know you guys put a lot of emphasis on people who don't have experience." "But I've been playing good golf for a long time, since I was a junior golfer, college golfer, and playing at other pro levels. And this year I've had a great year. We're playing against the same guys and I just try to hit fairways and greens. It shouldn't feel any different than any other tournament." "I have been through a lot in my life and some were a lot more adrenaline pressure situations than hitting a tee shot on 18. Putting things in perspective may help me."
Rickie began the first day by paying tribute to the late Payne Stewart, he was wearing his idol's trademark plus fours for the opening round. I just don't remember Payne having color coded shoes.
"It was awesome to be able to come out here and wear the plus fours in honor of Payne, it was very special. I sent a message to Chelsea Stewart (Payne's daughter) afterwards and said, 'I hope you guys liked it as much as I did', because it was a lot of fun walking around with her dad that day. It was definitely special." Defending champion Justin Rose was joint tenth at +1 over par, after a round of 70, and was frustrated with the number of errors he made;
"I was frustrated because I dropped four shots in three holes with my short game around the turn, plus three-putting the first. Allow yourself two mistakes and that three shots gets me a couple under." "It allows me to dream going into tomorrow that it's possible. I think right now I have to accept that I'm probably playing for the places, but stranger things have happened. Today was the day I needed something special."
Watching England go down 2-1 to Italy in the World Cup, will not help improve his demeanor.