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WATCH: MJ Daffue escapes from hospitality area, but it's downhill from there

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Published in Golf
Friday, 17 June 2022 05:12

After pulling his tee shot on the par-5 14th into a hospitality area, U.S. Open leader MJ Daffue decided it was better to play off the artificial turf than to take a drop in the juicy rough.

Navigating fans, a railing and an overhanging tree, Daffue laced a fairway wood 284 yards, his ball finishing just left of the putting surface.

Seemingly having done the hard part, Daffue then butchered the easier task. The 33-year-old South African chunked his chip shot and then chipped again, his ball rolling out 9 feet past the hole. He missed his par putt and made bogey-6.

With four birdies over his opening nine holes on Friday at The Country Club, Daffue had built a three-shot lead, at 6 under par. A bogey at the 11th cut his advantage to two and he walked off the 14th green up one. Another dropped shot at the 15th erased his outright lead completely.

While he was able to salvage par on Nos. 16 and 17, his finish was costly. Daffue, currently fourth on the Korn Ferry Tour's season-long points list, hit his tee shot on the par-4 18th into an awkward spot above a fairway bunker. He hacked out into the front greenside bunker, but then bladed his third shot over the green. He failed to get up and down from there and made double bogey.

Daffue posted nines of 32 and 40, for a 2-over 72. He entered the clubhouse at 1 under par, two back of a host of co-leaders who had not started their second rounds.

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