By Chuck Garbedian Special to Published Jun 21, 2009 at 5:04 AM

Hang on the for the ride as we are one day and 36 holes away from crowning a US Open winner, but first there is some golf to be played.

Mike Davis, the USGA's Senior Director of Rules and Competition said that there was a chance that 109th US Open at Bethpage State Park's Black Course could get done on time.

Of course, the USGA, Bethpage Black and the fine fans of the New York Metro area and golf in general would have to get a break. But if that break did come in the form of some dry weather, the third round of the US Open, slated to continue on the Black course Sunday morning could be finished by 11 a.m, then the USGA could re-pair and get the final round underway as late as 1:30 p.m. and hopefully finish around 7 or 7:30 Sunday evening.

Both groups will start on the first and 10th tees and in the event of bad weather, the USGA could opt not to re-pair and instead play on in the same groups that are being played in Round Three. The trouble there is that you could have the winner of the US Open finishing on the ninth hole instead of 18.

Rick-ee, Rick-ee: Last year on the Left Coast at Torrey Pines, it was Rocco Mediate who came into the event ranked 158th in the World Golf Rankings and captured the spirit and spunk of golf fans everywhere by playing well in the US Open while finishing second to Tiger Woods in an epic 91-hole battle.

This year on the East Coast at Bethpage Black it is Ricky Barnes, ranked an astonishing 519th in the World Golf Rankings, holding the 36-hole lead while coming off his best finish on the PGA TOUR this year, a tie for 47th at the St. Jude Classic.

Not only is the 5-1-9 ranking a mind blowing number, consider this -- Barnes has only one bogey at Wetpage and in posting opening rounds of 67-65-132 established a new 36-hole US Open scoring record.

The USGA did everything they could to get the players back on the course to begin their third rounds but eventually at 6:55 p.m. Eastern time, play was called for the day with water pooling on the greens following a downpour with 44 of the 60 players to make the cut at 4-over-par able to get out on the golf course.

Leaderboard: So Barnes has a one-shot lead over Lucas Glover (69-64-133) and a two-shot lead over Mike Weir (64-70-134) entering third round play. Tied for fourth is the unlikely trio of Peter Hanson (66-71-137), Azuma Yano (72-65-137) and David Duval (67-70-137). Hanson has birdied the 430-yard par-4 First Hole in rounds one and two respectively while also carding a bogey in rounds one and two on the 525 yard par-4 Seventh Hole. Yano is ranked 117th in the World Golf Rankings and notched six birdies and one bogey in his second round 65 to vault up the leaderboard. David Duval continues to amaze, amassing 10 birdies while also racking up seven bogeys in rounds one and two. If Double D can eliminate the wasted strokes he can be a factor the rest of the way.

Of the big names on the leaderboard, Phil Mickelson hasn't been able to gain any traction over the opening two rounds, posting a 69-70 start to begin round three at 1-under par, seven back of Barnes. Steve Stricker did a nice bounce back job with his 4-under par 66 in round two following up his three over par 73 that featured just one birdie on the day. As well as Strick rolls the rock, he still has a chance while looking up seven shots to Barnes. Sergio Garcia finds himself tied for 17th, eight shots back with opening rounds of bookend even par 70s. Kind of like kissing your sister, or Morgan Norman, your choice. Tiger Woods (74-69-143) is tied for 34th place and though he is saying the right things in every press conference, the action has not been indicative of his words. Still he has 35 holes left to make something happen.

The cut came at +4 and those on the wrong side of the number included:

Luke Donald (74-71-145 +5) -- Carded only four birdies in two rounds and had a 40 on the inward nine in round one.

Rory Sabbatini (72-73-145 +5) -- Another member of the four birdie club. Just never got anything going.

David Toms (69-76-145 +5) -- On the first page of the leaderboard following round one, then posted two birdies, five bogeys and a triple in round two.

Brian Gay (73-73-146 +6) -- Wasn't planning on playing in the Open and got in for his two wins this season. Couldn't carry in the momentum from last week.

Justin Leonard (71-75-146 +6) -- Carded five birdies in an opening round 71 then five bogeys and a double in his second round 75.

JP Hayes (74-74-148 +8) -- Went through qualifying to get in but couldn't make enough birdies to offset the mistakes.

Matt Kuchar (71-77-148 +8) -- Solid opening round done in by one birdie, six bogey, one double bogey second round.

Justin Rose (73-75-148 +8) -- Season long funk continues for the English Rose.

Chad Campbell (80-70-150 +10) -- Soup did a great job of coming back in round two but the distance to cover was just too wide in the end.

Paul Casey (75-75-150 +10) -- Three time world wide winner in '09 did not notch a birdie in two rounds around Bethpage Black.

Padraig Harrington (76-76-152 +12) -- Five birdies offset by three doubles and 11 bogeys.

Ernie Els (78-77-155 +15) -- Happened to be over at Naga-Waukee watching a little bit of the action with Tom Halla when up on the screen popped up a shot of The Big Easy on the range at Bethpage wearing a device on his right arm straight out of "Tin Cup". Simultaneously we both groaned. Wow.
Stats: Through two rounds of the US Open, the 504 yard par 4 12th hole is playing as the most difficult on Bethpage Black. No. 12 is playing to a stroke average of 4.47 and has given up just 14 birdies against 155 pars, 127 bogeys, 14 double bogeys and two others.

As tough as the course has played over the opening two rounds, there are two holes on the Black that are playing under par. No. 4, a 517-yard par 5 is playing as the easiest hole on the course, coming in with a stroke average of 4.76 giving up two eagles, 111 birdies, 163 pars, 29 bogeys and six doubles.

The next easiest hole is No. 14 a 158 yard par 3 playing to a stroke average of 2.97 while yielding 55 birdies, 214 pars, 40 bogeys and three double bogeys.

Speaking of Weather: Sunday in Farmingdale, forecasts call for a 70 percent chance of moisture with light rain and high near 67. Winds are expected to be brisk, coming from the North at 15-25 miles per hour. Sweet, just one more issue to contend with on an already stressed golf course.



Chuck Garbedian Special to
Chuck has more than a decade of experience in many aspects of the golf industry -- from sales to teaching to hosting radio talk shows. He has been media chairman for the Greater Milwaukee Open since 1992, has served as women's golf coach at Wisconsin Lutheran College and is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. He currently does work for PGA TOUR Network on SIRIUS XM Radio.