PINEHURST, N.C. -- The number on the scorecard was the same as Thursday but Graham DeLaet definitely felt as if he played much better at the U.S. Open on Friday than a day earlier.
The Canadian, who used 75 strokes to get around Pinehurst No. 2, took 14 of those on just two holes, recording a triple and a double bogey. He also added a penalty shot on a morning that simply didn't go his way.
Even with all that adventure and some visits to the newly added native areas, he walked off the course feeling not too badly about his play.
"I'm not even really disappointed because I felt I was in total control of my game all day," he said. "Three balls in that natural rough and twice I couldn't get a club on it and I made a triple and a double and the other time I went to move some debris next to my ball and my ball moved and that cost me a stroke. Other than that I played well all day."
That's the U.S. Open. So hard to make birdies, so easy to make doubles.
DeLaet started his day on the right note, making his first birdie of the competition on the third hole. He cancelled that out with a bogey at six, when his approach shot came up short of the putting surface and he wasn't able to get up and down.
On the eighth, however, disaster struck. DeLaet's tee shot sailed left and ended up in a troubled lie against some wiregrass. His second to the green also went left and ended up in another almost impossible lie. He hacked it out and the ball ended up behind a tree, so he took an unplayable then chipped it over the green. He lobbed his next shot to 20 feet and, of course, dropped the putt for a triple.
Two holes later, another errant drive led to a double as he scrambled around the green, and a hole after that, he incurred the penalty.
"I guess it's a little disappointing," said DeLaet. "Coming in, I didn't expect to miss the cut. But at the same time I feel like I played well and a lot better than my score but that's the U.S. Open and I'm packing."
This was DeLaet's first time teeing it up in the American championship and the learning curve is steep. It's also the third straight major in which he's failed to make it to the weekend, something that's frustrating for 32-year-old.
"I feel like my game should be suited for tough golf courses," he stated, "but my record hasn't shown that quite yet.
"There's a lot more to [the Majors] than golfing your ball. There are all the outside distractions and the mental pressure and everything that goes along with a major championship. Now I've got my feet wet in all four and I'm looking forward to the next one."
DeLaet is planning to play the next two events on the PGA Tour as well as the RBC Canada Cup, a special outing in Halifax as part of the new Web.com Tour event there. He'll then take two weeks off before playing a long stretch of what could be eight tournaments in nine weeks, including the RBC Canadian Open.
The schedule will be busy, DeLaet said, but it isn't as if he's moving pianos.
"I'm playing professional golf and going to a lot of cool places," he said. "Overseas, Montreal . . . you can't really complain."