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Phelan Improves in Second Round of Open

UNF freshman golfer Kevin Phelan ended the second day of the 2010 U.S. Open with a much improved, 4-over-par 75, Friday, at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, in Pebble Beach, Calif.

“The first day, I was kind of inconsistent,” Phelan said. “Today the front nine wasn’t great, but the back nine I really played steady and hit a lot of good shots.”

Phelan, who teed off from the 10th tee, Friday morning, with the 24th group that consisted of professionals Jason Preeo and Mark Silvers, came in to Friday looking to regroup and wanted to enjoy the experience of playing in his first-ever U.S. Open.

“I just wanted to enjoy it and do my best,” Phelan said. “I tried not to think about what was going on and just play my game and play well.”

Phelan, who was playing in just his second round of U.S. Open golf, got off to a ruff start again on Friday. He was 3-over-par after just three holes and ended the front nine at 5-over-par with a 41.

The one, bright spot of the front nine for Phelan came on the par-5, 14th hole where Phelan was able to register his first birdie of the tournament. Phelan had earned a double bogey on that same hole on Thursday.

Phelan finally found his swing and was able to turn his game around in the back nine. Phelan birdied the par-3 fifth, and the par-5 sixth, on his way to finishing 1-under-par for the back nine to finish eight strokes better than Thursday with a 4-over-par 75 on the day.

The Pebble Beach Golf Links continued to live up to U.S. Open standards of being a very difficult course to play on.

“The fairways are really narrow,” Phelan said. “The greens were definitely the toughest part. It’s tough to hit the greens. You really only have about half the green to land the ball on.”

The improved second round brings Phelan to 16-over-par for the tournament with a 158. With the projected cut being around 8-over-par, it is unlikely that Phelan will advance to play on Saturday and Sunday.

However, despite not making the cut, Phelan enjoyed the opportunity to play with the world’s best golfers, on the world’s biggest stage.

“I really enjoyed it,” Phelan said. “I played some practice rounds with some really good players. I think playing with them was really good for me. I learned a lot. Also, I birdied two holes in a row today which was a lot of fun too.”

Playing in the U.S. Open was just the first step for Phelan, who will be entering his second year at the UNF. With all the success Phelan has had at such a young age, he plans to one day play on the PGA Tour as a professional golfer.

“That’s definitely my goal,” Phelan said. “I’d like to finish up college and just keep improving, so I will be good enough to turn pro when I finish.”

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