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US OPEN: Richard Bland had American sports fans in a thrall after becoming oldest half way leader

US OPEN HIGHS AND LOWS: Richard Bland had American sports fans in a thrall after becoming the oldest halfway leader in tournament history… but rattlesnakes kept us frozen to the spot in Torrey PinesThis year’s US Open was one for the underdogs as Richard Bland caused a stir He became the oldest halfway leader in the tournament’s history aged 48 Torrey Pines offers up plenty of stunning views of the Pacific OceanBut the fog kept us on tenterhooks – and rattlesnakes kept us rooted to the spot 

The US Open has dished up plenty of great stories and moments at Torrey Pines, with underdogs shining during an action packed few days.

Richard Bland was the big talking point as the 48-year-old became the oldest half-way leader in the tournament’s history, while there were also special moments for Marcus Armitage and Dave Coupland. 

The setting has been perfect for golf with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, with Top Gun-style jets soaring high above the course – but the event was bogged down by early morning fog and rattlesnakes.

Sportsmail’s Derek Lawrenson picks out his highs and lows from the US Open.  

The US Open has provided some memorable moments across the last few days in Torrey Pines



The jets set off every morning from nearby Miramar, just as they did when filming Top Gun. Down at cliff level there were the hang gliders. 

‘You can fly in a glider with a personal instructor, so long as you weigh under 180lb,’ I was told. Ruled me out then (phew!). As for the spectacular Osprey jets, no offer of a ride came from the US military. 


A lot of knowledgeable golfers don’t like the South Course at Torrey. Personally, I’d happily put up with half a dozen rubbish holes for the chance to stand on the first tee staring straight ahead at the Pacific Ocean, and walking holes 2-4 adjacent to the spectacular cliff top. 

Mind you, it was no hardship to then head from the fifth green back to the media centre, and skip out the mediocre middle.

The course has had its critics but golfers cannot complain playing in front of that ocean view


Marcus Armitage matching par in his first competitive round in America. Dave Coupland holing a couple of bombs alongside his dad as caddie. 

And then there was Richard Bland, who had American sports fans in thrall (for a day) in becoming the oldest halfway leader in US Open history. 

You gotta love the two Opens among the majors, and the chance they offer to all who refuse to give up. 

This year’s US Open was one for the underdogs as Richard Bland got US sports fans in a thrall



Or fog to you and me. Every morning we were on tenterhooks. It quickly got tiresome hearing about ‘June gloom’. But then, by mid-morning, it was gone. 

The locals reflected, as they do most days, that life ain’t so bad if you live in San Diego! 


You didn’t have to be Indiana Jones to be frozen to the spot when, standing behind the first green on Saturday watching Richard Bland, a rattler appeared from underneath the TV gantry. 

The marshall was clearly having a laugh when he held up his board saying: ‘Still.’ 

We were kept on tenterhooks each morning as the course was consumed by fog 


Newspaper deadlines, that is. All these years on and they don’t get any easier. Waking up daily at 5am and knowing it’s 1pm already in the UK is terrifying. 

The first job every day was scanning the tee times and seeing who the heck will have finished in time.


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