The professional debut for Liberty's Mickey DeMorat has become an historic run for the program, with the former Flames standout making the cut at the 118th U.S. Open.
DeMorat carded his second consecutive 2-over par 72 on the Shinnecock Hills Golf Course (par 70, 7,440 yards) and finished play on Friday tied for 14th place with an overall 4-over par 144.
Playing in his first professional tournament since finishing his college career, last month, DeMorat will tee off at 1:09 p.m. for tomorrow's third round. DeMorat will be playing in the 12th-to-last group and will be matched up with Scotland's Russell Knox.
TV coverage for the third round of the 118th U.S Open will be provided by Fox, while a live stream of the broadcast will be available on www.USOpen.com. TV coverage for Saturday's third round begins at 11 a.m.
"It's a great feeling knowing that my game is strong enough to compete with some of the best players in the world at a major championship and to be able to make the cut," reflected DeMorat after the second round. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to compete this weekend. It will be a great experience that will only help me in my future professional tournament schedule."
The 67 players who made the cut at this week's national championship event will be chasing world No. 1 and former Big South golfer Dustin Johnson. The 2007 Coastal Carolina graduate, who has 19 career PGA Tour wins including the 2016 U.S. Open title, fired a 3-under par 67 on Friday and currently leads the field by four strokes with an overall 4-under par 136 (69-67).
Scott Piercy (69-71) and Charley Hoffman (71-69) are four strokes back and tied for second place with an even par 140.
Five other players are five strokes back with a 1-over par 141, including defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, 2013 U.S Open winner Justin Rose and Ian Poulter. Poulter got within one stroke of Johnson late in his round on Friday, but posted a triple bogey on No. 8 and a double on No. 9, his 17th and 18th holes of the day, to fall down the leaderboard.
DeMorat, who teed off in the final grouping of the day and started at 2:42 p.m., used ideal playing conditions with lesser afternoon wins to offset five bogeys with three birdies throughout his second round.
The Merritt Island, Fla., native posted birdies at No. 11 (par 3, 153 yards), No. 13 (par 4, 360 yards) and No. 5 (par 5, 583 yards), giving him seven total birdies during the first 36 holes of play at the toughest annual test of golf in the world.
After ranking 28th in the field in fairways hit (11-of-14) and fourth in greens in regulation (12-of-18) on Thursday, DeMorat had to scramble a little more during the second round.
DeMorat found the fairway on 9-of-14 tee shots and ranked tied for 98th place in the field in fairways hit. Also, he only found 8-of-18 greens in regulation on Friday and ranked tied for 117th in the 156-player field in greens hit.
The top 60 golfers and ties made the cut at this weekend's U.S Open, with the cut line falling at an 8-over par 148.
DeMorat has bested some of the world's top-ranked golfers, including four of the golfers currently ranked in the latest world golf rankings top 10: No. 4 Jordan Spieth (+9/149), No. 5 Jon Rahm (+15/155), No. 6 Rory McIlroy (+10/150) and No. 8 Jason Day (+12/152). Three-time U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods also missed the cut following a 10-over par 150 (78-72).
DeMorat finished off his senior year last Liberty, last month, posting a 72.00 season stroke average, while recording four top-10 finishes and a team best three top-five finishes. The senior finished his Liberty career with a 72.28 stroke average, the second-best mark in program history.
DeMorat played 17 of his 39 rounds at par or better during the season (43.6 percent). He posted under-par tournament totals five times, including a 7-under par 209 for a runner-up finish at the Big South Men's Golf Championship and a 4-under par 209 for a 17th-place showing at the NCAA Raleigh Regional.
DeMorat earned All-Big South first-team honors as a senior and was named to the Big South All-Championship team following his runner-up finish. Additionally, he was recently named to the PING All-Region team.
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