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U.S. Senior Open: Consistency has Scott Dunlap near the top of the leaderboard

The 50-year-old rookie on the Champions Tour has earned close to $4 million as a professional golfer but spent most of his 40s on the Tour. He’s played some of his best golf in the past two days.
By Mike Baldwin Published: July 11, 2014

— Scott Dunlap has proven he can play with the world’s top golfers. The difference is elite golfers consistently put up low numbers.

After he posted the only bogey-free round thus far in the U.S. Senior Open, Dunlap and tournament leader Colin Montgomerie will tee off in the final group Saturday afternoon at Oak Tree National.

“My game is good,” Dunlap said. “Colin Montgomerie, Vijay Singh, Bernhard Langer and Fred Couples have had better careers because they have good rounds more often than I have.

“It’s similar to a 12-handicap (player). They can play well for a few holes, maybe play well for an entire round, but they can’t do it consistently.”

Consistency over the past two days is the primary reason Dunlap is in contention for the most prestigious trophy on the Champions Tour.

Informed that Dunlap has recorded only one bogey in the first 36 holes, Champions Tour leading money winner Bernhard Langer removed his hat as a compliment.

“That’s really good playing, that’s all I can say,” said Langer, who is two shots off the lead. “It’s very difficult not to make bogeys here. You can bogey every single hole. There’s no easy hole out here, so that’s very good ball striking or incredible scrambling.”

A 50-year-old rookie on the Champions Tour, Dunlap has earned close to $4 million as a professional golfer but spent most of his 40s on the Tour because of a 10-year drought when he didn’t own a PGA Tour exemption card.

“Playing on this tour is something new, an adventure, but it’s a lot of the same guys I faced back when I was on the PGA Tour,” Dunlap said. “Guys like Jay Haas, Kenny Perry and Jeff Sluman have fared well on this tour and they did better than I did (on the PGA Tour).

“Now that I’m once again on the same tour with them, am I going to be able to parlay being a little younger into faring a little better the second time around? It will be interesting. At age 50 I think I can play golf better than I ever have. I’m hitting longer than I’ve ever hit it. These two rounds show I’m capable.”

Through 36 holes, Dunlap’s only bogey was a six on the par-5 No. 12 in Thursday’s first round.

Dunlap’s putter has been near flawless. He had 28 putts on Thursday when he shot a 2-under 69 and only 29 putts during his 3-under round on Friday.

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