EDMOND — Jeff Sluman played the 1-under golf in the final 11 holes of the U.S. Senior Open third round, and he did it without a driver.
Sluman’s driver cracked on No. 7, and he wasn’t able to replace it despite his caddie scrambling and other golfers running down the course offering backup driver heads.
Armed with his 3-wood, Sluman actually played better than he did on the first seven holes, where he shot 2-over.
Sluman, who won the 1988 PGA Championship at Oak Tree National, is 2-under on the tournament and five strokes off the lead. He started the final round in 1988 three strokes behind Paul Azinger, and ended up winning by three strokes.
Q. What happened with the driver situation?
A: “Well, I hit a good drive on No. 7, and Doug (Garwood) who I was obviously playing with and myself just heard a way different sound, little different feel. I looked down.
“All drivers eventually will crack. Unfortunately mine cracked right there, and it was a big gash. So it's unusable. My backup is in Chicago. Really not doing me much good right now. I guess that's kind of my fault. It was 3-wood, 3-wood away the rest of the day.”
Did you try to scramble and find a replacement?
“Well, my driver is kind of an older version, so the drivers that Billy Andrade and Fred Funk brought me are not the exact driver, and I can't screw it in. Doesn't even fit. I guess I've got an issue.”
What model of driver?
(TaylorMade) R11 S, I think. I don't even know. I've got to take a look at it. R11 S, 10.5-degree.
Considering that, how much of a mental hurdle are you having?
“Well, if I hit a horrible 3-wood, it wouldn't be good. But I have a nice 3-wood I can hit a long way, especially under these conditions. Really, I looked at my round yesterday and I only think I hit four drivers, as it was. So I would say that's what's always been one of my good things about this golf course.
“It fits my game well. I think it's a better 3-wood course than driver course. You know, there is a few holes certainly you'd like to have the driver, but it's really not a huge deal.”
What's the plan for tomorrow?
“The plan for tomorrow is if I don't find something tonight I'm going out with 13 clubs.”
Do you plan on going to GolfSmith afterward, or what?
“I don't know. We'll find something. If not, it's not the end of the world.”