On a day when Shinnecock Hills performed brutally powerful in robust winds, the 39-year-old Piercy, who formally earned his spot within the subject on Monday morning as one of many sectional-qualifying alternates, missed simply three fairways and carded solely two bogeys.
The three birdies he made gave him a 1-under 69, certainly one of solely two under-par rounds of the morning wave. (Ian Poulter additionally shot 69.)
“You already know, I didn’t actually anticipate this this morning,” Piercy stated.
Piercy stated he didn’t have one of the best preparation for this occasion. After withdrawing in the course of the second spherical of final week’s FedEx St. Jude Traditional, he began preparing for Shinnecock. Regardless that he wasn’t within the subject but, he knew that the Memphis sectional sometimes has one of many hardest power of fields, and because the first alternate his probability of getting one of many last six spots within the U.S. Open subject was good.
By Wednesday, Piercy’s frustrations got here to a head and he walked off the golf course after simply 4 holes.
“I used to be yanking it, and I misplaced like 5 balls within the first 4 holes,” Piercy stated. “I’m like, ‘I’m outta right here.’ Then the rain got here anyway, so it was type of a loss for me. However simply went dwelling, regrouped, tried to calm my thoughts down, determine what makes my golf swing tick.”
Piercy pulled up Instagram on his cellphone, and checked out some previous swing movies and drills. He carried out a few of what he noticed on the vary Thursday morning and located one thing. He birdied two of his first three holes, holing a 15-footer at No. 10 and draining an 80-footer at No. 12.
“I made a putt that I haven’t made in two years,” Piercy stated of his make on the 12th.
It’s additionally been two years since Piercy contended at a U.S. Open. He tied for second at Oakmont, one other powerful venue.
“I hit the ball in all probability one of the best in my life at Oakmont,” Piercy stated.
For a lot of this season, Piercy has struck it nicely, too. He ranked 11th in strokes gained: tee-to-green after the AT&T Byron Nelson, the one minimize he’s made in his final occasions. However he’s been within the detrimental in that class his final two begins.
“More often than not, ballstriking is my No. 1 factor, proper? I’m normally a ballstriker,” Piercy stated. “So I do know that I can get again there. Typically it’s getting out of my very own approach, type of like placing the feelings apart and making an attempt to determine, look, what makes you tick, what are the important thing issues, what are the drills that you simply do, and that’s what I did final evening.
“… I feel I lowered my expectations a lot yesterday as a result of I had a nasty type of couple days in prep that, you understand, I form of began from the underside, in my thoughts.”
Now he’s right here.