US Open: Chris Doak struggles but pleases the crowds with Hogan tribute
Chris Doak proved a popular figure with the American galleries as he fired a three-over 73 on his US Open debut.
Last Updated: 14/06/13 5:19am
The Scot, who earned his place in the field via qualifying at Walton Heath, wore a flat white cap in the style of his idol Ben Hogan - the champion at Merion in 1950.
But Doak admitted he struggled with his game, and he did well to limit the damage until signing off with bogeys at his last two holes.
"It was okay but I didn't really play that well," Doak said. "My alignment was off, I hit a lot of shots out to the right and it caught up with me on 17 and 18.
"Apart from that it was a good day but I'm disappointed with the way I played. I scrambled well but didn't play well. I really enjoyed the day though.
"The crowds were smashing and I'm happy with today. It was my first taste of a major and I loved it. It was brilliant. I had a few shouts from the crowd about my hat so I gave them a bow. They said they loved it. They are friendly people."
Hogan famously hit a stunning one-iron approach to the 72nd hole in 1950 which set up a comfortable two-putt par and earned a play-off with Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio.
"Merion's definitely lived up to my expectations," Doak added. "It's not until you get here that you appreciate how good Hogan's shot was in 1950 and the conditions he had leading up to it. Especially a one iron, it's hard enough hitting a five iron in there.
"It's a special place. I had a look at the plaque (commemorating Hogan's shot on the 18th fairway) on Wednesday. I hit my drive right up there and stood next to it and took a five iron and hit it stiff. Special things like that make your week."