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June 9 2011

7:40 PM

Blanks’ grind starting to pay off?

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

For some players here this week, a win would get them into the field for next week’s U.S. Open (Bredan Steele, among others, for example). Kris Blanks, on the other hand, chose to not even play in the U.S. Open qualifier earlier this week.

Blanks is playing for his ninth straight week this week and even though he’s missed the cut in four of his last six starts, he didn’t want to make it 10 weeks in a row.

“I told my wife it was going to be a tough stretch,” Blanks said. “Best case scenario I played early, had a couple of good finishes and could have taken a couple weeks off. Worst case, I missed a few cuts and home on the weekends.

“It has been a grind. I didn't do the Monday qualifier for the [U.S.] Open basically for that reason. After playing the Memorial and being pretty down on myself, I decided I would forego that.”

Of course if he continues playing like he did Thursday, he’ll be able to afford a week off. Blanks opened with a 66 to earn a share of the early lead after six birdies and just two bogeys.

It was Blanks’ best score since his first round of the year the Bob Hope Classic.

“I've been trending towards starting to play good again, which is why I've been playing a lot of weeks in a row trying to get some rounds under my belt,” Blanks said. “Today just kind of all came together and hopefully get three more days.”

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