By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- Robert Rock finally ran out of gas.
After nine holes Friday, he hit a wall, but still shot even-par 71 and heads into the weekend at 1 under. Not bad for the 34-year-old who encountered visa problems overseas and didn't even get to Washington D.C. until 3:30 a.m. Thursday.
"I ran out of energy after nine holes to be honest,'' said Rock, who won the BMW Italian Open Sunday. "I played well on the front nine but didn’t get much out of it. I didn’t really hole any putts today but I played well.
"I took three from the edge on 18 which was disappointing and I felt every bit of energy disappear and I thought it was going to be a battle after that. That nine was very score-able, too, so it was a shame. I couldn’t get the shots to go normal distances. I just didn’t have it in me. I was trying to play cautiously and just plodded it around. It was a shame. But that happens when you have the build up I’ve had, this week and last week.''
The Italian Open was Rock's first win in eight years on the European Tour. And, it took more out of him than he thought.
"I felt it quite a bit today,” he said. “It’s a shame it happened here but I got through the nine holes OK and I’m one under for the tournament which is OK but I feel like I should have got through the second nine in two or three under. I knew I’d run out of energy at some point today. Just the interest and adrenaline got me through yesterday. When I woke up this morning I felt OK but not with a full day energy there. So I’m going to rest this afternoon and hopefully have some more for tomorrow.''
Rock napped during the car service ride from Newark Airport to D.C. Thursday morning and caught a few more winks in the locker room before his 2:19 tee time. Thursday night, he was asleep at 9 p.m.
As for the difference between the U.S. and British Opens? Rock said he was expecting a harder test. "It has been score-able,'' he said. "I haven’t played as well as I did last week. I’ve driven the ball nicely and hit some nice iron shots but I’ve not putted as well as last week. Last week was the best putting week I’ve had ever. But I’m one under and I feel I should have been six or seven.''