June 16, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Former Cal golfer Charlie Wi finished his day at the 2012 U.S. Open the same way he started it - tied for 18th - after his one-over par third-round 71 at The Olympic Club that played at 7,048 yards on Saturday. Wi (74-70-71 - 215, +5) will be six shots behind co-leaders Graeme McDowell (69-72-68 - 209, -1) and Jim Furyk (70-69-70 - 209, -1) heading into Sunday's fourth and final round of the 72-hole event that is one of professional golf's four annual major championships.
"I know I'm five over par right now and I'll be a few shots out of the lead tomorrow, but if I have a good round I think I'll give myself a chance."
Wi started his day with back-to-back bogeys on the first two holes and then had another on the sixth, all par-fours. His tee shot was in the rough on the first hole and his second shot in the bunker, where he failed to get up and down. On the second hole, he missed a short five-foot putt for par.
But his day got much better after that.
Wi would birdie the seventh and ninth holes, again both par-fours, and then picked up another on the par-three 15th when he hit his tee shot to seven feet and knocked it in for birdie to get back to even for the day and four-over for the tournament. He would bogey the par-five 16th for his final one-over score.
Wi, who was outfitted in a gold polo shirt, was cheered on by a large contingent of Cal fans throughout the day who brought the "Go Bears" chant to the golf course. He was a first-team All-American in 1994-95 and the 1995 Pac-10 individual champion while at Cal.
"Not only today but this whole week has been great," Wi said. "We have a lot of Bears' fans out here, and I hear `Go Bears' all the time."
"Today my color, I look like Oski the Bear," Wi added with a smile. "We definitely have to have some Bear players here. We're next to Berkeley so to play well here it's more special to me.".
Wi will complete the second U.S. Open of his career on Father's Day Sunday. He and playing partner Aaron Watkins are scheduled to tee off at 1:20 p.m. PT.