Taiwanese amateur golfer Pan Cheng-tsung, who stunned many when he placed near the top of the leaderboard in the middle of the second round, went from contender to middle-of-the-pack after a mediocre third round in the US Open on Saturday.
The amateur standout garnered attention when he appeared on the leaderboard at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
However, after a 5-over par 75 performance in the third round, Pan fell to 31st place, tied with seven others, including Tiger Woods.
Pan, a native of Maioli County, was tied for third place through his first nine holes of the second round, behind top-ranked Phil Mickelson and Billy Horschel. However, the treacherous Merion course may have finally worn down Pan as he fired just one birdie, accompanied by four bogeys and one double bogey in the third round.
Pan, currently the sixth-ranked amateur in the world and a member of the University of Washington golf team, was one of four amateurs who made the cut. The University of California’s Michael Kim led the pack at ten on the leaderboard with a 4-over par 214 after three rounds.
Kim birdied four of six holes from the 10th to be level par and within two strokes of the lead after 15 holes, but finished by sandwiching a double-bogey with two bogeys to slip five shots behind Mickelson.
Pan, at 9-over par 219, was the second-best performing amateur in the tournament. He expected to play better as the tournament headed into its final round.
“I don’t want to lose to an amateur. It’s OK if I lose to a pro, but I would love to be low am [amateur],” Pan was quoted as saying by GolfDigest.com.
It is Pan’s second trip to the US Open, having also qualified in 2011, though he failed to make the cut then.