Assistant Sports Editor
KILLINGTON -- His round was done. There was nothing left to do but wait.
And so Thomas Sennett spent the final hour of Day 2 at the Vermont Amateur leaning back in a wooden chair in the clubhouse, tapping his cell phone on the bottom of his chin as he surveyed the leaderboard.
His caddie, friend Stephen Carknard, craned across the table they shared, eyeing the scores -- doing the math -- to see if there would be a third day at Green Mountain National Golf Course.
As the numbers trickled in, the tension rose for Sennett, who rebounded from a disturbing 87 in the first round with a 1-over 72 on Wednesday.
"Seventy-two or 71, I figured that would be right on the cut line," Sennett said. "I couldn’t really lose more than two shots today."
At times, the speculated cut floated from 157 to 160. The 21-year-old from Bennington was at 159.
Then, around 6:40 p.m., with only a few golfers’ scores left to post, came the sigh of relief: "All right, I made it."
Save for one golfer who shaved 21 strokes off his first-round 106, no one made a bigger turnaround in Round 2 than Sennett.
Of players who made the cut, only Barre’s Eric Lajeunesse (83-73-156) came close with a 10 shot swing. Sennett, a 2-handicap, was a stunning 15 shots better from one day to the next.
"I wouldn’t say I hit it a lot better, but I hit it better," said Sennett, a senior at Pfeiffer University. "It was just a different day, different thoughts, really."
One look at the way the Mount Anthony Union High School product started the two rounds and it’s understandable how the thoughts would be different, too.
With his second swing of the tournament, Sennett’s ball smacked a tree root in the rough right of the 10th fairway. It shot straight up, sideways and slightly backwards 70 yards across the 18th hole.
"I started double [bogey], triple [bogey] yesterday, which kind of gets you in a bad frame of mind," Sennett said. "Today I had eight pars in a row and then bogeyed nine and birdied 10. Just got in a better rhythm today."
Tuesday, Sennett had four holes worse than bogey -- "A lot of dark blue on the scorecard," he said. Wednesday, he had only three holes worse than par.
"Today we took a minute longer to talk about [shots], even if we both agreed on it right away we still talked a little longer, walked a little slower," Sennett said.
"He seemed more focused, for sure. We were just picking out targets all day, just walking up to the next ball and picking out targets," Carknard said.
The comeback effort means Sennett will be around for one more day. There are 36 chances for the duo to pick their targets and, possibly, realize the new goal of reaching the top half of the leaderboard -- with that ghastly 87 in the four-round total.
"Today I saw what it can be. I think that’s the biggest positive about today," Sennett said.