Michael Thompson leads, but Tiger Woods is on prowl

Posted Thursday, Jun. 14, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

U.S. Open

Today-Sunday

The Olympic Club,

San Francisco

TV: Today: ESPN, 11 a.m.; KXAS/Ch. 5, 2 p.m.; ESPN, 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday: KXAS/Ch. 5, 3 p.m.

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

SAN FRANCISCO -- The lead at the U.S. Open belonged to Michael Thompson. The buzz came from Tiger Woods.

Even as Thompson strung together four birdies on the back nine at Olympic Club that carried him to a 4-under 66, Woods put on a clinic on the other side of the course on how to handle the toughest test in golf.

He was never out of position. None of his tee shots found the deep, nasty rough lining the fairways. There was little stress for such a demanding major.

With consecutive birdies late in his round, including a 45-foot putt that banged into the back of the cup on No. 5, Woods opened with a 1-under 69 to raise hopes that he can finally end that four-year drought in the majors.

"I felt like I had control of my game all day," Woods said. "Just stuck to my game plan -- and executed my game plan."

He was vague on the details of that plan, though it surely wasn't the one followed by the other two guys in his star-powered group. Phil Mickelson hit a wild hook for his opening tee shot that was never found, and he matched his worst opening round in a U.S. Open at 76. Bubba Watson chopped his way through the rough to a 78, showing that "Bubba Golf" works better at Augusta National than at Olympic Club.

Only three players broke par from the 78 players who teed off in the morning. David Toms played his own version of U.S. Open golf, relying on a solid short game and the right attitude for a 69.

The other "Big Three" at this major -- Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood, the top three in the world rankings -- all were 4 over at the turn. The highlight came from Nick Watney, who made a 2 on the par-5 17th by holing a 5-iron from 190 yards. It was the second albatross in a major this year, following Louis Oosthuizen on the second hole in the final round at the Masters.

All that did was put Watney back at even par as he played his second nine in the afternoon.

Thompson, the runner-up in the 2007 U.S. Amateur at Olympic Club, made five consecutive 3s -- three of them birdies -- and closed his dream round with a 10-foot birdie putt on the short, tough 18th for the lead. Thompson took only 22 putts.

Woods missed only four fairways -- three of them that ran off slopes and into the first cut, the other into a bunker on the 256-yard seventh hole, which is where he was aiming.

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
San Francisco7Bottom 8th | Box
Kansas City1@theBallpark | TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game One.
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
Houston85Final | Box
Miami «90
Indiana89Final | Box
Minnesota «107
Utah «105Final | Box
Oklahoma City91
Portland «93Final | Box
Denver75
Phoenix503rd Qtr | Box
LA Lakers47TV: TWC SN, D
LA Clippers332nd Qtr | Box
Golden State27TV: TNT
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego 8:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS/NFL Network
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
San Jose3Final | Box
Boston «5
NY Rangers «4Final(OT) | Box
New Jersey3
Toronto «5Final | Box
NY Islanders2
Detroit1Final(OT) | Box
Montreal «2
Arizona3Final(SO) | Box
Nashville «4
Carolina1Final | Box
Winnipeg «3
Philadelphia0Final | Box
Chicago «4
Vancouver3Final | Box
Dallas «6
Florida33rd Prd 11:33 | Box
Colorado3TV: FSN-FL, Altitude
Tampa Bay03rd Prd 4:21 | Box
Calgary1TV: SUN, SN-W
Full Scoreboard