Tiger has major company, share of second-round U.S. Open lead

06/15/2012 11:43 PM

06/16/2012 12:49 AM

SAN FRANCISCO -- Just when this U.S. Open was starting to look like child's play, Tiger Woods led a trio of tested champions who took it back Friday.

Woods, another round closer to a serious shot at his 15th major, overcame three consecutive bogeys on the front nine for an even-par 70. Jim Furyk, nine years removed from his U.S. Open title outside Chicago, plodded his way around Olympic for a 1-under 69. Former PGA champion David Toms, the winner at Colonial a year ago, kept a steady presence in his round of 70.

They were the only three players who remained under par going into the weekend.

And they restored some sanity to the toughest test in golf after a brief, stunning moment when 17-year-old Beau Hossler found himself alone in the lead. The kid went 11 holes without making a bogey until he got lost in the thick rough and the trees on the brutal front nine of Olympic and had to settle for a 73.

That wasn't the only surprise.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy missed the cut for the fourth time in his last five tournaments. He set a U.S. Open record last year at Congressional with a 131 through 36 holes. He was 19 shots worse at Olympic, with a 73 giving him a two-day score of 150.

Also leaving far earlier than anyone expected were Luke Donald, the world's No. 1 player, Masters champion Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson, coming off a victory last week at the St. Jude Classic.

It doesn't take much at this U.S. Open to swallow up even the best players.

Woods had to be near his best just to break par.

"Well, that was not easy," Woods said. "That golf course was some kind of quick. ... You had to stay as patient as possible."

The leaders are at 1-under 139. Everyone else in the field was over par.

Graeme McDowell, the U.S. Open champion two years ago down the coast at Pebble Beach, dropped three shots on his last four holes for a 72. Still, he was very much in the hunt two shots behind at 141, along with recent LSU alum John Peterson (70) -- an ex-Fort Worth Paschal player and NCAA individual champion.

Also at 141 are Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium (69) and Michael Thompson, the first-round leader whose 75 was nine shots worse than Thursday.

Woods had won eight consecutive times when he had at least a share of the lead going into the weekend at the majors, a streak that ended at the 2009 PGA Championship when Y.E. Yang chased him down from four shots back. Woods hasn't seriously contended in the final hour of a major championship since then.

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