Woods shares US Open lead at 1-under
By Doug Ferguson, AP
June 17, 2012, 12:09 am TWN
SAN FRANCISCO--There were no fist pumps for Tiger Woods, just a deep breath and a slow exhale. Jim Furyk walked most of the 7,170 yards at Olympic Club with his head down. David Toms couldn't think of a single shot he hit without his full attention Friday.
They were not the survivors of the U.S. Open. They were the leaders.
And it's no coincidence that all of them have been tested in the majors, none more often than Woods, who survived a patch of bogeys early in his round for an even-par 70 that took him another round closer to a 15th major title.
“I know that it takes a bit out of us, but so be it,” Woods said. “Much rather be there than missing cuts or just making the cut. So it's a wonderful place to be with a chance to win your nation's open.”
Just when this U.S. Open was starting to look like child's play, the trio of tested champions who took it back.
Woods overcame three straight bogeys on the front nine for an even-par 70. 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 Toms kept a steady presence in his round of 70.
They were at 1-under 139. Everyone else in the field was over par.
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. He 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.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy missed the cut for the fourth time in his past five tournaments. A year after setting a U.S. Open record with a 131 through 36 holes, he bowed out Friday after a 73 which gave him a two-day score of 150.
“It wasn't the way I wanted to play,” he said.
Also leaving San Francisco far earlier than anyone expected were Luke Donald, the world's No. 1 player, Masters champion Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson, coming off a win last week at the St. Jude Classic.
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. Even so, he was very much in the hunt two shots behind at 141, along with American John Peterson (70), Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium (69) and Michael Thompson of the U.S., the first-round leader whose 75 was nine shots worse.
The only regret for Woods was having to settle for a share of the lead.
Woods had won eight straight 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 since.