The sky has cleared and the chase is on at the U.S. Open.
After a rain-soaked first two days at Merion Golf Club, Phil Mickelson and Billy Horschel held the lead after two rounds at 1-under. Horschel hit all 18 greens in regulation during his second round en route to the top of the leaderboard, according to Golfweek.
"I wasn't in the zone, I was just focused on what I tried to do," Horschel said of his impressive second round, via The Associated Press. "I didn't know I hit every green until I walked off 18. It's a cool thing."
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Tiger Woods begins the third round tied for 13th at 3-over par. Aside from battling the course and the field, Woods is also playing with an elbow injury. Despite showing visible discomfort, Woods managed to shoot an even-par 70 on Friday. He tees off at 1:56 p.m. EST with Rory McIlroy and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano while Mickelson and Horschel headline the final group at 2:40 p.m. EST.
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Will the co-leaders hold on to their advantage? Will Tiger or Rory be able to close the gap? Or will another contender emerge to tame Merion?
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Phil Mickelson is the only man under par (-1) through 54 holes. "This is a HARD challenge, but its a lot of fun." #usopen— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) 5 years ago
The 18th hole yielded NO birdies, but 10 double bogeys or worse today. Victims include Luke Donald, doubling to post 71. #usopen— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) 5 years ago
Phil's second shot rolled onto the green but kept going and stopped on the rough. It was a tough placement and his third shot, a chip, didn't put him in a good position to save par. His putt was right on the line but stopped JUST short of the hole for a bogey. He's now -1 and atop the leaderboard by himself. He's the only man under par.
It's been A Tale of Two Nines for Mickelson today. From the rough he struggled on the front. From the fairway on the back, he's scoring.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) 4 years ago
Phil sinks a birdie from about 10 feet away to take the lead after Luke Donald bogeyd. Phil is alone atop the leaderboard. Crowd went wild.
Phil played the break on 17 green perfectly with his tee shot, leaving his ball under the wicker stick for a great look at birdie.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) 5 years ago
Interesting ... Tiger and Phil both have seven birdies so far (Phil 3 holes to go). Tiger 16 bogeys and Phil 6.— Dave Shedloski (@DaveShedloski) 2 years ago
Phil barely misses another birdie putt on the 16th hole and again, he cannot believe it. The ball rolled as close as it could to the hole but went past the hole to the right. He's stunned.
Schwartzel and Mahan bogey and now Luke Donald is alone atop the leaderboard at -2. Phil, Justin Rose, Schwartzel and Mahan are at -1.
Phil barely missed a birdie putt on No. 15 and makes an easy par putt. It rolled to the right and left Phil saying, "Are you kidding me?"
Tiger has now gone 11 consecutive weekend rounds in a major without breaking 70, playing to a scoring average of 72.6.— Ron Sirak (@ronsirak) 4 years ago
Hunter Mahan has jumped into a tie for the lead with Charl Schwartzel and Luke Donald at -2. Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson remain at -1.
Tiger (76) and Rory (75) were paired together and gave everybody their money's worth: 14 bogeys between them--seven apiece.— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd) 4 years ago
Tiger finishes the third round with a bogey on the 18th and he's now +9 for the tournament.
"I kept looking at the leaderboard because it was so cool to see my name next to Mickelson, Donald, Schwartzel." --amateur Michael Kim— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) 5 years ago
Phil's 3rd shot on the 14th hole was a chip shot from the rough and it hit the flag stick! So close. The ball didn't roll too far away from the hole and he managed to save par. He's still at -1.
Charl Schwartzel -2 Thru 14
Luke Donald -2 Thru 13
Hunter Mahan -1
Justin Rose -1 Thru 13
Phil Mickelson -1 Thru 13
Steve Stricker E Thru 13
Billy Horschel E Thru 13
Ian Poulter +1 Thru 14
John Senden +1 Thru 13
Tiger was T-29 when he holed out yesterday and by day's end he was T-13. He's now +5 and +8 for overall, back to ... T-29. #usopen #merion— Dave Shedloski (@DaveShedloski) 2 years ago
Phil's second shot landed on the green but very far from the hole. His putt for birdie stopped close to the hole, giving him an easy par putt.
The 10th and 13th holes combined are 378 yards. Tiger played them today in 8 shots, 1 over par. #merion #usopen #notgettingitdone— Dave Shedloski (@DaveShedloski) 2 years ago
Worth pointing out - even NBC has stopped showing Tiger Woods. I can't remember the last time this has happened.— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) 4 years ago
Tiger had to settle for par on the 13th hole. He had birdied it the past two rounds. This just hasn't been Tiger's day. He's still 7+ for the tournament.
Phil gets right back in the hunt with a birdie putt on No. 11. He -1 now and just one stroke back from the lead.
Phil sinks his first birdie of the day from about 7 feet away on the 10th hole. Will that get him rolling?
Justin Rose leaves eagle inches short, taps in for birdie at 10 to get back to even par— Amanda Balionis (@Amanda_Balionis) 3 years ago
Another bogey for Tiger Woods, this time on the 12th hole. He's +7 overall and continues to fall down the leaderboard.
Phil had a long birdie putt on the ninth hole and it stopped just short of the hole. Easy par putt and he's still +1 overall.
Hottest player on the course is amateur Michael Kim (+1), reining @Pac12 POY. Three birdies in four holes to start his back nine. #usopen— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) 5 years ago