Thursday, December 25, 2014

U.S. Open update: Woods moves into tie for lead

Tiger Woods saved par out of the bunker on the 18th hole Friday to conclude a round of 70 that gave him a share of the lead at the halfway mark of the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club.

U.S. Open update: Woods moves into tie for lead

SAN FRANCISCO – Tiger Woods saved par out of the bunker on the 18th hole Friday to conclude a round of 70 that gave him a share of the lead at the halfway mark of the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club.

Woods, a three-time Open champion, sank a 4-foot putt after blasting out of a bunker front the green at 18 to finish at par and completed 36 holes at 1-under 139.

Seeking his 15th career major championship but first since the 2008 Open, Woods was deadlocked with Jim Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open winner, and David Toms, who won the 2001 PGA Championship.

Furyk, who played his junior golf in the Lancaster area, fired a 69 while playing in the morning half of the draw. Toms, who teed off two groups behind Woods in the afternoon, matched Woods’ 70.

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A group of four players were at 141, including first-round leader Michael Thompson and 2010 Open champion Graeme McDowell. Thompson, who carded a 66 in the first round, followed with a 75 Friday.

Woods struggled early in the round with consecutive bogeys at the fifth, sixth and seventh holes. But he got one of those shots back by draining a 25-foot birdie putt at No. 10, and another with a 6-foot putt for birdie at the par-3 13th.

Given his length, Woods appeared to have an excellent chance to birdie one of the back-to-back par-5’s late on the back nine but could only make pars.

He hit his second shot at 16 into a bunker but couldn’t get up and down for birdie. Then at 17, a shorter par-5, his second shot rolled over the green to the right and down a steep embankment. He pitched to 12 feet from the hole but missed the birdie putt.

Toms, who was tied for second place with Woods after the first round, went 2-over on the front nine but got the two shots back later in the round with birdies at the 11th and 13th holes.

Seventeen-year-old Beau Hossler birdied the 17th and first holes to take the lead for a time at 2-under. But he made a double bogey and four bogeys in his last seven holes and finished with a 73 and a 143 total.

Phil Mickelson birdied the 18th hole to assure he would make the cut. He shot a 71 for a 7-over 147 total.

--Joe Juliano

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