So much for the dream pairing. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, the top 2 players in the world, each gave a collective "mercy" to mighty Merion, finishing a combined +17 through 54 holes at the Open.
In fact, they were overshadowed by their playing partner, big-hitting Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, who finished with a 2-over 72.
"It is certainly frustrating because I certainly was feeling like I was playing well this week and I just didn't make the putts I needed to make," Woods said after his round.
Click here for a full transcript of Woods' post-round press conference.
Through 18 (7 p.m.): Tiger bogeyed 18, his seventh bogey of the round to finish +9 -- his highest 54-hole total ever at the U.S. Open. He was virtually invisible on NBC's coverage for the first time since ... ever. McIlroy parred 18 to finish at +8.
Through 17 (6:45 p.m.): Woods and McIlroy each shoot par on 17, and wonder what might have been.
Through 16 (6:30 p.m.): So much for a rhythm. Tiger missed a short par putt, something that has been plaguing him all day, and dropped another stroke. McIlroy was able to make par on the quarry hole, and remain at eight over. [Woods +8, McIlroy +8]
Through 15 (6:15 p.m.): Tiger appears to have found a rhythm, running off three straight pars, including one here at the 15th. McIlroy, however, continues to struggle as he bogeys and falls to +8 overall (+5 today). [Woods +7, McIlroy +8]
Through 14 (6:01 p.m.): Both players parred this hole, but remain 9 shots off the lead, now held by Schwartzel and Luke Donald (-2). It will be interesting to see how they fare down the tough home stretch. [Woods +7, McIlroy +7]
Through 13 (5:47 p.m.): Woods and McIlroy both parred the short par-3. it was the first time all week that Woods failed to make a birdie here. [Woods +7, McIlroy +7]
Through 12 (5:34 p.m.): The struggles continued on 12. Woods would make his second bogey in the last three holes, dropping him to +7 for the Open and +4 for the day.
McIlroy bounced back with a par, but with Charl Schwartzel making birdie on the 10th, both players are now nine strokes of the lead as they cross Ardmore Ave. to play the short par-3 13th. After that, the toughest stretch of holes on the course await the world's top two players. [Woods +7, McIlroy +7]
Through 11 (5:18 p.m.): After a well-placed drive down the middle, Woods avoided any trouble caused by the babbling brook that surrounds the 11th green with a wedge on his second shot, putting himself in great position for a birdie.
McIlroy was just past Tiger in the fairway, but failed to reach the green on his approach, landing in the bunker on the short side. He would go on to make a bogey.
Tiger lined up his birdie putt, but was unable to sink it and had to settle for par. That was a missed opportunity. [Woods +6, McIlroy +7]
Through 10 (5:03 p.m.): Woods was in great position in the fairway off the tee, with less than 100 yards to the flag. He landed safely on the green, but would three putt - including a miss from inside 4 feet - for a bogey, and drop to 6-over for the Open.
McIlroy would make par on the short 10th hole. [Woods +6, McIlroy +6]
Through 9 (4:44 p.m.): Woods parred the par-3 ninth hole, his third straight, to stay at three-over for the day. McIlroy bogeyed, however, to drop another stroke. [Woods +5, McIlroy +6]
Through 8 (4:29 p.m.): The eighth hole presented Tiger and Rory with a 359-foot par 4. Both were able to hit the fairway off of the tee, and both faced relatively short approach shots to the green.
With the third round closing in on its halfway mark, both golfers were looking to pick up some strokes. A sloping green hindered these efforts however, as neither was able to hit their long-length putt for birdie.
Woods and McIlroy both came away with a par. [Woods +5, McIlroy +5]
Through 7 (4:17 p.m.): McIlroy bounced back with a birdie on the par-4 seventh; a shot he desperately needed after two. Rory hit a clean shot off of the tee, and followed with a nice green approach.
Woods was also strong off of the tee, but much like yesterday, was forced to settle for a two-putt par. [Woods +5, McIlroy +5]
Through 6 (4:03 p.m.): Tiger missed the fairway off of the tee, landing in some light rough to the left side of the fairway. The tee shot put him in an uphill battle for the rest of the hole. Although he was able to hit out of the rough, he had to settle for bogey after a long par-putt sputtered slightly left.
McIlroy did not fair any better than Woods, as he again bogeyed. [Woods +5, McIlroy +6]
Through 5 (3:38 p.m.): McIlroy was looking to get a stroke back on this par 4 after a solid shot off the tee. Woods followed with a good shot of his own. Unfortunately, but the greens proved tough for the two, as they both bogeyed the hole. [Woods +4, McIlroy +5]
Through 4 (3:09 p.m.): Woods has been strikin the ball well off of the tee, which has enabled him to be in decent green position. Tiger had a long birdie attempt on this difficult par 5, but he laid it up and finished with a par.
McIlroy was also in prime birdie positon after a nice tee shot and green approach, but it was his putter that failed him this time. Despite what seemed to be an even line, Rory pulled the put slightly to the left, and was unable to claim his first birdie of the afternoon. He settled for par. [Woods +3, McIlroy +4]
Through 3 (2:44 p.m.): The third hole proved tough for both Woods and McIlroy. Rory continued his early struggled, again bogeying the hole.
Tiger failed to reach par or better for the first time this afternoon, dropping a stroke after missing a difficult par putt. He also bogeyed the hole. [Woods +3, McIlroy +4]
Through 2 (2:30 p.m.): McIlroy had a tough break off of the tee, as his first shot landed OB. This miscue gave McIlroy an uphill battle for the rest of the hole. Although he was eventually able to recover and put himself in decent putting position, he still had to settle for bogey.
Tiger put himself in a better position than McIlroy, as he set himself up with a difficult two-putt attempt for par, which he converted on. [Woods +2, McIlroy +3]
Through 1 (2:12 p.m.) Tiger came out looking sharp, hitting a swift shot off of the tee. He was aggressive on the green, reading a tough leaning putt to birdie his first hole of the afternoon. Tiger, who laregely let the game come to him throughout the first two days, may be looking to come out more aggressive.
McIlroy was also able to start the afternoon off with a birdie. [Woods +2, McIlroy +2]
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