The U.S. Open might be the one tournament in the world where you can shoot even par and walk away like you shot 6-under. And that’s exactly what Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy did today.
No, neither of those players made a run at the lead today. Both players started the day at 3-over and ended the day at 3-over. Both were under par at one point in their rounds but couldn’t keep the momentum going.
But when it was all said and done, both players will be moving up the leaderboard by not doing a heck of a lot other than matching their birdies with their bogeys in the second 18 holes. Sure, both guys would have loved to have posted a 66 Friday, but they are both likely satisfied with being in the clubhouse on 3-over while the afternoon wave played the golf course that is getting a little drier and a little tougher as the day goes along.
Phil Mickelson has a golden chance this afternoon. Already 1-over for his round through four holes, if Mickelson could somehow post a sub-70 round this afternoon he could start to stretch out a lead on the field, including Woods and McIlroy. But Merion doesn’t look like it will give up sub-70 rounds every easily today. So Woods and McIlroy may be closer to the lead at the end of the day than they were at the beginning of the round.