Tiger Woods wrested an even-par 70 from an unforgiving Olympic Club course on Friday to seize a share of the U.S. Open second-round lead alongside Jim Furyk and David Toms.
On a day when the testing conditions saw names rise and fall on the leaderboard in the blink of an eye, with even 17-year-old amateur Beau Hossler briefly taking the solo lead, it was a trio of battle-tested veterans who topped the leaderboard on 139 — the one-under total making them the only players under par after two rounds.
Woods, of course, is a 14-time Major champion, while Furyk won the 2003 U.S. Open and Toms won the 2001 USPGA Championship.
Olympic's Lake Course, with its small, sloping greens firming up minute by minute in the sunshine and crisp breezes of the afternoon, made Woods work for the share of the lead he regained after birdies at the 10th and 13th.
At the par-five 16th, he saved par from a bunker, where he popped out to about 15 feet despite an awkward stance.
At the par-five 17th, his approach rolled like a rocket through the green and down a steep bank at the back.
He spun his third shot up to about 10 feet and two-putted for par.
At 18 he was again on the fairway, but from there found the front greenside bunker. He blasted out and made his par-saving putt.
“That was not easy,” Woods said. “Just had to stay as patient as possible and I did a really good job of that today.”
Furyk made his way methodically around the 7,170-yard course to a one-under 69, while Toms posted a 70.
“I feel good about the score,” Furyk said. “I kept the ball on the fairway pretty well... I feel solid and in control so far.”
Furyk, who teed off on nine, rattled in a putt at the par-four seventh for the last of his three birdies on the day.
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell led the group sharing fourth place, two strokes back on one-over 141. — AFP