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Mickelson Shares Lead

2nd round suspended due to darkness

June 15, 2013
By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

ARDMORE, Pa. - Phil Mickelson made his first birdie on his last putt. Billy Horschel never missed a green. It was all they could do to barely break par against Merion, which is turning out to be the real star of this U.S. Open.

Nearly half the field did not finish the second round when it was suspended by darkness. Moments after the horn sounded to stop play, Mickelson opted to finish his round and drilled a 20-foot birdie putt for a 2-over 72. That gave him a share of the clubhouse lead with Horschel, who made it as easy as possible by hitting every green in regulation for a 67.

They were at 1-under 139.

Article Photos

Phil Mickelson watches his shot from the fifth fairway during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament on Friday. He ended the day tied for the lead with Billy Horschel.

Even with the round not finished, it was becoming clear that this U.S. Open might be up for grabs until the very end. Tiger Woods, who grimaced with every shot out of the rough because of pain in his left elbow, was at 3-over 143 and still very much in the game.

"I don't know how anyone is going to separate too far from the field," Mickelson said. "There might be a hot round tomorrow, and they might get a hot round on Sunday, but unlikely to be the same player."

No one was hotter than Horschel, playing in his first U.S. Open since he was a 19-year-old in college.

Fact Box


At Merion Golf Club, East Course

Purse: TBA ($8 million in 2012)

Yardage: 6,996; Par: 70

Partial Second Round

Billy Horschel72-67-139

Phil Mickelson67-72-139

Luke Donald68-72-140

Steve Stricker71-69-140

Justin Rose71-69-140

John Senden70-71-141

Nicolas Colsaerts69-72-141

Mathew Goggin68-74-142

Tiger Woods73-70-143

Rory McIlroy73-70-143

G. Fernandez-Castano71-72-143

Ernie Els71-72-143

Matt Bettencourt72-71-143

Geoff Ogilvy74-70-144

Bo Van Pelt73-71-144

Edward Loar73-71-144

Russell Knox69-75-144

Scott Langley75-70-145

Kyle Stanley71-74-145

K.J. Choi70-76-146

Continued from Page 9

Jamie Donaldson73-73-146

Webb Simpson71-75-146

Hideki Matsuyama71-75-146

Paul Lawrie76-71-147

Lee Westwood70-77-147

Carl Pettersson72-75-147

Adam Scott72-75-147

Bio Kim72-75-147

Bubba Watson71-76-147

Matt Kuchar74-73-147

David Howell77-71-148

Peter Hedblom70-78-148

Martin Kaymer76-72-148

a-Michael Weaver74-74-148

Kevin Chappell72-76-148

Josh Teater74-74-148

Steven Alker73-75-148

Alistair Presnell73-75-148

Morten Orum Madsen74-74-148

Jim Herman76-72-148

Dustin Johnson71-77-148

Brandt Snedeker74-74-148

Justin Hicks76-73-149

a-Chris Williams75-74-149

Michael Thompson71-78-149

Brian Stuard75-75-150

Morgan Hoffmann76-74-150

Casey Wittenberg79-71-150

Kevin Streelman72-78-150

a-Steven Fox76-74-150

Zach Johnson74-77-151

D.A. Points77-74-151

Sang Moon Bae77-74-151

a-Gavin Hall74-77-151

a-Max Homa73-78-151

Brendan Steele76-76-152

David Toms75-77-152

Marcus Fraser79-73-152

Francesco Molinari78-74-152

Luke Guthrie73-79-152

Brandon Brown75-77-152

Keegan Bradley77-75-152

Marc Leishman78-75-153

Graeme McDowell76-77-153

Thongchai Jaidee79-74-153

Branden Grace70-83-153

Jordan Spieth77-76-153

Jung-Gon Hwang75-78-153

Estanislao Goya71-83-154

Scott Piercy78-76-154

Eddie Pepperell77-77-154

Jesse Smith73-81-154

Darren Clarke80-75-155

Angel Cabrera74-81-155

Jose Maria Olazabal75-81-156

Jim Furyk77-79-156

Joe Ogilvie75-81-156

Russell Henley77-80-157

Adam Hadwin81-76-157

Thorbjorn Olesen79-79-158

Yoshinobu Tsukada78-80-158

Zack Fischer82-76-158

Matt Harmon78-81-159

Brandon Crick81-78-159

John Nieporte78-84-162

Ryan Sullivan81-82-163

a-Grayson Murray83-81-164

Louis Oosthuizen75-WD

Nothing is tougher than Merion, the little course in the tony suburbs of Philadelphia that even in rain-softened conditions is showing plenty of might. And to think there was chatter at the start of the week about the potential for the first 62 in major championship history.

"Perhaps next time you guys will believe when we say it's really not that easy that it's really not that easy," Geoff Ogilvy said after a 70. That put him at 4-over 144, which gave him and dozens of others a legitimate shot going into the weekend.

Luke Donald (72), Justin Rose (69) and Steve Stricker (69) were at even-par 140.

The surprise were a pair of amateurs - Michael Kim of Cal and Cheng-Tsung Pan of Taiwan. They were 2 under for their round and among those who didn't finish.

The long day, brought on by storm delays on Thursday, began with cool conditions and patches of light rain that eventually gave way to sunshine. That led players to wonder how much tougher Merion will be once it starts to dry out.

"It's not as easy as people think," defending champion Webb Simpson said after a 75 put him six shots behind the clubhouse lead. "I heard 15, 16 under floating around. And it's going to be a normal U.S. Open winning score, I think."

Horschel hit all 18 greens in regulation, a stellar achievement at a regular tour event, let alone the U.S. Open. It sent USGA officials searching for hours to find the last time anyone failed to miss a green in the toughest test in golf. Records of that detail only go back as far as 1989. That last documentation of someone doing that was Johnny Miller when he closed with a 63 at Oakmont to win in 1973.

David Graham used his putter on every hole - three from the fringe - when he shot 67 to win the 1981 U.S. Open at Merion.

"I didn't know I hit every green until I walked off 18," Horschel said. "It's a cool thing. But like I said, it's not the first time I've hit all 18 greens. I've done it plenty of times in my career. Obviously, it's at a U.S. Open, but I think the softness of the greens helped that."

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