It’s going to be a long day.
McIlroy, Mickelson and Spieth Get to Try Again
The “super group” of major championship winners Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy didn’t live up to expectations on Thursday, but its members should have a better chance to redeem themselves Friday.
They benefit from an afternoon tee time; conditions have cleared up considerably from the day before and this morning. The rain has stopped and the wind has died down. While the greens might not have soaked up all that much moisture (it didn’t rain that hard), they may still be slower than yesterday.
That’s good news for this trio that will be fighting to make the cut for the weekend. McIlroy (+10) has work to do and will need to improve on his poor driving accuracy from Thursday (7 of 14 fairways hit).
Spieth (+8) and Mickelson (+7) are right around the cut line, but that’s not where they want to be. Tommy Fleetwood shot 66 and Dustin Johnson posted a 67, so there are low scores out there today. We’ll see if anyone from the “super group” can snatch one.
No. 18: Back-to-Back Birdies But Not Enough
Who is this birdie machine, and what have you done with Tiger Woods?
I kid, I kid. But it’s a great end to a pretty miserable tournament for Woods, who birdied eight and nine with sizable putts on each to get back to 10-over par. We’ll have to see if it’s enough for Tiger to make the cut (he’s currently tied for 101st). If not for the calamitous first hole, Woods wouldn’t be sweating it. It was nice to see his putter finally start to wake up at the end there.
All in all, it was a disappointing showing for Tiger in his first appearance back in the U.S. Open since 2015. Marking the 10-year anniversary of his last major title, Woods compounded mistakes on the first hole (twice), missed the fairways a bit too often and simply could not deliver putts when he needed them. But he hung tough and even flashed some smiles toward the end of today’s round.
No. 17: Too Little, Too Late?
Desperate for a birdie (and a miracle) to make the cut, Woods had a nice little wedge shot from 120 yards out to give himself a good look for a three. And, hey, would you look at that! He finally made a putt from 10+ feet. It looks to be too little, too late, but at least it’s a flash of what we used to see regularly from Mr. Woods.