Tiger Woods, sticking to a conservative, patient game plan on a dried-out Olympic Club course, overcame a string of three straight bogeys to share the U.S. Open 2012 lead heading into weekend play in San Francisco.
Woods shot even-par 70 yesterday to follow his opening- round 69 and is tied with fellow Americans Jim Furyk and David Toms at 1 under overall. Woods will be paired today with 2003 U.S. Open winner Furyk, his frequent partner in Ryder Cup and President’s Cup matches. The duo is scheduled to tee off at 3:05 p.m. local time.
“I’m in a good spot,” Woods told reporters. “I’m looking forward to it.”
For two days, Woods frequently has dismissed his driver in favor of long-flying irons on the majority of his tee shots to avoid thick rough lining the course’s fast-rolling fairways. The plan has worked so far. He leads all players with a driving accuracy of 75 percent, hitting the fairway 21 of 28 times.
“It’s one thing to game plan, but you also have to execute the game plan,” Woods said. “I’ve done a pretty good job of that for the first two days.”
Woods, who is seeking to end a four-year winless drought with his 15th major golf title, briefly held the lead by himself early in yesterday’s round when he sank a five-foot birdie putt on the par-3 third hole.
One hole later, he began a stretch of three straight bogeys that left him at 1 over — three shots off the lead at one point. He had a three-putt bogey on the seventh, a hole that has surrendered 105 birdies over two days, when he knocked a six- foot birdie putt four feet past the hole and missed the comeback attempt.
“It was a tough little stretch,” Woods said.
He recovered with birdies on the 10th and 13th holes to regain a share of the lead with Furyk and Toms, the 2001 PGA Championship winner.
Toms, a 13-time winner on the U.S. PGA Tour, had missed the 36-hole cut in his previous two tournaments.
“Just to be able to turn it around and play really solid golf after the way I’ve played has been nice,” Toms told reporters.
Beau Hossler, a 17-year-old high school junior from Southern California, briefly held the tournament lead at 2 under yesterday before making three bogeys and a double bogey in a five-hole span.
“I felt I was getting into a little bit of a zone,” Hossler, who has braces on his teeth, told reporters. “Unfortunately I kind of lost it coming in.”