It's still anyone's game at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Penn., as the 2013 U.S. Open moves into the weekend.
The slow, dampened greens there are providing a challenge for the best golfers in the world. Tiger Woods specifically has struggled with his short game through two rounds. The world’s No. 1 golfer has also been battling a wrist injury that has significantly affected his approach to the green.
Can Woods and the other top golfers in the world catch the leaders this weekend? Or will two-time Open champion Phil Mickelson return stay atop the leaderboard and distance himself for good?
Thursday’s rain delay pushed back Friday’s action, so things got started late and went until sundown for the second consecutive round.
Where: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Penn.
When: Friday, June 14
Watch: ESPN and NBC
Full 2013 U.S. Open Leaderboard
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Phil Mickelson Hanging Tough
Lefty may control his own destiny over the weekend, but he will be going against history if he hopes to capture a third U.S. Open victory. ESPN Stats and Information laid out the significant odds against his chances of winning at Merion after he finished on top of the leaderboard following Day 2:
The key for Mickelson will continue to be his ability to save par. If he can get back to playing mistake-free ball while seizing big opportunities, he should be able to continue to keep himself in a position to contend for the title this weekend.
Luke Donald Struggles but Stays in Contention
The writing was on the wall for Luke Donald to have an off day on Friday. ESPN’s Justin Ray gave us some insight into how Donald follows a solid opening-round performance at a major tournament:
So, what went wrong for Donald on the second day at Merion? After taking sole control of the lead thanks to an impressive start, the Englishman melted down on the front nine.
He had beautiful back-to-back birdies and just one bogey on the back nine. However, after moving to the front for the second half of his day, Donald lost three strokes after piling up five bogeys.
The former leader set some poor performance records for himself in the process, according to ESPN’s Rick Reilly: