Phil Mickelson finished Day 2 of golf’s 2013 U.S. Open strong with a birdie to bring him to one-under par and in a tie for the lead with Billy Horschel.
Mickelson shot a 67 in the first round and entered the second alone at the top of the leaderboard. Horschel equaled his Day 1 effort with a 67 of his own. Lefty’s back-to-back bogeys on 12 and 13, giving him three bogeys on the outing, helped knot the two at the top of the standings.
Here is the leaderboard at the end of Day 2 and a reaction to the action.
Tiger Woods, who won his third and most recent U.S. Open in 2008, shook off Day 1 arm pain to shoot even on the day. The 2008 U.S. Open was also his most recent victory in a major championship, as he rides the longest drought of his career into Ardmore, Pa.
He will enter Saturday with a score of three-over par. That score prompted ESPN Stats & Info to predict his demise.
Tied for 17th and four strokes behind the leader, he must improve in the second half of the U.S. Open to come back and win the tournament. ESPN’s Justin Ray noted that such a comeback isn’t improbable. At a time when Woods was in worse shape, tied for 29th, Ray reminded his Twitter followers to not forget how last year's champion won the Open.
According to Official World Golf Ranking, Billy Horschel is the 50th best player in golf. His position on the leaderboard would suggest he’s better than that. He sits at No. 2 after hitting three-under par on Friday and one-over par for the tournament.
Golf Digest’s Dan Jenkins compared Horschel’s outstanding outing to the rest of the field’s.
One key reason to Horschel’s success was his ability to hit greens, as ESPN’s Trey Wingo noted.
Given that Horschel is not a household name, but ranked the No. 50 player in the world, ESPN’s Rick Reilly felt obligated to provide a quick bio of the golfer.
Mickelson shares the U.S. Open lead now, but ESPN Stats & Info tweeted numbers that suggest Mickelson shouldn’t feel comfortable.
Not only are those numbers against Lefty, but his momentum is dwindling after shooting a 72 on Day 2. Ray countered with his own numbers, though, which suggest Mickelson's odds are high to hold his lead.
Mickelson has never won the U.S. Open, but he’s finished second five times. He’s in position to either break the former trend or continue the latter.
Luke Donald shared the lead at one point in the second round. He hit three birdies in a span of five holes on Friday, but that was only to undo the four straight bogeys he hit earlier.
The Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein reported how Donald described his Day 2 performance.
The former World No. 1 has never won a PGA Tour major, and the highest he’s ever finished at the U.S. Open is tied for 12th. Sitting tied for third, he—like Mickelson—is in position to shake the losing streak he rode into the tourney.
Several competitors didn't finish Round 2 due to a late start after Thursday's delay. The tournament's official Twitter account reported that play will resume at 7:15 ET on Saturday.
That is when, Ian Poulter, Cheng-Tsung Pan and Michael Kim—who were all shooting one- or two-under par and in the top eight when play ceased on Friday—will attempt to continue their climb up the leaderboard.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.