With the sun shining through in Pennsylvania for the second round of the 2013 U.S. Open, we didn't have any of the delays or suspensions of play on Friday that we saw during Thursday's opening round.
Unfortunately for the field, that didn't make Merion Golf Club's East Course any easier.
Some have been raving about the course as being one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, on the PGA Tour this season. Among those was Lee Westwood, who had this to say following his day on Thursday:
Others, like Zach Johnson, aren't so thrilled:
No matter your stance on the issue, there are now two more days of golf at Merion, and a relatively pedestrian score at the Open looks to be enough to give golfers a nod toward contention this week at the second major championship of the season.
With a mind toward those of you who take home a pretty penny by picking winners, score projections and other aspects of golf tournaments through majors like these, here's a look at three aspects of the tournament you're likely already keeping an eye toward.
For those into casual betting, here are three tips to get you by the rest of the way.
2013 U.S. Open Leaderboard
*For complete look at leaderboard, check out PGATour.com.
Betting Tips for Day 3
Stick with Billy Horschel
Billy Horschel is on the doorstep at Merion in large part because his three-under 67 was the best on the course when his day was done.
Stick with the young man—he's earned it after two rounds. ESPN's Trey Wingo had some notable numbers from his second-round action on Twitter:
After opening up with a two-over 72 in Round 1, Horschel charged back with four birdies and one bogey during Round 2. The most impressive stat from his round? The consistency with his irons and on the approach. Wingo had the mind-blowing stat:
While his U.S. Open performance so far has been really impressive, this is nothing new for Horschel. Since the Houston Open in March, he's been in the top 10 in five of his last seven tournaments, including a win at the Zurich Classic.
I'll say it again—stick with Horschel not only because of his strong U.S. Open so far, but because he's really starting to emerge as a PGA Tour pro.
Take the Under (or Over, depending on your perspective)
Merion has been killer this week—not in a good way for the golfers on the course for the final two days.
Look no further than this tweet from ESPN's Justin Ray in the waning stages of Round 2 to see that just finding the bottom of the cup in regulation has been like birdieing on holes at other courses these golfers have tackled this season:
Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel had another description:
While prop bets on the Tour aren't exactly the most popular ones, any kind of projection about the winning golfer's final score should scare you away from a high number.
Merion hasn't been friendly to anyone currently still in the field, and that should continue over the final two days of action. The winner and other contenders will emerge by picking out the little, important things to correct and capitalize on when on the course.
While I think the winning score will be somewhere around four-under, I would still stay away from anything lower than that. Heck, even that might be too high.
Don't Sleep on the Stars
Despite all of the heavy press on the course, the weather and talk about how we might have a first-time winner at the U.S. Open for the fifth straight season, the stars are still shining brightly enough to attract a few viewers over the final two days.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are both sitting at three-under, and while that might be the cut line at another major later in the year, it's only a few strokes off the pace at a tournament like the U.S. Open this year.
Both golfers rebounded from having to play more than 18 because of the stoppage in play on Thursday, shooting rounds of 70 in Round 2 after closing out Round 1 to the tune of a 73.
These aren't just any golfers we're talking about—Woods and McIlroy both have worldwide fame, are the poster boys for Nike these days and are one-two in the World Golf Rankings.
Woods was hurting after his first round but managed to hang tough with a better score on Friday with the weekend in sight.
History doesn't side with Tiger (via Ray), but you shouldn't sleep on him or McIlroy over the final two days.
Woods has the most wins on Tour this season, and although his poor major record when having to climb back from a deficit isn't exactly a glowing recommendation, he's still the best golfer on the planet when dialed in.
Someone has to get dialed in on Saturday and Sunday—why not these two guys? The field is wide open, and there's no telling who will come out on top of the second major of the 2013 season.
Follow Bleacher Report FC Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.
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