Players Try to Close Tigers Open Lead
Still, even with the temperature not yet exceeding 60 degrees, its a far better situation than that of Friday.
Rain pelted players throughout their second rounds, never relenting, and forcing many to wonder why the siren never sounded to halt play.
'We would have stopped in most tournaments,' commented Davis Love III, who shot 1-over 71 to finish at 2-over-par. 'They could have stopped and nobody would have complained, let's put it that way.'
Fairways were flooded, squeegees were brought in to clear putting lines, mud encased Footjoys. It was a nasty scene, but one that officials felt the players could handle.
If the golf course is playable, and ladies and gentlemen, by that, we mean if the greens are playable, then we can play, said USGA Director of Rules and Competition Tom Meeks.
With rain a possibility both Saturday and Sunday, Meeks said he did everything Friday to stay on schedule. Many in the field of 155 agreed with Loves assessment that at most tour stops play would have been stopped. But Sergio Garcia took it a bit further.
If Tiger Woods had been out there, I think it would have been called,' Garcia accused.
Responded Meeks: I can assure you thats not true.
Woods teed off Friday morning, and under the same rain as Garcia shot 2-under-par 68 on the Black Course. He was the only player from the early groups to post an under-par score, and one of only four to shoot in the 60s for the day ' the other three sub-par scores came in the afternoon, when Sergio shot 74.
Thanks to his remarkable round ' one that left many in the field in awe ' Tiger takes a three-shot lead, at 5-under 135, into the weekend at Bethpage State Park. Irelands Padraig Harrington is the only other player in red numbers, having matched Woods 68 in the afternoon.
Garcia, meanwhile, is seven back, at 2-over. He experienced a bitter day all around Friday. Never looking comfortable ' he re-gripped his club nearly 30 times on his second shot of the round ' the 22-year-old Spaniard slammed his irons, tossed his putter and fought with fans.
The vocal, blue-collar New York crowd jeered Garcia on his re-gripping tick. It angered him so much that cameras caught him flipping an obscene gesture ' the middle finger ' to the count-happy crowd.
'The people have to realize that we're trying as hard as we can out there, and sometimes they make some stupid comments. There was the finger,' said Garcia. 'You can't control them, unfortunately, and there's going to be people like that everywhere in the whole world; if not, the world would be too perfect.'
Perfect may describe how players are going to have to perform to catch Woods. His victory gauge is approaching the red zone, reminding many of his 15-shot victory in the 2000 Open at Pebble Beach.
He may win by 20 this time, quipped Jesper Parnevik.
Friday, he wasnt accurate, but he was determined. He missed five fairways and six greens, but saved par from everywhere imaginable. And, for the second straight day, he concluded his round with a 20-foot birdie.
Tigers third round officially gets underway at 2:50 PM ET, when he will tee off alongside Harrington.
Many inside and outside the ropes have already crowned Woods Open King ' but not the Irishman.
Im really not interested in what hes going to do. Im interested in what Im going to do, he said. Im not going to intimidate him on the tee box (Saturday), thats for sure.
Harrington, a two-time European Ryder Cupper, has three career top-5 finishes in major championships. He tied for fifth in the 1997 British Open; tied for fifth in the 2000 U.S. Open (won by Woods); and tied for fifth in this years Masters Tournament (also won by Woods).
This will be the second time Harrington and Woods have played in the same twosome in a major. They first did so in the final round of last years Open ' when neither was in contention.
There can be a distraction factor. But Ive seen it before, said the three-time European Tour winner. There shouldnt be too much I wont expect (Saturday), but, obviously, that doesnt mean its easy to handle.
But if I play well with him, Ill play with him for two days.
Full-field scores from the 102nd U.S. Open
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18