SAN FRANCISCO – It’s an all-American leaderboard at the U.S. Open with Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and David Toms all tied for the lead after two rounds at 1-under-par 139. Here are some nuggets and notes to whet your appetite as you prepare for the third round at The Olympic Club:
• Woods has come from behind to win tournaments (he did at the Memorial two weeks ago), but he has never come from behind to win a major championship when trailing after 54 holes. If he’s going to collect golden nugget No. 15, he needs to be leading Saturday evening.
• Of 42 previous 36-hole leads on the PGA Tour, Woods has converted 34 into victories. His most recent 36-hole lead led to victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this year. Of Woods' three U.S. Open victories, two have come after holding the 36-hole lead (2000, 2002). In 2008, he entered the weekend a shot behind Stuart Appleby.
• Woods can only rise as high as No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a victory. There was speculation that he could become No. 1 since Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy both missed the cut at the U.S. Open but that is not correct. No. 2 is the limit this week.
• Furyk is making his 67th major championship start and his lone victory came at the 2003 U.S. Open. His second-round 69 was his 25th round at par or better in 66 overall rounds at the U.S. Open. Furyk has just two missed cuts in the Open. He followed a missed cut in 2002 with victory in 2003. His only other missed cut was last year at Congressional.
• For weeks people have been predicting that the first six holes at Olympic would be the most difficult. Well, “people” were correct. Five of the six hardest holes are in the opening six-hole stretch including Nos. 1 and 6, which are tied for the most difficult at 4.554. Of the leaders Furyk is 1 under, Woods is even and Toms is 2 over on the opening stretch. Hang on for dear life early, have a chance to make birdies late.
• There is a premium on accuracy around Olympic. Furyk leads the field in greens in regulation at 75 percent (27 of 36) and Woods is third (25 of 36). Matt Kuchar is second in the statistic and he’s tied for ninth place. Hit greens to move up the leaderboard.
• The drivable par-4, 288-yard seventh hole was the second-easiest hole at Olympic Friday and it yielded more birdies (52) than any other. Furyk is the only one of the three co-leaders to cash in with birdie there. Toms made par and Woods made bogey. The hole will be pivotal over the weekend.
• Beau Hossler leads a group of three amateurs who made the cut this week and is tied for ninth place. Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay are tied for 59th. The U.S. Open has been won by an amateur eight times but not since 1933.
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