Friday proved to be an exhaustively long day for all involved in the 100th U.S. Open. Eighty-one players were forced to complete their first rounds early in the morning, many of who were out on the range by 5:00am PT. But due to reoccurring fog, the completion of the opening round didn't begin until 8:15am PT.
While some were finishing their first 18 holes, others were simultaneously beginning their second rounds. And though the fog was relatively non-existent, the wind certainly compensated.
One-by-one, group-by-group, players made their way out onto a biting Pebble Beach golf course. But apparently, Mother Nature is a Tiger Woods fan. Thursday, she withheld her full impact until Woods was safely in the Pebble Beach clubhouse. Friday, she blew hard for the better part of the day, and then receded before Tiger could begin his second round. Sitting back peacefully, Mother Nature became one of us -- a watcher of the world's number one player.
After waiting nearly 30 hours between stroking the final putt of his first round and hitting the first shot of his second round, Woods was ready to go. He had spent his day sleeping, eating and working out. Now it was time to play.
Woods got his round going by making a 20-foot par save on the par-4 2nd. Leading by two, Woods sank a 30-footer for birdie on the 3rd, but gave the stroke right back on the 4th. Tiger rebounded with back-to-back birdies on the par-5 6th and par-3 7th, but dropped another shot at the 9th.
As Tiger made the turn, he led Jimenez by two shots. However, Woods wasn't content.
'I wanted to get one more coming in after making the bogey at nine,' Woods said after his round.
Tiger got that 'one' at the par-4 11th. After receiving a fortunate bounce off a greenside mound, Tiger confidently sank a three-foot birdie putt to move to 8-under-par for the tournament.
At 8:15pm PT, officials suspended second round play. But, since there was no imminent danger, players were allowed to complete the holes they were on. Tiger chose to do so, calmly hitting his tee shot on the 191-yard, par-3 12th to 30 feet.
'On 12, I just wanted to get (my first putt) close,' said Woods. 'I just wanted to get out of dodge and it went it.'
Tiger's fifth birdie of the day moved him to 9-under-par for the tournament, three shots clear of Jimenez. The Spaniard teed-off an hour-and-a-half after Tiger, making pars on his first five holes of the day. Jimenez's first and only birdie, thus far in the second round, came on the par-5 6th. That six-footer allowed Jimenez to finish his day at 6-under-par through seven holes.
Jimenez isn't the only European near the top of the leaderboard. Dane Thomas Bjorn went out in 3-under-par 32, and eventually finished the day at two-under through 16 holes. He's tied with Argentine Angel Cabrera, who at one point was at 4-under-par, before bogeying the 8th and 9th.
Only 99 of the 155 players in the field have completed their second rounds. One of those is Kirk Triplett, who at 1-under-par is the low man in the house. Triplett made his way to five-under for the tournament through eight holes, but posted one bogey, two doubles and one birdie over his final ten holes.
John Huston started the day at 4-under-par, just two off the lead, but began his second round by triple-bogeying the par-4 7th. Huston's day consisted of one triple, one double, four bogeys and five birdies. In all, he accounted for a 4-over-par 75 to complete 36 holes at even par.
Due to the multiple delays over the first two days, Woods was able to showcase his talents in prime time. In fact, Tiger went head-to-head with his beloved Los Angeles Lakers, who were playing the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 of the NBA finals. Fortunately for Woods, he fared much better than L.A. The Lakers lost 120-87.
When asked whom he thought won the ratings war -- basketball or golf -- Tiger responded: 'I think we did pretty good since it was a blow-out, which I'm not happy about. But, we're going home.'
Yes, the Lakers are headed back to Los Angeles with a three games to two lead in a best-of-seven series. It will take a minor miracle for Indiana to conquer L.A. It might take the same to top Tiger.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUMBERS
*Completion of the second round is expected to begin at 6:30am PT.
*Bobby Clampett, who shot 68 in the first round, made several par saves on the front-9 to remain in red figures on Friday, but bogeyed three of the seven holes he completed on the back-9. Clampett is 1-over-par for the tournament through 16 holes of his second round.
*Only four players posted a second-round score under par: Lee Porter (70), Woody Austin (70), Joe Daley (69) and Dave Eichelberger (69). Daley shot 83 in the first round. Eichelberger is the reigning U.S. Senior Open champion.
*In what he says will be his final U.S. Open appearance, Jack Nicklaus shot an 11-over-par 82. It is his highest score in 160 career U.S. Open rounds.
*Likewise, Greg Norman shot 82 on Friday. It is also his highest score at the Open.
*The projected cut is at 7-over-par. Players who won't be playing on the weekend include Davis Love III (+12), Nicklaus (+13) and Norman (+17). Love only made one birdie in the 36 holes he played.