By Ann Liguori
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After a crazy day of golf that kept fans on the edge of their seats until the very end, three guys lead the tournament at 1 under, heading into the weekend – Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods and David Toms. Jim Furyk, with an early start and a ‘1 under 69,’ watched from the clubhouse as Tiger grinded out an ‘even par 70’ on Friday (three birdies and three bogeys). David Toms was steady, also shooting an ‘even par 70.’
The 17th hole could have been disastrous for Tiger had he not hit the perfect recovery shot. His approach shot hit hard and rolled all the way down the hill to the right. Tiger had to navigate the height of the slope, the trees and know exactly where to place it on the green. He was able to hit a delicate pitch shot up the hill that landed where it needed to land on the green to roll approximately ten feet from the hole. He narrowly missed the birdie, paring the hole. It was a tricky shot and a superb recovery.
“I thought I threw it up high enough to land it soft enough but evidently I didn’t,” said Tiger, about his approach shot. “And then I’m down there in a spot where it is tough to get it close and I thought I did a pretty good job at that.”
The Tiger show in the afternoon was interrupted by a 17-year-old amateur named Beau Hossler, a high-school senior at Santa Margarita High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, who grabbed the attention during the bright sunshine of Friday afternoon when birdies on two out of three holes moved him to the top of the leaderboard.
Hossler, who’s playing in his second straight U.S. Open as an amateur, grabbed a tie for the lead with Tiger, Furyk and Michael Thompson at ‘1 under’ at one point and then enjoyed the sole lead when his birdie on the first hole, his 11th hole, moved him to ‘2 under.’ Aside from smiling, he looked unfazed, as if sharing the spotlight with Tiger and Jim Furyk was no big deal. Hossler finished with a ‘plus three, 73’ for the day and at ‘plus three’ for the tournament, he is only four shots back.
Phil Mickelson birdied the 18th, draining a downhill putt to the delight of the fans, carding a ‘plus one 71,’ and at ‘plus seven,’ is eight shots back. Bubba Watson, at ‘plus nine,’ missed the cut.
Defending champing Rory McIlroy, at ten over, is going home. Luke Donald, at plus 11, exits early as well.