How it happened: Tiger tumbles, Phil leads

Tiger Woods during the third round of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club.

Tiger Woods during the third round of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club.

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12:14:48 AM ET. 04/17/2014




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Tiger Woods birdied his opening hole Saturday at the U.S. Open, but seven bogeys after that virtually ended his championship hopes.

Woods shot 6-over 76 to move to 9 over heading into Sunday's final round at Merion.

Phil Mickelson's title hopes, though, are alive and well, as Lefty leads at 1 under after carding an even-par 70. He'll play in the final group Sunday alongside Hunter Mahan, who is among three players at even par. Steve Stricker and Charl Schwartzel are the other two players who are one shot back.

A trio of players chasing their first major title are 1 over: Justin Rose, Luke Donald and Billy Horschel.

It should be an exciting final round at Merion, one that comes after a thrilling third round.

See how it all unfolded Saturday at Merion!

• • •

Update No. 28: 8:07 p.m. EDT

The par-4 18th continues to wreak havoc. Luke Donald double-bogeys the hole to finish with a 1-over 71. He'll enter Sunday at 1 over. Also, Phil Mickelson bogeyed the hole after leaving a 15-footer for par just short. Mickelson is the only player under par (1 under) through 54 holes after a third-round 70.

• • •

Update No. 27: 7:57 p.m. EDT

Justin Rose bogeys his final two holes, Nos. 17-18, and he'll enter Sunday at 1 over after shooting 1-over 71 today. Also, Steve Stricker makes a big par saver at No. 18 to shoot 70. He's even overall.

• • •

Update No. 26: 7:42 p.m. EDT

After Luke Donald bogeys No. 17 to fall back to 1 under, Phil Mickelson drains his 10-footer for birdie to move into the solo lead at 2 under.

• • •

Update No. 25: 7:39 p.m. EDT

Hunter Mahan bogeys No. 18 to wrap up a second straight 1-under 69. He's even for the championship. Charl Schwartzel also bogeys No. 18 and he shoots 69 to enter Sunday at even par.

• • •

Update No. 24: 7:35 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson delivers his best shot of the day at the par-3 17th as his tee shot rolls to about 10 feet of the cup.

• • •

Update No. 23: 7:33 p.m. EDT

After chunking a chip at No. 17, Justin Rose makes bogey at No. 17 to drop to even par.

• • •

Update No. 22: 7:26 p.m. EDT

After Luke Donald cozies a birdie putt at No. 16 to within a couple feet, Phil Mickelson has a good look at birdie. His approach, a blind one, left him about 12 feet for birdie. He leaves it just right to remain at 1 under, one shot behind Donald.

• • •

Update No. 21: 7:19 p.m. EDT

Just how tough is the 530-yard par-4 finishing hole? No. 18 is the only hole that hasn't yielded a birdie in the third round.

• • •

Update No. 20: 7:15 p.m. EDT

Hunter Mahan drops to 1 under after a bogey at No. 17. And then Charl Schwartzel does the same, missing an 8-footer for par to fall back to 1 under. Luke Donald is now your solo leader at 2 under.

• • •

Update No. 19: 7:12 p.m. EDT

Justin Rose (1 under) and Steve Stricker (even) each find the green at No. 16 from the rough. Both great shots, although Stricker is a little closer to the hole.

• • •

Update No. 18: 7:10 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson just missed a 20-footer for birdie at No. 15. He stays at 1 under. Also, Luke Donald misses a short birdie at No. 15 and he makes the longer comebacker for par to remain at 2 under.

• • •

Update No. 17: 7:04 p.m. EDT

Hunter Mahan, fresh off a birdie at No. 16 to move to 2 under, drives it right and into the rough at the par-3 17th. Co-leader Charl Schwartzel ends up in the right greenside bunker at No. 17.

• • •

Hole No. 18: Par 4, 530 yards

This hole is a tough one, so Tiger will have a challenge if he wants to end this round on a positive note.

Hole wrap-up: Tiger makes his seventh bogey of the day and he wraps up a 6-over 76. Rory made his par to shoot 75.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 6 over thru 18 (9 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Michael Kim bogeys No. 18 to wrap up a 1-over 71. He's 4 over for the championship after playing his last three holes today in 4 over par. Also, Phil Mickelson nearly chips in for birdie at No. 14, but it hits the flagstick and ends up about 5 feet away. He makes the par to stay at 1 under. And Hunter Mahan birdies No. 16 to join the leaders at 2 under.

• • •

Hole No. 17: Par 3, 254 yards

That short par miss just puts more salt in the wound for Tiger, who has two holes left – two holes that you can bet Tiger wants over with as soon as possible.

Hole wrap-up: Par for Tiger as he heads to his final hole of what has been a long, long round.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 over thru 17 (8 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Like Woods, Rory McIlroy hasn't fared well today, either. He's 5 over though 17 holes and 8 over for the tournament after missing a 10-footer for birdie at No. 17.

• • •

Hole No. 16: Par 4, 446 yards

Tiger has avoided the bogeys as of late, but no birdies mean Woods will enter Sunday out of contention.

Hole wrap-up: From the fairway, Tiger misses the green just right and it's in the rough. He then lips out a 3-footer for par and bogeys.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 over thru 16 (8 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Rickie Fowler birdies No. 10 to finish off a 3-under 67. He'll enter Sunday at 3 over. Also, Michael Kim three-putts for double bogey at No. 17 to fall back to 3 over. He's dropped three shots in his last two holes. Justin Rose gets to 1 under with a birdie at No. 13. That's his second birdie of the round.

• • •

Hole No. 15: Par 4, 397 yards

Pars just aren't good enough for Tiger, who needs a miracle finish today to have any shot at contending on Sunday.

Hole wrap-up: After making par on this hole in each of the first two rounds, Tiger makes par again.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over thru 15 (7 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Phil Mickelson makes back-to-back birdies, his latest coming at No. 11, where he buried a 12-footer to move to 1 under. Also, Hunter Mahan's tee shot at No. 13 ends up about 5 feet away. He has look at birdie to move to 1 under, and he gets it.

• • •

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 476 yards

When you don't birdie one of the easiest holes on the course, it's never a good sign.

Hole wrap-up: Another hole without a birdie for Woods, who hasn't birdied a hole since No. 1. He makes par here.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over thru 14 (7 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Phil Mickelson birdies No. 10 to move to even and Luke Donald follows suit with birdie to move into a share of the lead at 2 under. Also, amateur Michael Kim birdies No. 15 to move to even par. Hunter Mahan had an awkward stance near fairway bunker at No. 12, but made a long birdie to move back to even, too.

• • •

Hole No. 13: Par 3, 98 yards

Players have eaten up this hole today, but Tiger hasn't been very sharp with his wedge play today. With Tiger struggling, we'll turn our focus toward the top of the leaderboard, but we'll also keep track of Tiger's hole-by-hole progress.

Hole wrap-up: Tiger makes par for the first time this tournament at this short par-3. He birdied it in the previous two rounds.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over thru 13 (7 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Nicolas Colsaerts drains a 50-footer for birdie at No. 11 to move to 1 over. Jason Day also moves to 1 over after hitting his tee ball at No. 17 to within a few feet and making birdie.

• • •

Hole No. 12: Par 4, 403 yards

Nothing on or around the green is clicking for Tiger today. He and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano are all 3 over through 11 holes today, 6 over for the championship, while Rory McIlroy is 4 over today, 7 over overall.

Off the tee: Tiger finds the rough and will have a tough shot to the green.

Approach shot: Tiger can't find the putting surface with this one. His elbow is taking a beating today.

Around the green: Bad third shot for Tiger, who leaves this way short of the hole.

On the green: Tiger misses the long par and settles for bogey.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over thru 12 (7 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: After eight straight pars, Steve Stricker double-bogeys No. 9 to fall to 2 over. Also, Charl Schwartzel drains a tough 5-footer for birdie at No. 10 to move to 2 under. He leads Luke Donald by a shot.

• • •

Hole No. 11: Par 4, 370 yards

Tiger has 20 putts through 10 holes today. That's not going to cut it at the U.S. Open.

Off the tee: This is a birdie hole if you find the fairway and Tiger finds the short stuff.

Approach shot: Tiger sticks this one about 12 feet away. This is his first good look at birdie in a while.

On the green: Tiger misses this one right and makes par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over thru 11 (6 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: John Senden misses a short par at No. 8 and he drops his second shot in three holes. He's back to even as Charl Schwartzel and Luke Donald lead at 1 under. Also, amateur Michael Kim is 1 over now after birdies on Nos. 12-13.

• • •

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 280 yards

Now here's a hole where Tiger could get aggressive as it has been shortened to 3-wood range. But we could see Tiger play it safe, too, with the short-game troubles he's been having.

Off the tee: Tiger plays it safe and lays up.

Approach shot: This one isn't too good as Tiger hits it about 35 feet past the hole. He took a huge divot there, too.

On the green: This lag misses a good bit left and Tiger has a 3-footer left to save par. He misses that one, too. Ouch.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over thru 11 (6 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Big par save from Phil at No. 6 after finding the fairway bunker and failing to reach the green in two shots. He's 1 over, two shots back of the lead. Also, Jason Day is 2 under through 13 holes today after a birdie at No. 13 to move to 2 over.

• • •

Hole No. 9: Par 3, 231 yards

Tiger's short game is just plain off right now. He won't win if he keeps that up. He now gets another long par-3, a hole he bogeyed on Thursday.

Off the tee: He's on the green after this tee shot and he'll have a long birdie putt coming up.

On the green: Tiger misses this 25-footer left and taps in for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over thru 9 (5 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Charl Schwartzel just birdied No. 7 to get to 1 under. He's tied with Luke Donald for the lead after John Senden's bogey at No. 6. Also, Cal junior Michael Kim just birdied No. 10 to get back to 3 over. He's T-12 right now.

• • •

Hole No. 8: Par 4, 351 yards

Well, there's a pretty clean hole for Woods, who was coming off two straight bogeys. He needs to get some shots back before he reaches the last third of the golf course.

Off the tee: Another fairway for Tiger. Could he be finding a rhythm?

Approach shot: This one is pretty straightforward and Tiger lands it about 5 feet away before it spins back to about 15 feet.

On the green: Tiger misses this one a foot to the left and he settles for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over thru 8 (5 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Phil Mickelson drops another shot with bogey at No. 5. He's 1 over now. Billy Horschel also bogeys the hole to fall back to 1 over.

• • •

Hole No. 7: Par 4, 363 yards

Tiger's short game, most noticeably his chipping, has been off since the Memorial, and it's hurting him again here at Merion.

Off the tee: Tiger finds the fairway here at this short par-4.

Approach shot: Tiger also finds the green, and he'll have a 20-footer for birdie.

On the green: Tiger misses this one, but at least he doesn't bogey. Par here for Woods while Rory birdies No. 7 to get back to 5 over.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over thru 7 (5 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Luke Donald drains a big birdie putt at No. 4 to move to 1 under. He's tied for the lead with John Senden after Justin Rose just bogeyed No. 5.

• • •

Hole No. 6: Par 4, 477 yards

After a birdie at the opening hole, Tiger is 2 over in his last four holes. The main culprit? Missing greens. Both bogeys today have come after Tiger missed the green in regulation.

Off the tee: Tiger misses the fairway right and will have to challenge the rough – and his elbow – yet again.

Approach shot: Here's a big cut as Tiger muscles it out and lands it just shy of green. Looks like the elbow held up well there, or Tiger is getting better at tolerating the pain.

Around the green: Tiger elects to chip it and it's an awful one, rolling left left and back down the slope. He's further away from the hole now. His fourth shot, with putter now, rolls to about a foot.

On the green: Tiger taps in a second straight bogey.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over thru 6 (5 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Phil Mickelson just misses a par at the par-3 third and he drops to even par. Billy Horschel also bogeys the hole to fall to even. John Senden is now your solo leader at 1 under . . . that is, until Justin Rose made a birdie at No. 4 to move to 1 under.

• • •

Hole No. 5: Par 4, 510 yards

Tiger's left elbow is already giving him trouble evidenced by his second shot at No. 4. He'll definitely want to keep it out of the rough here at No. 5 after being in it twice the previous hole.

Off the tee: Tiger hits driver and finds the fairway. The ball looked like it might have come to rest in a pitch or divot mark, though.

Approach shot: Tiger can't reach the green, leaving it just short.

Around the green: Tiger decides to put from just off the green and it turns out to be a bad decision, as he leaves the long putt about 8 feet short.

On the green: This one won't be easy; downhill, lot of break, and Tiger leaves it low and left. Another bogey for Tiger.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 5 (4 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Birdies on Nos. 1-2 have John Senden now in a tie for the lead at 1 under, and he just missed a 10-footer for birdie at No. 3.

• • •

Hole No. 4: Par 5, 604 yards

Not what Tiger wanted there, but it's not the worst thing after that tee shot. He'll now move on to the second par-5 here at Merion. Tiger could go for it, too, with the hole being about 40 yards shorter than it was Thursday.

Off the tee: Tiger goes with driver and hits it right into the rough. It wasn't that far off the fairway, but here at Merion, that doesn't matter.

Second shot: Tiger goes from rough to rough as he lays up with his second shot. Note that Tiger's left elbow looked like it hurt him after that one.

Third shot: From the thick stuff again, Tiger finds the green, about 30 feet away from the hole.

On the green: Tiger leaves this long one a little left and he settles for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 4 (3 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Phil Mickelson just misses a birdie at No. 1 and he stays at 1 under. Billy Horschel also makes par to remain at 1 under. Also, Nicolas Colsaerts eagles the par-5 second hole after a double bogey at No. 1. Colsaerts is 1 over for the tournament.

• • •

Hole No. 3: Par 3, 245 yards

Note the best of third shots for Tiger, but he's playing well so far through two holes, especially on the greens.

Off the tee: It's 3-iron for Tiger and he leaves it short of the green, about 15 yards.

Around the green: Tiger isn't alone here, as Rory is also short of the green. Tiger hits it up to about 8 feet from the hole.

On the green: After seeing Rory leave his par putt short to fall to 4 over, Tiger runs his by and settles for bogey.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 3 (3 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: The leaders have now teed off as Billy Horschel, Phil Mickelson and Luke Donald are currently on hole No. 1.

• • •

Hole No. 2: Par 5, 556 yards

That's the start Tiger needed and now he gets a par-5 that he's birdied twice already.

Off the tee: After seeing Rory drive it out of bounds to the right, Tiger goes driver and it ends up just in the left rough.

Second shot: Tiger has to lay up and he finds the short grass.

Third shot: With a pitching wedge, Tiger hits the front part of the green and has it roll back nearly off the putting surface. He'll have a long one for birdie.

On the green: After Rory pitches to about 5 feet to set up a bogey, Tiger gives his long birdie try a good run and just misses. His par attempt is a little more than a tap-in, but he makes it.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 2 (2 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Ed Loar and Charley Hoffman are each 2 under early in their rounds. Both are also 2 over for the championship.

• • •

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 356 yards

Tiger is wearing a white shirt, black pants, white shoes and white hat. He's playing alongside Rory McIlroy for the first time on the weekend in a major. At 3 over, Tiger has a chance to put himself into contention with a good round today.

Off the tee: Tiger goes with iron off the tee and finds the fairway.

Approach shot: Tiger's approach lands about 20 feet past and spins back to about half that. Nice first two shots from Woods.

On the green: Rory McIlroy sinks his birdie putt to move to 2 over and Tiger follows suit, making a severe left-to-right breaking putt.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 1 (2 over for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Sergio Garcia, after three tee balls out of bounds, makes a 6-over 10 at the par-4 15th. Meanwhile, Rickie Fowler birdies the hole to move to 4 over.

• • •

Update No. 16: 1:50 p.m. EDT

Webb Simpson gets in trouble off the tee at No. 15 and he ends up with triple bogey. That drops him to 9 over. Also, Sergio Garcia just hit his seventh shot – off the tee – at No. 15 after his first three tee shots went out of bounds left.

• • •

Update No. 15: 1:38 p.m. EDT

Jason Dufner finds the water with his approach at the par-5 fourth for the second straight day. He would bogey the hole to drop to 8 over.

• • •

Update No. 14: 1:32 p.m. EDT

Lee Westwood birdies the par-3 13th to move to 6 over. Also, Scott Langley is 1 under through two holes today to move to 4 over.

• • •

Update No. 13: 1:23 p.m. EDT

After a big par save at No. 12, Rickie Fowler sinks a 7-footer for birdie at the par-3 13th to move to 5 over.

• • •

Update No. 12: 1:15 p.m. EDT

Adam Scott begins his third round by making a 20-footer for par at No. 11 to move back to 6 over. Bubba Watson has a much shorter birdie, but he can't convert. Waston remains at 7 over.

• • •

Update No. 11: 1:11 p.m. EDT

K.J. Choi horseshoes a par putt at the par-3 third and that results in his first bogey of the round. Choi is 7 over for the tournament.

• • •

Update No. 10: 1:09 p.m. EDT

Defending champion Webb Simpson starts his round with three straight pars and he's 6 over as he heads to No. 14.

• • •

Update No. 9: 1:02 p.m. EDT

The weather is nearly perfect out. The sun is shining, the winds have died down a little bit, but scoring conditions won't get much easier. The greens should get a little firmer and faster this afternoon. Two holes should be easier, though, as the par-5 fourth was moved up to 604 yards after being 640 yards in the first round. Also, the short par-4 10th is even shorter, 280 yards today. We could see some 3-woods reach the green there.

• • •

Update No. 8: 12:49 p.m. EDT

The third round has begun as two groups have completed one hole. Shawn Stefani bogeyed No. 1 while his playing competitor K.J. Choi made par at the opening hole. Also, Jamie Donaldson, Hideki Matsuyama and defending champion Webb Simpson all made part at No. 11. Remember, we have threesome going off of split tees– except for the first group going off of No. 1.

• • •

Update No. 7: 9:49 a.m. EDT

The third round will not begin until 12:28 p.m. with threesomes going off both sets of tees.

• • •

Update No. 6: 9:42 a.m. EDT

With just two players still left on the course who have any shot of making the cut, it's safe to say 8 over will be the cut. Matt Weibring just made par at No. 10 to just get into the weekend at 8 over. Ryan Nelson will need a birdie on No. 10 to make it.

• • •

Update No. 5: 9:20 a.m. EDT

Another bogey, at No. 15, drops Cheng-Tsung Pan back to 2 over. Most of the players inside the projected cut line of 8 over have completed 36 holes. Kevin Sutherland (6 over), amateur Kevin Phelan (6 over) and Ryan Nelson (5 over) are the other three in addition to Pan.

There are 73 players inside the projected cut line at 8 over and 56 players at 7 over or better, meaning that with few players still on the course, 9 over has no chance of making the cut. So amateur Chris Williams, Tim Clark, Michael Thompson, Matteo Manassero and Freddie Jacobson, all of whom are finished at 9 over will not be playing any more golf this weekend.

• • •

Update No. 4: 8:51 a.m. EDT

Right now, 76 players are at 8 over or better, but 59 of them are 7 over or better, meaning the cut line could move any minute now should Simon Kham, Jaco Van Zyl, Nicholas Thompson or Matt Weibring birdie to move from 8 over to 7 over.

• • •

Update No. 3: 8:40 a.m. EDT

A bogey at the par-4 14th by amateur Cheng-Tsung Pan drops him to 1 over. Also, Ian Poulter just wrapped up a second-round 71 and is 2 over for the tournament.

• • •

Update No. 2: 8:19 a.m. EDT

Right now the projected cut is at 8 over. Among those on that number are Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Martin Kaymer and amateur Michael Weaver, all of whom are finished with their second rounds. There is a legitimate chance the cut could move up to 7 over or down to 9 over, too. Among those at 7 over are Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar. Tim Clark, who shot 79 in his second round, Freddie Jacobson and Michael Thompson are among those at 9 over. None of the aforementioned players, except for Jacobson, are out on the course right now still trying to finish up their second round.

• • •

Update No. 1: 8 a.m. EDT

Amateur Michael Kim just bogeyed the par-4 fifth hole, his second straight bogey on the card, and he drops to even par for his second round, 3 over for the tournament. Fellow amateur Cheng-Tsung Pan is 2 under through 11 holes in his second round and at even par, is currently just one back of the lead.

• • •

Weather conditions

Sunny. Remember that word? Well skies cleared Friday and the sun is expected to keep shining Saturday. Wind shouldn't be a big factor and temps should be in the mid 60s to start the day with a high near 80. If this isn't the day the U.S. Open gets its timetable back on track, it shouldn't be Mother Nature's fault.

• • •

Friday

Mickelson retains lead despite tough day with putter

Phil Mickelson had plenty of short birdie misses Friday, but a 20-footer at No. 18 allowed Lefty to jump into a share of the lead with Billy Horschel as play was suspended because of darkness.

• Big names find big trouble Friday at Merion Golf Club

Some marquee names will not have a late tee time Saturday for the U.S. Open. In fact, some won't have one at all – including Graeme McDowell, Angel Cabrera, Keegan Bradley, Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson.

Horschel hits every green, finds U.S. Open lead

Hitting 18 greens in regulation in a round is so rare that the USGA is still researching how often it has been done in U.S. Open play.

Tiger shoots par for 2nd round; says arm hurt at Players

For the second day in a row, Tiger Woods grimaced in pain after several shots, his left arm clearly bothering him at times. Still, he pieced together an even-par 70 while playing 24 holes.

Early exits won't ruin qualifiers' U.S. Open experience

From 48-year-old John Nieporte to 18-year-old Gavin Hall, the qualifiers and amateurs in the U.S. Open field understand that the experience is worth much more than the results.

Putt for dough? Not Colsaerts, who contends nonetheless

The worst putter on the PGA Tour, Nicolas Colsaerts somehow remains a contender here in the U.S. Open, 1 over through 36 holes at Merion Golf Club.

Klein: 10 reasons why Merion is kicking back

Why is Merion Golf Club kicking serious butt? The first-round leader (Phil Mickelson) is only 3 under, with only five rounds completed in red and an average stroke score of 74.2. Our Bradley S. Klein offers up 10 reasons for Merion's toughness.

Notes: Westwood's wicker, Stanley's strategy, more

The first round finally finished in colder, wetter and windier conditions than Thursday's start, with players dropping shots and wondering what Merion had in store.

At even, Donald finally in contention at a U.S. Open

Luke Donald posted a 2-under 68 in the completion of the first round on Friday morning and followed it with a solid 2-over 72 to keep himself one shot off the clubhouse lead.

U.S. Open's first two days have been award-worthy

It’s time to take a look at some award-worthy performances during the first and second rounds of the 113th U.S. Open: Wicker to water, pain to preparation, and more.

• • •

Thursday

Rain, darkness give Woods seemingly needed pauses in U.S. Open first round

Tiger Woods wasn't floundering Thursday, but he wasn't excelling either – and twice play came to a stop when he might have needed some downtime to gather himself or rest a visibly irritated left wrist.

5 Things: Toughest and easiest holes; amateurs shined; more

Play came to a halt before the first round was completed, but not before scoring trends on some holes became clear. Also: Several amateurs shined amid the usual recognizable names of pros, plus more.

Legend of Amanda Mickelson grows after dad's first-round 67

Given that she’s eight days shy of her 14th birthday and has never swung a club professionally, it wouldn’t figure that Amanda Mickelson would be part of U.S. Open folklore. But she is. Twice.

Philly lets Garcia hear it; his strong play fights back

Sergio Garcia and at least one observer said there were far more cheers than jeers during Thursday's first round, but plenty of fans at Merion made it clear they weren't happy with his recent remarks at the expense of Tiger Woods' ethnicity.

Notes: Rules officials clear Stricker, Scott; Bradley struggles

Viewers called in about potential infractions involving Steve Stricker and Adam Scott, and both times players were cleared. Plus: Keegan Bradley's high score was surprising; Merion was able to stand up for itself; more.

Hogan's renowned 1-iron carries celebrity status at Merion

It doesn't get transported in a Brink's truck or enjoy Secret Service protection, but the famed 1-iron from Ben Hogan's clutch shot in 1950 got fans' attention everywhere it went.

Mickelson might see every club in bag tested, but driver isn't along for ride

The USGA takes pride in a U.S. Open course setup that tests a complete range of golfers' skills. But if Phil Mickelson's plan holds up, he'll succeed this week without an examination of the ol' 1-wood.

Weather could push Open to marathon Sunday finish

With stormy weather a certainty all day Thursday, USGA officials are facing the difficulty of getting all 72 U.S. Open holes in by Sunday. Once the rain clears out, the prospects look good for play to continue the next three days – before more rain that’s anticipated for Monday. That might mean a 36-hole final on Father's Day.

How it Happened: Tiger struggles, Donald leads as first round is suspended

Luke Donald made his way to the lead before his afternoon round could be completed, with five birdies and a bogey; Tiger Woods had more bogeys than birdies and also must finish his opening round in the morning.

• • •

Wednesday

Going low at Merion? History doesn't back it up

How low will they go at Merion? Many think that the U.S. Open scoring record is in jeopardy, but our Alex Miceli says that history doesn't support that sentiment.

5 Things: Repeat winner? Plus Merion's fateful five, more

As the final 24 hours begin to tick off the clock before the first official tee ball is sent into the air at the U.S. Open, there are plenty of storylines to watch as the 156-player field tries to tame the historic Merion Golf Club. Here are 5 Things to watch before Thursday's first round.

Rude: Reflecting on 75 straight majors

All the miles walked, notes taken and cheap cigars give our Jeff Rude reason to look back on 75 straight major championships.

Flying home, Homa enjoys U.S. Open spotlight

Max Homa was just one of the five-headed monster that was the Cal men's golf team. Now on his own, Homa is enjoying a coming-out party at the U.S. Open after earning the berth in thrilling fashion.

School's out, but learning sessions endure for Hall

Gavin Hall is still a week from high school graduation, but he's learning more about what he hopes to do with his life with his experiences at the U.S. Open this week at Merion.

• • •

Tuesday

Merion's 15th presents an infernal double-cross

On a Merion East Course famed for its very long holes and very short holes, the 15th fits neatly into the middle – and is simply masterful in showing how angles of play can be mind-bending.

For family, Mickelson ducks away from soggy Merion

Phil Mickelson decided a while back to be home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., on the Wednesday before the first round of the U.S. Open to attend his daughter Amanda’s graduation from eighth grade.

Woods on winning majors: 'It wasn't ever easy'

Tiger Woods, surprised by niece-turned-interviewer Cheyenne Woods during his press conference, addressed the Sergio Garcia situation, Merion's sloppy conditions and what drives him to success.

Q&A: Webb Simpson, 2012 U.S. Open champion

The defending U.S. Open champion reveals how he switched gear before he won his first major – and says he's not afraid to give up anchored putting.

Sisk, 48, brings perspective to U.S. Open mix

Geoff Sisk entered the U.S. Open local qualifier in an attempt simply to get a competitive round under his belt. A few short weeks later, the 48-year-old will tee it up in his seventh U.S. Open.

U.S. Open a surprising struggle for Donald, Johnson

Look up and down the entry list and you’ll find curiosities with players when it comes to the U.S. Open, but nothing confounds quite like the overall record of Luke Donald and Zach Johnson.

Trip down memory lane reveals Open's true colors

Our James Achenbach spent many years attempting to qualify for the "National Open." Although he never made it out of local qualifying, he still continues to be fulfilled by the process.

U.S. Open: Wet weather dampens spirits at Merion

For now, the low-lying 11th hole at Merion, a 367-yard par 4 that culminates in a small green wrapped by Cobbs Creek, is sitting high and dry. The same can’t be said for the spirits at the U.S. Open venue.

• • •

Monday

What they're saying: U.S. Open week at Merion

Here is a handful of posts via Twitter from pro golfers and top figures of the sport during U.S. Open week at Merion GC in Ardmore, Pa.

Scott measures preparation by confidence it builds

So with an uncluttered mind and a plan that he feels comfortable following, Scott comes to Merion for the 2013 U.S. Open ready to chase golf's Grand Slam.

Monday rains further soften U.S. Open course

Much of Merion's East Course has withstood recent rains. But the 11th hole needed some work on a bunker as U.S. Open week began with practice delays.

U.S. Open: Tiger headlines staff predictions

Our staff of experts will be on the ground all week at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., and took a few moments to study the field and make a few predictions: favorite, underdog, low amateur and the winning score.

U.S. Open: Stanley, Palmer among 6 additions

Kyle Stanley and Ryan Palmer were among six players added to the U.S. Open on Monday morning, completing the 156-player field at Merion.

Takes special player to bounce back from major flub

It takes a special player to overcome a meltdown and win one of golf's top prizes says our Jeff Rude.

• • •

Pre-tournament coverage

Shifting gears: Hole-by-hole at Merion

They’ll be tacking, shifting gears, constantly adjusting at Merion. All of which could make for great spectator viewing – and the occasional road wreckage as players come unglued and fall by the wayside.

U.S. Open: Closer look at 20 key players at Merion

A capsule look at 20 top players for the 113th U.S. Open golf championship, to be played June 13-16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.

U.S. Opens at Merion: Trevino, Hogan among winners

A look at the four previous U.S. Opens held at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., won by Olin Dutra, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino and David Graham.

U.S. Open: Garcia's playing career at crossroads

Even as he approaches the prime of his career, the best times for Sergio Garcia seem to be so far behind him. How will he handle the pressure in the city of Brotherly Love? It will depend on how thick his skin is, which hasn't been his strong suit.

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