Woods 'fighting and hanging on' at US Open

Graeme Mc Dowell drives off the 18th tee at Pebble Beach on Tuesday

Nineteen years ago, Tiger Woods made golf look easy when the U.S. Open was played at Pebble Beach.

On a cool, dry Northern California day, with little to no wind blowing off the Pacific Ocean, numerous world's best players had their way with one of the most iconic golf courses.

Rose enjoyed a one-shot lead over former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and the American trio of Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Aaron Wise, with Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Francesco Molinari part of an eight-strong group on three under.

If that doesn't exactly sound like the guy who is on the verge of becoming the first player in over a century to win three consecutive U.S. Opens, it's yet another indication that Koepka is not a machine despite his often-stoic demeanor.

The U.S. Open is supposed to be the most hard test among the sport's four majors, and the one that challenges a player's complete game the most.

What went well: Tiger probably saved his tournament with his putter on Thursday.

Woods, who won his 15th major at the Masters, but missed the cut in the PGA Championship at Bethpage, made a 5-footer for birdie at the par-4 fourth hole, but took a double when his tee-shot at the par-3 fifth went way left and bounced off a cart path.

Wellingon golfer Daniel Hillier.

Wellington amateur Daniel Hillier fared similarly carding a five over 76.

He was in trouble again at the tough eighth but after flying the green into thick rough, he played a deft recovery to seven feet and confidently rapped in the par putt.

"I'm right there. I feel like if I get off tomorrow, get off to a good start, I'm right back into it".

Day, who has twice finished runner-up at the US Open, says he was happy to finish in red figures after a sloppy day with the driver.

"I said I know".

What prevented this from being better was the one hole Woods couldn't save himself on.

With near ideal conditions on the Monterey peninsula little wind and soft greens the Pebble Beach course was left to the mercy of the world's best with several threatening the U.S. Open low round at Pebble Beach of 65 set by Woods in 2000.

Francesco Molinari's momentum at the U.S. Open came to a halt when his second shot on No. 8 failed to clear the chasm between the fairway and the green.

"It's a battle if you're not going to hit fairways", he said. I didn't hit many.

Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka was even for the day through six holes and was four behind.

Spieth birdied three of his first four holes Friday to move under par at Pebble Beach. He was tied for 33 after Day 1 past year at the PGA Championship and tied for 46 after his first 18 at the '18 U.S. Open on his way to victory at both.

Playing in his 28th U.S. Open Mickelson has not threatened since his second place finish in 2013.



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