The Washington Times - June 17, 2011, 05:58PM

Most major golf tournaments feature out-of-nowhere players – guys who catch lightning for a couple rounds after struggling for a while. The guy closest to the top of the leader board at this U.S. Open is Robert Garrigus, 33 years old, originally from Idaho.

Going into this week, Garrigus’ best finish in a major championship was “MC,” for missed cut. He had only played in two – both U.S. Opens – but his back-to-back rounds of 70 (total of 2-under) got him to the weekend at Congressional.

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“I drove it well, which in the U.S. Open, that’s always key. I hit my irons great.  I didn’t putt as well as I would have liked, but it was a great day,” he said. “Under par both days in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open, I’ll take it.”

In past years Garrigus was more of a mainstay on the Nationwide Tour than the PGA. But he has managed to make the cut in 10 PGA Tour events in 2011.

Now, his name is mixed among Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Zach Johnson and others. And he hopes it stays there.

“It’s what we dream about,” Garrigus said. “It’s what we play for and it’s what we work hard for.  I’m excited to see [my name] up there, and I’d like to see it last for the rest of the weekend.”