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Woods shoots 5-over 75 to fall five back
“Experience helps around here,” Els said. “For some reason, I’m patient again this week and that’s been kind of my virtue in major championship golf, the ability to be patient and wait it out. And I think you’re going to have to do that tomorrow.”
Thirteen players were separated by four shots going into Sunday, a list that includes 17-year-old Beau Hossler, who followed bogeys with birdies for a 70.
Woods, who has never won a major from behind, was five shots back. His round ended with a shot from the middle of the 18th fairway that hung up in the right collar of rough, and a stubbed chip that took a hard turn to the left some 10 feet away.
When he two-putted for his sixth bogey, his day got a little worse. Climbing the hill toward the fabled clubhouse at Olympic, a photographer brushed past him and Woods banged his hand into the camera. He shook it several times, but later said he was fine.
The real hurt came from Olympic.
“It was just a tough day on the greens, and most of the day, I just kept getting that half-number, right in between clubs all day,” said Woods, who was either well long or short on his approach shots.
Furyk, the only player who has not had a round over par in this championship, and McDowell played together in the opening two rounds. Both are similar players who appear to be a good fit for Olympic — control off the tee and a strong fight to avoid bogeys. McDowell referred to Furyk as a “plodder,” which at the U.S. Open is a high compliment.
“It doesn’t have to look or be fancy. It has to work,” Furyk said. “And I think we have styles of games where we put the ball into play, we put the ball on the green and take our chance at the putt and then move on.”
“Looking at the leaderboard, you’ve got to look down as far as the guys at 3 or 4 (over) as having a realistic chance of winning this tournament,” McDowell said.
That includes some regular characters, such as Westwood and Els and even two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, who was five shots behind. And it features newcomers to this stage like Nicolas Colsaerts, the big hitter from Belgium — and even a high school kid.
For every bogey Hossler made, he answered with a birdie on the next hole.
His only big blunder came on the 11th, when he was too aggressive with a downhill putt and missed his par putt from 6 feet. Two holes later, he hit a heavy chip from the hazard that rolled back down a slope for another bogey. The kid just wouldn’t go away, though, and suddenly he is dreaming big.
Hossler wanted to make the cut. Then, he wanted to be the low amateur. Now?
“My goal now is to win the tournament,” he said.
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