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“Yeah, it’s a long, difficult day, even though it’s my birthday,” Mickelson said. “And it was very flattering of the fans, thank you.”

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GOING LOW: Casey Wittenberg’s round of 67 Saturday was 10 strokes better than the 77 he posted Friday.

He did so despite opening with a bogey on the difficult first hole. He birdied Nos. 4, 17 and 18 and eagled the 268-yard par-4 seventh _ tying for the low round of the championship.

“It’s only the fourth time I’ve ever played the golf course, so I feel like I’m learning day by day where you can play from and where you can’t play from,” Wittenberg said.

He said it made a difference teeing off so early, when the greens were fairly receptive.

“By the time Tiger and those guys tee off, I think it’s going to be a brick,” Wittenberg said.

Wittenberg, a Nationwide Tour player who went through sectional qualifying, is playing in his fifth U.S. Open. He missed the cuts the last three times.

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CELEBRITY WATCH: Jerry Rice, Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers were among the current and former NFL players checking out the action at The Olympic Club this week. Ditto for Fred Couples, who watched Tiger Woods’ round Friday.

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AP Sports Writer Antonio Gonzalez contributed to this report.