Unusual empathises with Tiger's mental fight to win again

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Only it was the putter, not the driver.

Three shots worse than Day was Jon Rahm, who failed to card a single birdie in his second round as he averaged 1.94 putts per hole. He had four bogeys through 10 holes Friday and a double bogey on No. 12 before rallying with back-to-back birdies on the 14th and 15th holes, but he was done in by a double bogey on the 18th.

Starting in a tie for 45th place and playing early in the day, the Salt Lake native tied for the best score of the third round, a 4-under-par 66, and sat back and watched for a few hours as he just kept climbing up the leaderboard.

Thirty holes into the Open he was 11-over-par and going nowhere. He opened with a 78, then shot 72. "You always want to use them in your favour.", said Mickelson. He was the only player under par among those who played Friday morning in a unusual mixture of weather that began with an overcast sky, gave way to two hours of light rain and then returned to mild sunshine. But as the conditions worsened for scoring, D.J. was able to keep the train from going totally off the rails and enters the final round sharing the lead.

He was assessed a two-stroke penalty under Rule 14-5, which pertains to when a moving ball is hit. McIlroy needed a dozen people help him find a tee shot in the rough. McIlroy then tied for fifth in 2016 and tied for fourth previous year.

He wound up with a triple bogey, shot 73 and was six shots behind.

While McIlroy's inaccuracy with the driver could get him into trouble at Carnoustie, he seems to excel at links golf due to his ability to cut through the wind and successfully play low shots. Hoffman put himself under par for the tournament when he rolled in a long bomb at the par-five 16th for the last of his three birdies. He joined Fleetwood at five shots behind.

Scott Piercy, a runner-up to Johnson at Oakmont two years ago, had a 71 and will play in the final group with him Saturday.

The cut line was set at +8 and a whole host of other big names were victims of the links style course, including Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.

The conditions were so treacherous that Shinnecock president Brett Pickett issued a statement through the USGA, saying that he has "no concerns whatsoever" and that the "course has been and remains totally healthy".

Plenty of others were poised take advantage if Johnson slipped, or if more pure weather arrived to allow them to make a move. But he three-putted the 18th to slip into a logjam as his four-stroke lead after two rounds disappeared. "The course played really long", said Johnson, a prodigiously-long hitter whose definition of "nowhere" is different to most. "My only bogey I made today, I still had a decent look at par". It ran 8 feet by the cup and he missed the par putt for one last bogey and a 7-over 77. In that situation, I was just going back and forth.

"I feel like my game is built for championship golf", Finau, who finished 10th at the Masters after famously twisting his ankle during the par-3 contest, said.

Yet the USGA admitted the course got out of hand Saturday in the third round of the U.S. Open, and apologized for it.

The U.S. Open wasn't an example of that, but after finishing the second round on a high note, he figures to be one of the top picks to prevail at the Open Championship. But you need a good round tomorrow just to give yourself a chance.

"But when you think of the things that happened in the past, you have to err on the side of caution. Or it might not".

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