ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) -- Billy Horschel hit all 18 greens in regulation. Hard to think of a better way to climb to the top of the leaderboard at the U.S. Open.
He shot 3-under 67, sufficiently managing the nasty rough and hard-to-read greens to become the clubhouse leader late in the second round Friday at the Merion Golf Club.
Horschel was 1 under with a 139 total, posting one of the few red numbers on a trying day for much of the field. He missed the cut in his only previous U.S. Open, in 2006, but recently won for the first time on the PGA Tour at the Zurich Classic.
"I’ve acquired some patience, not as much as I wish I had," said the 26-yeaar-old from Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
Phil Mickelson held the solo lead for much of the afternoon, but he missed birdie chances during a streak of 10 consecutive pars. He then 3-putted No. 12 for a bogey and dropped another stroke when he put his tee shot in the sand on the short par-3 13th, the easiest hole on the course.
The must-see group of Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy was at times a hard-to-watch bunch -- perhaps even for Woods’ ski champion girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, who was part of the gallery.
The trio combined to shoot 14 over at the halfway mark. Woods’ troublesome left elbow flared up again, and he hit a chip from just off the green that traveled barely a foot while making bogey at the par-4 7th.