A five-time runner-up seeking his first U.S. Open title, Mickelson had the luxury of a late tee time, much needed after he showed up with just a few hours to spare for the opening round so he could attend his daughter’s eighth-grade graduation in California. It turned out to be a gift. While Mickelson was able to rest Friday morning, much of the field endured the ordeal of finishing a delayed first round followed by a second round with little break in between.
By the time Mickelson teed off, only he and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts were under par. Colsaerts shot a 69 in the first round, but he fell off the pace Friday with three bogeys on the front nine.
As for the weather, the sun stayed around for most of the afternoon after play began in a cool drizzle that was far gentler than the storms that interrupted play twice on Thursday. The fallout from all the rain was a cramped schedule, complicated because the course requires long shuttle rides to move the players to and fro. It also left players and spectators spackled in mud from their shoes on up. 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.
Woods then dropped his left hand off the club and shook his wrist while putting his tee shot wide of the fairway at No. 8, just as he had done several times on Thursday. The arm clearly bothered him again on the next shot, which he put in the rough near the green. He saved par on the hole and finished a second-round 70 that left him at 3 over for the tournament, still in contention if he can stay healthy.