The Latest on the U.S. Open (all times local):
Tiger Woods has finally ended his birdie drought at the U.S. Open.
Woods had gone 19 straight holes without a birdie at Pebble Beach before recording them back-to-back on the fourth and fifth holes in the third round.
Woods had 15 pars and four bogeys in his previous 19 holes, and the birdies moved him to even par, nine strokes behind Gary Woodland. The leader had yet to begin his third round.
The two best scores early in the third round are by Danny Willett and Hideki Matsuyama, both of whom started at even par but moved into contention. Willet is 4 under through seven holes, and Matsuyama is 3 under on the day.
Tiger Woods got off to a shaky start as he tried to make up ground on the leaders in the U.S. Open.
Woods pulled an iron off the first tee into the deep rough, couldn’t reach the green with his second shot and missed a 15-foot putt for par.
That left him 10 shots off the lead held by Gary Woodland, who wasn’t going to tee off Saturday for another three hours.
Woods began his round in chilly weather, with the temperature in the mid-50s and overcast skies. He’s playing in a twosome with South Korea’s Byeong Hun An.
Tiger Woods was on the putting green in tennis shoes a few hours before his third round at the U.S. Open, and for good reason.
Woods took 32 putts in the second round and made only one putt longer than 5 feet. That was on his second hole (No. 11), and it was his only birdie in a round of 72.
Woods has made just three bogeys or worse through 36 holes at Pebble Beach. That’s the fewest he has ever recorded going into the weekend in the 21 U.S. Opens he has played, including even his dominant win at Pebble Beach in 2000.
Missing are the birdies, which is why Woods is nine shots behind in his bid to join Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones and Willie Anderson as the only four-time winners of the U.S. Open. History is not on his side. In the last 23 U.S. Opens, only one player won from outside the top six on the leaderboard going into the weekend.
Gary Woodland has the 36-hole lead in the U.S. Open, the second time in his last four majors he’s been ahead at the halfway point.
It’s really no lead at all. This U.S. Open is just getting started.
Woodland was two shots ahead of Justin Rose going into the third round, with the leaders not teeing off until 5:45 p.m. EDT so the broadcast can be in prime time in the eastern United States.
Woodland was at 9-under 133, the lowest 36-hole score for a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He had a one-shot lead last summer at Bellerive in the PGA Championship, which Brooks Koepka won.
Koepka was five shots behind in his bid for a record-tying third straight U.S. Open, and his fifth major in his last nine tries. Tiger Woods was nine back.
More AP golf: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports