Tiger Woods fought back from three straight bogeys to take a share of the lead in the second round of the US Open at the Olympic Club on Friday, after defending champion Rory McIlroy and world number one Luke Donald ran out of contention.
After starting the day tied for second place at one under par, Woods grabbed the lead when he birdied the 247-yard third hole and Michael Thompson double-bogeyed his third hole of the round.
Woods, who is looking to end a four-year title drought at the majors, soon moved back down the leaderboard when he bogeyed the fifth, sixth and seventh holes. The former world number one regained composure and played the back nine in two under to finish with an even par 70 and a 36-hole total of one-under-par.
The effort gave Woods a share of the lead, along with fellow Americans Jim Furyk and David Toms. The 2003 champion, Furyk took 69 and the 2001 PGA winner Toms carded a 70.
"It was really, really tough and I just had to stay as patient as possible. I think I'm in a good spot. This tournament, you just keep plodding along. You're just playing for a lot of pars. This is not a tournament where we have to make a bunch of birdies," BBC quoted Woods as saying.
"It's been a very long time since my swing felt this good - don't forget I went through all of last year hurt and hadn't been able to practise. Now it's becoming more consistent, day-in and day-out," the 36 year old added.
Thompson and the 2010 champion Graeme McDowell were a further stroke back at one over, along with Nicolas Colsaerts and John Peterson, while defending champion McIlroy and world number one Donald missed the cut.
Needing a low score after opening the campaign with a 77, McIlroy fell further behind by carding a 73 to finish at 10 over. Meanwhile, Donald shot a respectable 72 but blew his chances on the first day itself, when carded a 79. The Englishman ended at 11 over.
Five-time runner-up Phil Mickelson took 71 to finish seven over but Masters champion Bubba Watson was another high-profile casualty, after failing to make the cut mark with scores of 78 and 71 to end nine over.