Tiger Woods recovered from three straight bogeys to grab a share of the clubhouse lead in the second round of the U.S. Open on Friday after defending champion Rory McIlroy tumbled out of contention.
Starting the day tied for second place at one under par, Woods had the galleries buzzing as he snatched the outright lead when he birdied the 247-yard third hole and overnight pacesetter Michael Thompson double-bogeyed his third hole of the round.
But the former world number one, looking to end a four-year drought in the majors, immediately slipped back down the leaderboard when he bogeyed the fifth, sixth and seventh holes at the Olympic Club.
Woods then regained his 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.
That left him in a share for the lead with the 2003 U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk, who signed for a 69, and the 2001 PGA Championship winner David Toms, who carded a 70.
Four players, including Thompson and the 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, were a further stroke back at one over.
Needing to shoot a low score to make the cut after opening the tournament with a 77, McIlroy fell further behind after carding a 73 to finish at 10 over.
The Northern Irishman had a birdie putt on the last hole to get to eight over and make the cut but three-putted for a bogey.
"To be honest, overall I don't feel like I played that badly for the last two days," McIlroy said.
"It's just such a demanding golf course and just punishes the slightest shot that's off line or that's maybe not the right distance or whatever."
World number one Luke Donald, playing in the same group as McIlroy, also missed the cut after finishing at 11 over. The Englishman shot a respectable 72 but blew his chances on the first day when he signed for a 79.
"It was a little better today, but little consolation, obviously. It's not going to be good enough to play the weekend," he said.
While most of the top professionals struggled to survive on the notoriously difficult course, Furyk calmly plotted his way around the layout, undaunted by the tight fairways, thick rough and slick greens.
"I guess you have to realize at the U.S. Open that par is a really good score and you're going to make some bogeys," the 42-year-old said.
"And when I'm patient, when I'm playing well, I've had some success here. Mentally you have to be in a good frame of mind, and physically you have to be on top of a lot of areas of your game."
McDowell carded a 72, although it could have been much better. The Northern Irishman was at two-under late in his round before he stumbled with three bogeys over his last four holes.
"That's what this golf course can do to you in a heart-beat," said McDowell.
"To be honest with you, if you had offered me one over par starting on the first tee yesterday, having seen what I saw yesterday morning, I would have probably snapped your arm off for it."
(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)