Tiger Woods made three bogeys in a row to surrender the second-round lead at the U.S. Open on Friday after defending champion Rory McIlroy tumbled out of contention on another brutal day at the Olympic Club.
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 Woods, 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.
The former world number one then steadied himself by parring the next holes to reach the turn at one-over for the tournament, three strokes behind American amateur Beau Hossler.
While most of the top professionals struggled just to survive on the notoriously difficult course, the 17-year-old calmly plotted his way around.
Starting his round on the ninth, Hossler safely parred his first eight holes before recording birdies at the 17th and the first to storm to the top of the leaderboard at two under.
That gave him a one-shot lead over the 2003 U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk, who signed for a one-under 69 to grab the early clubhouse lead.
Woods was among a group of eight players, including the 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, a further shot behind at one over.
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."
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 but three-putted for a bogey, leaving him in real danger of missing the cut, likely to be around eight over.
"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, was also facing an early exit 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.
(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)