Phil Mickelson shares lead with Horschel

11:44, Jun 15 2013
Luke Donald
Luke Donald, still chasing his first major victory, speaks to the media following a practice round at Merion.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods plays a shot through the rain to the green during a practice round.
Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia
Spaniards Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia hug during a practice round ahead of the 113th US Open.
USGA flags
USGA flags flutter in the breeze at Merion Golf Club, outside Philadelphia.
Merion Golf Club
The Merion Golf Club, outside Philadelphia, will host the 113th US Open.
Merion Golf Club
Three spectators walk past a pool of water during Monday's practice round at Merion.
Merion Golf Club
Grounds crew squeegee water off the sixth fairway during a downpour in Monday's practice round.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods holds two golf balls during a practice round ahead of the US Open.
Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods
Golfing legends Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods chat at the Merion Golf Club.
Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood of England plays out of a bunker during a practice round at Merion.
Rory McIlroy
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy signs autographs during his practice round.
Merion Golf Club
The grandstands sit empty during a weather delay during the first round of the US Open at Merion
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia searches for his ball in the rough during the final practice round.
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia discusses a shot with his caddie during the first round.
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson takes a chunk of grass out with his second shot from the 12th fairway.
Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler
Bubba Watson (left) and Rickie Fowler wait at the clubhouse during the weather delay.
Weather warning
The sign on the scoreboard tells the story as weather dominated the first morning at the US Open.
2013 US Open at Merion
Lee Westwood of England watches his tee shot on the 11th hole as Luke Donald of England looks on during Round One of the 113th US Open.
2013 US Open at Merion
Tiger Woods of the United States plays his third shot from a bunker on the second hole during Round One of the 113th US Open.
2013 US Open at Merion
Sergio Garcia of Spain walks off the tenth hole after finishing thre over par during Round One of the 113th US Open at Merion Golf Club.
2013 US Open at Merion
Robert Karlsson of Sweden hits a shot from a bunker on the 14th hole during Round One of the 113th US Open at Merion Golf Club.
2013 US Open at Merion
Tiger Woods reacts to missing a putt on the fourth green during the first round of the 2013 US Open.
Luke Donald
Luke Donald receives some instructions from his caddie John McLaren as he finishes his first round at Merion.
Steve Williams and Tiger Woods
Caddie Steve Williams (left) shakes hands with his former boss Tiger Woods at the conclusion of the first round.
Kevin Streelman
Kevin Streelman stretches with his driver on the fifth hole tee box.
US Open spectators
Umbrella-carrying US Open spectators leave the course after play was suspended during the opening round.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott
The US Open's power threesome of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott.
Adam Scott
Masters champion Adam Scott tees off on the ninth hole at Merion.
US Open officials
US Open officials search in the rough for a ball hit by Angel Cabrera.
US Open spectators
US Open spectators eye players down the fairway during the second round.
Hideki Matsuyama
Japan golfer Hideki Matsuyama discusses tactics with his caddie.
Wicker basket flag
A caddie holds a flagstick with the famed Merion wicker basket atop it.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
US Open 2013 gallery
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods walk up the 10th fairway together during the second round.
US Open 2013 gallery
Billy Horschel shares the lead with Phil Mickelson after two days play at the US Open.
US Open 2013 gallery
Phil Mickelson is all smiles after his second round score gave him a share of the lead.
Merion Golf Club
The scene at the 17th green at Merion Golf Club during the 113th US Open.
Steve Stricker
Steve Stricker leans on his putter as he reads the line of a putt during the second round.
Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter walks down the steps from the 17th tee to the green at Merion.
Cheng-Tsung Pan
Taiwan's Cheng-Tsung Pan plays from the bunker at the 15th hole.
US Open at Merion gallery
Charl Schwartzel held the lead at the halfway point in the third round.
US Open gallery 2013
Luke Donald unleashes a tee shot during the third round.
US Open 2013 gallery
Phil Mickelson and caddie Jim Mackay survey the scene on the fifth hole at Merion.
US Open 2013 gallery
Tiger Woods fired a six-over 76 in the third round.
US Open 2013 gallery
Hunter Mahan plays a shot from the fairway on the first hole of the final round.
US Open 2013 gallery
Australia's Jason Day reacts after missing a putt on the 15th hole.
US Open 2013 gallery
Billy Horschel plays a tee shot on the second hole in his final round.
US Open 2013 gallery
Phil Mickelson jumps for joy after holing out for eagle on the 10th hole.
US Open gallery 2013
2013 US Open champion Justin Rose.
US Open 2013 gallery
Justin Rose with the US Open trophy.
US Open 2013 gallery
Justin Rose points skywards to acknowledge his late father after holing out for par on the 18th green.

Phil Mickelson rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt in fading light at the 18th hole to grab a share of the lead in the second round of the US Open when play was suspended due to approaching darkness.

The putt gave Mickelson a round of two-over-par 72 for a total of one-under 139 and tied him with fellow-American Billy Horschel, who fired a dazzling three-under 67 on a brutally difficult day at the weather-delayed championship.

The pair were perched atop a jam-packed leaderboard that had five players one shot back and another five golfers one more stroke adrift, with tournament favorites Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy well within striking distance at three-over par 143.

Mickelson, the clubhouse leader after shooting an opening round 67 before lengthy weather delays suspended Thursday's first-round play, held the lead for much of Friday before back-to-back bogeys from the 12th.

"I wasn't expecting birdie there. It's a very difficult hole," said the left-hander, who had three-putted the 12th and failed to get up-and-down after half-plugging his ball in the greenside bunker at the short par-three 13th.

His 18th hole birdie was his first of the day.

"I got shut out today," he said, exasperated at not taking advantage of other birdie chances. "I played really well.

"I didn't feel the score was what I thought it should be."

The 26-year-old Horschel, who followed up three successive top 10s on the PGA Tour with a victory in April at the Zurich Classic had four birdies and a lone three-putt bogey.

"It was a great day. Four birdies at a US Open, I'll take it. I wish I had a couple more, though," he said.

Bunched at level par, were former world number one Luke Donald (72), his fellow Englishmen Justin Rose (69) and Ian Poulter (14 holes), American Steve Stricker (69) and amateur Pan Cheng-tsung of Taiwan (nine holes).

Tied at one over-par were Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium, who shot 72, Australian John Senden (71), Jerry Kelly (through 12), Charley Hoffman (13), and 19-year-old amateur Michael Kim (11).

Sunshine on Friday replaced the rain that had plagued the tournament, the wind kicked up and players struggled to make par as Merion Golf Club showed it was still a master test for the world's best golfers.

Merion's tilted fairways fed balls into the rough and tricky pin positions coaxed players into a slew of three-putt bogeys.

Woods battled through the course challenges and an injured left arm to finish a 73 in the morning, then shoot an admirable 70 in the afternoon to reach the halfway stage at three-over.

"It's hard with the wind and the pin locations. They're really tough," said Woods, who was tight-lipped about his injury.

"A lot of guys are missing putts and blowing them by the holes."

Sixty-eight golfers had not yet finished their rounds and were returning Saturday morning at 7:15am (1115 GMT) to the classic layout in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Donald began the day leading clubhouse leader Mickelson by a stroke, standing four under par with five holes still to finish.

But the world No 6 bogeyed two of the last three holes in tough scoring conditions to give the American a one-shot lead when the weather-delayed first round was completed.

Donald briefly reclaimed the lead with a pair of early back-to-back birdies in his second round but tumbled back down with a late stretch of five bogeys in six holes including four in a row.

"US Opens get harder as the week goes on," said Donald, who is looking to break through for his first major title.

"I'm excited to be in contention, and have a chance."

The projected cut to reduce the field to the top 60 and ties was estimated to come at seven over par 147 after second-round play on Friday had players averaging nearly five over par.

Among high-profile competitors who will not qualify for weekend play were a trio of former U.S. Open champions in Angel Cabrera of Argentina, who shot an 81 for 155, American Jim Furyk (79/156) and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell (77/153).

"It's that hard, it's that difficult," said McDowell, the 2010 champion and runner-up last year.

"I'm disappointed, of course. It's not the way I wanted to play the last couple of days. But this place is very hard."

Advertisement

Horschel
IN THE LEAD: Billy Horschel was one-under par with a score of 139 after two rounds.
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson managed to claw his way back to the top.

Reuters