U.S. Open 2013 projected cut: Tiger Woods now safe, Graeme McDowell going home

Ross Kinnaird

With only two players in red numbers, there are a few golfers who can leave the Philadelphia area on Friday as soon as they walk off the course.

The 156-man field at the 2013 U.S. Open will not be cut in half before the weekend, thanks to the multiple weather delays during Thursday's opening round. But that doesn't mean several big names won't have their bags packed already on Friday night.

Barring no more weather delays, the official cut should be made by 10:00 a.m. ET on Saturday morning. The last second-round tee time does not go off until 5:57 p.m. on Friday evening, meaning there's no way the USGA gets to the midpoint of its national championship as originally scheduled.

It's hard to predict the cut with nearly half the field still not on the course for the second round, but the current projected cut line is 4-over (so +5 would be the first batch out). Given the way Merion is playing on Friday, and with so many players still to hack their way through their second 18, it's likely that 4-over number rises at least one shot, and maybe more.

One player who is moving up the leaderboard and inside the cut line is Tiger Woods. The No. 1 player in the world went out in 1-over during his second round, pushing him to 4-over and precariously close to missing the weekend. Tiger looked lost on the greens on Thursday, misjudging both reads and speeds to fall quickly over par. That struggle continued with the resumption of his first round, provoking more speculation about an elbow injury and his ability to contend going forward. That shifted to potential MC discussion after the opening nine of his second round, but Tiger is now making his charge and looks to be safe. He's birdied two of his last four holes and is back to 2-over. A clutch par-saving putt at No. 5 likely seals up his spot for the weekend, with the easier stretch of Merion holes to finish out his 26-hole Friday march.

With Tiger likely safe, here are some of the other big names who either have their bags already packed or are in trouble on Friday afternoon:

Jose Maria Olazabal -- +16
Angel Cabrera -- +15
Jim Furyk -- +13
Marc Leishman -- +13
Darren Clarke -- +13
Graeme McDowell -- +10
Zach Johnson -- +9
Jordan Spieth -- +8
Keegan Bradley -- +7
Bill Haas -- +7
Adam Scott -- +6

More golf from SB Nation:

Can Tiger win his 15th major with one arm?

Westwood first victim of Merion's wicker baskets

Tiger playing with injured wrist? | Golfers get weird during rain delay

Highlights from Thursday's round

A guide to the East Course at Merion Golf Club

Four Days in Fort Worth: Putting on a PGA Tour event

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