Tiger Woods went from the edge of the cut line to charging up the leaderboard on Day 2 of the 2013 U.S. Open. At the end of his round, however, Woods finished Friday exactly where he started, shooting an even-par 70, putting him 3-over for the tournament. The fan-favorite is currently six strokes off of the lead with roughly half the field still on the course.
Woods started his round off well with a birdie and two pars on his first three holes. He didn't stay in the red long, though, as a bogey on Hole 14 dropped him back to even on the day. Woods continued to have issues on the green early on Friday,too, missing a number of birdie opportunities. Woods made the turn at 1-over on the round after a bogey on the difficult 18th, putting him at 4-over for the tournament.
With the projected cut being 4-over at the time, Woods began the front-nine needing a solid final 10 holes to avoid missing the weekend. He took advantage of his first Par 5 of the day, nearly holing his approach shot for an eagle before settling for a tap-in birdie. Tiger then capitalized on the second Par 5 with another birdie, despite finding the rough off the tee and then again on his second shot when he hit into thick rough on the left. Woods was still able to muscle out his approach to 15 feet from the pin, however, eventually making his third birdie of the day.
Short game issues -- which plagued Woods in the first round and early on Friday -- cropped up once again on No. 7 when Woods hit a poor chip shot and was forced to settle for bogey. He got in trouble again on No. 8, but was able to save par to remain even for the day.
Woods nearly got a stroke back on No. 9, but his birdie putt slid just off the right edge. While he had to settle for par, it was a solid result on what's playing as the hardest hole on the course on Friday. Woods hit an excellent approach shot on No. 10, leaving less than 20 feet for birdie. That birdie putt came up short, however, and a disappointing showing up on the green finished the 26-hole Friday march.
With Merion playing at more than 5-over par on Friday and roughly half the field yet to play, Woods at 3-over should be clear of the cut line. He'll likely be around for the weekend, then, but he will still need to make more putts -- of both long and par-saving moderate lengths -- if he is going to be able to to play his way into contention.
On top of the form issues, Woods is also dealing with an elbow injury. According to a report from Kelly Tilghman of the Golf Channel, Woods has inflammation in his left elbow. Just like Thursday, Woods winced on a few occasions on throughout day 2, especially on shots out of the rough.
Even with all these issues through the first two days, Woods is currently inside the top 30. He'll now rest and see if longtime rival Phil Mickelson comes back to the field on a Merion course that's playing extremely difficult.