2014 U.S. Open leaderboard: Phil Mickelson tries to make it interesting at Pinehurst

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

The afternoon chase of Martin Kaymer is desperate at the U.S. Open, where Phil Mickelson started well enough but quickly had his momentum stunted by more putting woes.

Update: Martin Kaymer way out front after 36 holes

Martin Kaymer has been a good player for years now. He is a major champion. He has been No. 1 in the world. But I am not sure anyone really saw this performance coming. After shooting a record-setting 65 yesterday, Kaymer backed it up by doing the exact same thing today. It appears as if everyone will be playing for second behind Kaymer this weekend. The field will need to play lights out and hope Kaymer slips up.

One of the guys chasing Kaymer is the sentimental favorite and six-time U.S. Open runner-up, Phil Mickelson.

When Mickelson finished his round yesterday, he was only two strokes off the lead. As the afternoon wave finished up, that deficit grew to five strokes. But today, before Phil even hit the course, he found himself a full 10 shots back as he stuck his peg in the ground.

While many are ready to concede the championship to Kaymer after his second 65 in as many days, Phil is not one of those people. A par at the first got Phil off to a good enough start.

With his second shot on the long par-4 second hole, Mickelson hit a beautiful iron shot that ran up the front of the green and settled near the hole. He made the putt for birdie to get to 1-under.

At the drivable par-4 third hole, playing the easiest on the course, Phil elected to lay up and hit 3-wood off the tee. Lefty played a beautiful high cut that came to rest 20 yards short of the green. A nice up-and-down gave Phil another birdie and we were off and running at 2-under through his first three.

It should be noted that Mickelson has stopped using the "claw" grip for now. He reportedly spent a lot of time yesterday at the putting green after his opening round. It looked like he might have found a putting stroke he could work with early in the round on Friday.

But that momentum of the first three holes was stopped quickly during a brutal two-hole stretch at the fifth and sixth. At No. 5, Phil had a reasonable enough chance at another red number and it looked like he put his ball right in the center. He wanted to chase after it and was ready to keep the momentum going for a super-low front nine. But the ball blew by just on the edge, and Mickelson was incredulous.

Phil-nope_medium

That miss was unfortunate, but it would get worse at the par-3 sixth. Mickelson missed a pretty easy bunny par putt, once again bringing the biggest weakness in his game to the fore. He called his putting "pathetic" last week in Memphis, and that was a less than impressive effort on those two holes. It was a huge two-shot swing on a day when there's little margin for error with the chase so desperate.

Pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy is also on the course this afternoon. His play continues to be pretty ordinary for a guy many thought could win this tournament. He's 1-over and has a ton of work to do if he plans on contending this weekend.

Will Mickelson parlay a few early birdies into a weekend run? Will Rory finally make a charge? Maybe. But if Kaymer continues to play the way he has through two rounds, it won't matter.

Here is a look at the leaders as we head towards "happy hour" on Friday:

Place

Player

Score

Thru

1

Martin Kaymer

-10

F

T2

Kevin Na

-3

9

T2

Brendon Todd

-3

5

T4

Brooks Koepka

-2

F

T4

Dustin Johnson

-2

F

T4

Brendon de Jonge

-2

F

T4

Keegan Bradley

-2

F

T4

Matt Kuchar

-2

9

T4

Chris Kirk

-2

5

T4

Hideki Matsuyama

-2

5

T11

Scott Langley

-1

9

T11

Brandt Snedeker

-1

9

T11

Graeme McDowell

-1

8

T11

Phil Mickelson

-1

6

T11

Ian Poulter

-1

7

T11

Joost Luiten

-1

6

T17

Adam Scott

E

F

T17

Francesco Molinari

E

F

T17

Pablo Larrazabal

E

9

T17

Erik Compton

E

10

T17

Henrik Stenson

E

9

T17

Justin Rose

E

6

T17

Jordan Spieth

E

5

T17

Aaron Baddeley

E

5

T26

Steve Stricker

1

F

T26

J.B. Holmes

1

F

T26

Danny Willett

1

F

T26

Lucas Bjerregaard

1

11

T26

Marcel Siem

1

11

T26

Patrick Reed

1

9

T26

Rory McIlroy

1

8

T26

Zach Johnson

1

7

T35

Miguel Jimenez

2

7

T26

Russell Henley

1

6

T17

Rickie Fowler

E

5

T35

Victor Dubuisson

2

F

T35

Jimmy Walker

2

F

T35

Seung-yul Noh

2

F

T35

Fran Quinn

2

F

T35

Daniel Berger

2

11

T35

Jason Day

2

9

T35

Boo Weekley

2

8

T35

Webb Simpson

2

8

T35

Matthew Fitzpatrick

2

6

T35

Billy Hurley III

2

5

T35

Shiv Kapur

2

4

T48

Garth Mulroy

3

F

T48

Jim Furyk

3

F

T48

Gary Woodland

3

F

T55

Ryan Moore

4

9

T48

Stephen Gallacher

3

8

T48

Jeff Maggert

3

4

T48

WC Liang

3

4

T48

Clayton Rask

3

3

T35

Nicholas Lindheim

2

3

T55

Alex Cejka

4

F

T55

Bill Haas

4

F

T55

Stewart Cink

4

F

T55

Harris English

4

F

T55

Ernie Els

4

F

T55

Louis Oosthuizen

4

F

T55

Retief Goosen

4

F

T55

Bo Van Pelt

4

F

T55

Kevin Tway

4

F

T55

Cody Gribble

4

F

T55

Kyoung-Hoon Lee

4

10

T55

Sergio Garcia

4

9

T55

Kenny Perry

4

4

T73

Craig Barlow

5

4

T55

Matt Dobyns

4

3

T55

Smylie Kaufman

4

3

T55

Maverick McNealy

4

3

T73

Justin Leonard

5

F

T73

Kevin Stadler

5

F

T73

Paul Casey

5

F

T73

Toru Taniguchi

5

F

T73

Zac Blair

5

F

T73

Henrik Norlander

5

11

T73

Chad Collins

5

10

T73

Roberto Castro

5

10

T73

David Toms

5

7

T73

Oliver Goss

5

4

T55

Justin Thomas

4

4

T73

Brian Campbell

5

2

T85

Casey Wittenberg

6

F

T85

Hudson Swafford

6

F

T85

Andres Echavarria

6

F

T85

Mark Wilson

6

F

T85

Shane Lowry

6

F

T85

Luke Donald

6

F

T85

Charl Schwartzel

6

F

T85

Bubba Watson

6

F

T85

Jason Dufner

6

F

T85

Hunter Mahan

6

F

T85

Rod Pampling

6

F

T85

Cory Whitsett

6

F

T85

Hunter Stewart

6

F

T102

Matt Jones

7

10

T85

Angel Cabrera

6

7

T85

Thongchai Jaidee

6

7

T85

Billy Horschel

6

5

T85

Maximilian Kieffer

6

4

T102

John Senden

7

F

T102

Nicolas Colsaerts

7

F

T102

Ken Duke

7

F

T102

Darren Clarke

7

F

T102

Geoff Ogilvy

7

F

T102

Ryan Blaum

7

F

T102

Luke Guthrie

7

F

T102

Jim Renner

7

F

T102

Christopher Doak

7

F

T116

Brian Stuard

8

11

T102

Andrea Pavan

7

11

T102

Lee Westwood

7

9

T102

Kevin Sutherland

7

4

T102

Anthony Broussard

7

3

T116

Lucas Glover

8

F

T116

Ryan Palmer

8

F

T116

David Gossett

8

F

T116

Sam Love

8

F

T116

Kevin Kisner

8

10

T116

Matt Every

8

10

T116

Nick Watney

8

6

T116

Jonas Blixt

8

6

T133

Will Grimmer

10

3

T125

Oliver Fisher

9

F

T125

Joe Ogilvie

9

F

T125

Rob Oppenheim

9

11

T125

Cameron Wilson

9

11

T125

D.A. Points

9

8

T125

Aron Price

9

4

T125

Robby Shelton

9

3

T125

Nick Mason

9

2

T133

Niclas Fasth

10

F

T133

Graham Delaet

10

F

T133

Hyung-Sung Kim

10

F

T133

Bernd Wiesberger

10

F

T133

Robert Allenby

10

5

T140

Tom Lewis

11

4

T133

Brady Watt

10

3

T140

Graeme Storm

11

F

T140

David Oh

11

F

T140

Y.E. Yang

11

F

T140

Jamie Donaldson

11

F

T140

Brandon McIver

11

3

T146

Steven Alker

12

F

T146

Kevin Streelman

12

F

T146

Gonzalo Fdez-Castano

12

F

T146

Simon Griffiths

12

F

150

Brett Stegmaier

13

11

151

Chris Thompson

14

F

T152

Bobby Gates

15

F

T152

Donald Constable

15

F

154

Andrew Dorn

19

F

155

Azuma Yano

20

F

156

Kiyoshi Miyazato

22

F

More from SBNation.com

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.