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Tiger shares U.S. Open lead

June 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM  |  Updated June 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM   |   Comments

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SAN FRANCISCO, June 15 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods survived a stretch of three straight bogeys Friday and grabbed a share of the lead with David Toms and Jim Furyk midway through the U.S. Open.

Phil Mickelson battled back from a poor opening day to survive the 36-hole cut, but the top-two ranked players in the world and the current Masters champion did not.

Beau Hossler, a 17-year-old California high school student, briefly owned the top spot all by himself. At the end of the day, however, it was Woods who grabbed the spotlight in a bid to complete his comeback from a wrecked personal life and injuries that put a four-year dent in one of the most amazing careers in any sport.

Despite bogeys at the fifth, sixth and seventh holes, Woods shot an even-par 70 for a two-round total of 139. Furyk reached that total early in the day by firing a 69 and Toms, finishing as the shadows lengthened over the 18th green, shot 70.

A downhill birdie attempt by Toms at the final hole that would have given him the lead stopped 8 inches short of the cup.

Woods had not won a tournament in the United States since 2009 before capturing events hosted by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus this year. The last of his 14 major championships came in 2008 at this event.

The co-leaders had a two-shot advantage over European match play winner Nicholas Colsaerts, first-round leader Michael Thompson, former NCAA champion John Peterson and 2010 U.S. Open titleholder Graeme McDowell.

Last year's Masters champion, Charl Schwartzel, was another shot back at 142 while the group at 143 included Hunter Mahan, Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar -- who among them have won five tournaments this year. Kuchar's victory came at the Players Championship.

Also at 143 was Hossler, who rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt on the first green (his 10th hole of the day) that put him at 2-under par and gave him sole possession of the lead.

Hossler, who has committed to play college golf at the University of Texas, then played the next five holes in 5-over. He still shot a 73 that put him in contention going into the weekend.

It took a score of 8-over 148 to make the cut and among the notables to survive were Sergio Garcia, Nick Watney, Ernie Els and Steve Stricker at 144, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter at 145 and Mickelson at 147.

Mickelson, who played in the company of Woods for the first two days, bounced back from his disappointing opening-day round to shoot a 71.

Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy, ranked first and second in the world, both struggled for the second day in a row. Donald wound up at 151 and McIlroy finished at 150. Masters champion Bubba Watson birdied the final hole, but he missed the cut by a shot. So did Dustin Johnson, who won last week's PGA Tour stop in Memphis.

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