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Harmon's two star students pack their bags

OAKMONT, Pa. (AP) — Swing coach Butch Harmon had to serve two masters Friday at the U.S. Open.

Harmon has been working the past several years with Adam Scott, the No. 4 player in the world ranking. He began working about two months ago with three-time major champion Phil Mickelson.

Just his luck, Mickelson and Scott played together the first two rounds.

Even though Mickelson is the more celebrated and accomplished player, Harmon has gone to great lengths to say his priority was helping the 26-year-old Australian win his first major. Still, Harmon didn't arrive until Scott was already about 10 minutes into his warm-up session, and then he spent five minutes chatting with Mickelson's caddie.

Lefty finally arrived and made it easy for the coach.

"Where do you want to go?" he said to Harmon. "`Would you rather have me hit by Adam? Would that be easier?"'

"Wherever you want," Harmon replied. "But that would be easier for me."

Mickelson found an opening two spots down from Scott, separated only by Jeff Sluman. Harmon, however, headed straight for Scott and spent the next 10 minutes working with him, then switched over to Mickelson.

Scott took triple bogey on the first hole on his way to an 82. Mickelson shot 40 on the back nine for a 77.

No Comparison
Stephen Ames' 69 at Oakmont satisfied him more than his 66 at Shinnecock that led to his ninth-place finish in 2004. Paul Casey's 66 was the only other below-par round Friday, when the average score was nearly 77.

"This is a different monster altogether compared to Shinnecock," Ames said.

Ames was 1 under on the difficult three-hole stretch from No. 7 to No. 9 that includes the first par 3 in U.S. Open history that is nearly 300 yards, No. 8. During his opening-round 73, he bogeyed each of those holes.

Ames worried that all the high scores Friday would encourage the USGA to keep Oakmont's fast greens dry and almost impossible to master this weekend.

"If it gets dry like Shinnecock was, those last two days will be ridiculous, because the greens are twice as severe as those were,'' said Ames, the 2006 Players Championship winner. "I would hope the USGA would have learned something from that situation.''

Ow, my nose
Justin Rose had the perfect excuse for his three-putt bogey on No. 2.

Rose had a nosebleed on the second hole, and he was still sniffling when he reached the green on the par 4.

"Certainly I would say the second green was a little bit difficult,'' he said. "I can't necessarily blame the three-putt on that, but it was unusual that it happened, yeah.''

The Englishman recovered nicely, though, shooting a 1-over 71 that left him 2 over for the tournament.

Rose didn't know what caused the nosebleed - "My caddie didn't hit me or anything'' - but said it might have been his allergies. He tends to get hay fever, and people in Pittsburgh have complained all spring that this is a particularly bad year for allergies. Brisk winds stirred things up even more Friday.

"I don't know if something got irritated,'' Rose said. "It was a little annoying, but by the fourth hole it was all good.''

How did he cure it?

"What do you do with nosebleeds?'' he laughed. "You just throw a bit of tissue up there and off you go.''

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