9:32 p.m. My bad, Phil's in the fescue right, not the bunker. He never makes it easy on himself. 9:30 p.m. Mickelson plays 3-wood but still finds the fairway bunker on the par-5 18th. 9:27 p.m. Annika Sorenstam sighting at Pebble Beach. BTW, I haven't seen any really good celebrities yet this week. Where's Eastwood? 9:25 p.m. Harrington's putt just lips out. Now 4-over. Kind of the way it's been going for Paddy lately. 9:23 p.m. Another white-hat wearing par for Mickelson on 17. 9:21 p.m. The crowd is going wild for Phil on the 17th green. Makes you wonder what Sunday would sound like.
But don't get too confident, Phil fans. He'll still probably need to do it in the wind one day. 9:16 p.m. Mickelson finds back fringe of the green, Harrington in the bunker. Has anyone ever seen Phil eat on the course? Tiger's always got his peanut butter sandwiches, but you never see Phil gnawing on anything. Bones must be sneaking him Krispy Kremes or Five Guys. 9:15 p.m. Finally! Harrington, Mickelson and Yang on tee at the par-3 17th after 16 minute wait. 9:10 p.m. Reader Guy Gallant writes: I would like to see us amateurs, regardless of our handicaps, 2 or 24, play this 14th hole. Oh, yeah! No. 6 would be a great one too. I get vertigo just looking up at it. 9:05 p.m. Mickelson and friends will be lucky to finish this round in six hours. 9:00 p.m. Harrington makes his birdie and is starting to look pretty good at 3-over. Mickelson at 1-under, heading to 17. Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck been with Phil all afternoon: I've
been following Phil since #7 inside the roes, ergo no tweets. Dude is
playing beautifully, could be lower. Gonna be a fun weekend! 8:55 p.m. Mickelson is staring down another birdie chance at 16…..it's close and it….just misses. Somewhere Tom Watson (7-over) is ironing his shirt for tomorrow. 8:54 p.m. Even Mickelson is applauding Harrington's draw approach to about 15 feet on 16.
Golf.com deputy editor David Dusek checks in via Twitter. Props to Sports Illustrated's Damon Hack for picking Padraig Harrington this week. I don't think he'll win, but sometimes I forget just how good he is. Wow. 8:52 p.m. Smart-money pick K.J. Choi is still hanging around. He's one-over through 16. Early action on KJ made Las Vegas sportsbooks drop his odds from 65 to 1 down to 20 to 1 before the tournament. 8:50 p.m. Ricky Barnes in trouble on — you guessed it! — 14. He makes 7, now plus-4. 8:44 p.m. Another par for Mickelson on 15. It's going to be a fun weekend. 8:42 p.m. If you didn't notice the logo on his hat, his collar and his sweater, Derek Lamely (16-over) is sponsored by Callaway. 8:39 p.m. Only Adam Scott could look great teeing off on No. 7 at 9-over. He sticks it close though. 8:36 p.m. Mickelson on 15. From the rough, he plays his approach to the front of the green. Remember, as Johnny Miller once said, at the U.S. Open "pars wear little white hats." 8:35 p.m. Ricky Barnes looks like he thinks poa annua is a particularly strong strain of marijuana. 8:31 p.m. Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods. Sorry, I have to mention him every 60 minutes or the hatch blows up. 8:29 p.m. Mickelson misses his birdie putt, tap-in par. Still 1-over. Yang makes his putt for 8, now 10-over. 8:26 p.m. I better mention that Matt Bettencourt has moved into a tie for second at 1-under. I don't want to get on the bad side of those Matt Bettencourt fans. 8:23 p.m. Yang is on his way to double or worse at 14. This is better than NASCAR. And I really like Yang. 8:20 p.m. Mickelson's approach to 14 spins past the hole, almost close enough to look in. He'll have another birdie putt. A USGA historian just started making his way toward the back nine. 8:18 p.m. Hey, Phil! Reader Chris Belisle is in your corner: You've got this reader right here Mike, and I'm certainly rooting for Phil! 8:14 p.m. Mickelson makes an expert lay-up on 14. If Phil makes a birdie here — where Zach Johnson just made a 9 — a lot of guys will start bagging their bags. 8:13 p.m. If you love all these shots of Pebble and are thinking about moving to the Monterey Peninsula, here's the lowdown…
Pros: Beautiful scenery, great weather, delicious food and wine, and nice people.
Cons: A lot of four-way stop signs.
So it's basically a wash. 8:09 p.m. Live Blog all-star Guy Gallant has noticed that Phil's great round isn't great news for everybody: Someone give Weirsy
a beer after that hole out from the trap! And I hope Phil doesn't go
all Stewart Cink on Tom Watson by posting -4. Phil is still a wonderful
story a would be happy to see him win. 8:05 p.m. Mickelson on the tee at 14. This could be interesting. 8:03 p.m. Golf.com deputy editor Dave Dusek on the 14th green (via Twitter). Peter Kostis texted me today saying that the 14th green should be re-designed. I think Zach Johnson would agree right now. Dusek is such a name-dropper. I get texts from Tiger all the time, I just don't talk about it. Tiger DeLuca, that is. 8:01 p.m. ESPN's Chris Berman and Roger Maltbie must be able to do some real damage at a buffet. 7:55 p.m. Zach Johnson's (3-over) chip rolls about 20 yards off the green on 14. Sorry, Zach, but I love the U.S. Open. The ocean views are awesome at Pebble, but you can't beat the carnage at the inland par-5 14th. 7:52 p.m. Reader Guy Gallant: You should come to Canada for a visit, we'll give you a few good cold ones! You will not regret! Thanks, Guy. Canada's my second-favorite country. I might have to buy since you might be my only reader right now. 7:50 p.m. Mickelson saves his par. Still 1-under. 7:48 p.m. Mickelson's pitch from the rough rolls to within about five feet. Reader Cuttlefish Placedo and the Anyone But Phil crowd hold their breath. 7:45 p.m. Golf.com editor Charlie Hanger writes: Separated at birth: Brendon de Jonge and Danny McBride, a k a Kenny Powers from HBO's Eastbound and Down
7:43 p.m. Mickelson talks to his ball on the par-3 12th. The ball won't listen, and Mickelson is in the rough behind the green. 7:40 p.m. Kids, if you're looking for a way to make your U.S. Open viewing experience more enjoyable, try to imitate Padraig Harrington talking yardages with his caddie. More entertaining than you'd think. 7:38 p.m. I know everyone's trying to be healthy, but if a beer only has 64 calories, is it really a beer anymore? 7:36 p.m. Phuggedaboudit! Mickelson makes another birdie on 11. He's now 1-under for tournament and 5-under (!) for the day. 7:33 p.m. Canadian reader Guy Gallant hopes the media doesn't ignore Tom Watson this week: I
really believe that, if Tom Watson makes the cut, and can finish
between +2 and +6 come Sunday, after what he did at the Masters, should
be a story for the media, don't forget, this guy is 60. Phil is 20
years younger, Ryo is 42 years younger! I'm happy we are giving this
guy credit, because he can play. Tom Watson can still play with these
guys, Dubai – T-8, Masters, he was leading after the 1st round…just
saying. Guy, we don't have to worry about Tom Watson getting enough attention at this U.S. Open. 7:32 p.m. Is everyone else as sick of Twitter as I am? 7:27 p.m. Mickelson has another sweet approach on 11, probably 15 feet left for birdie. 7:25 p.m. I just refilled my coffee. Did I miss another Mickelson birdie? ….. Thankfully, no. 7:21 p.m. Mickelson in the fairway again on 11. He just exudes confidence out there. Did he and Tiger do something like John Travolta and Nicolas Cage in Face/Off? 7:20 p.m. There are bad questions and then there is the first question Ryo Ishikawa (1-under) was asked at his press conference today. Is the word pressure even in your Japanese vocabulary? Probably not. 7:18 p.m. Mickelson misses his putt, tap-in par, still even. Fifth on the scoreboard but first in the hearts of the fans. 7:16 p.m. Phil makes a nice approach on 10, has ANOTHER makeable birdie putt. 7:12 p.m. The crowd watching from the beach at Pebble wrote "Go Phil!" in seaweed. There hasn't been this kind of love in the Bay Area since 1969. 7:08 p.m. Jim Furyk is 4-over through 11. All this talk on ESPN about grinders is making me hungry. 7:05 p.m. In the press tent, we root for the best story. From that perspective, the best winners (from among the leaders) would be:
1. Phil Mickelson: Duh!
2. Ryo Ishikawa: At 18, he'd be the first major winner under 25 since Woods at the 97 Masters
3. Ernie Els: Probably affected the most by Woods's shadow these last 10 years. Still a big star in the game, very popular with the fans. 7:02 p.m. Let's check the transcript to see if Tiger Woods (4-over) said anything interesting after his round……..uh, no. 7:00 p.m. Mickelson makes bogey–even for day, 31 for front nine. Should be fun to watch this second nine. 6:58 p.m. Phil's got about a five-footer to save par and shoot a front-nine 30….no. And just like when Kate Moss goes to KFC, there's still some chicken on that bone. 6:56 p.m. Ricky Barnes is 1-over through and he's in contention at the U.S. Open for the second straight year. Still can't find a decent looking hat though. 6:55 p.m. Mickelson's tee shot finds the bunker at 9. 6:47 p.m. Reader Guy Gallant (the Live Blog reader with the coolest name) says it's not a memorable day for Canadian golf. So much for Canada today…had high hopes for the Canuck! who is our biggest golf story in recent years. Mike Weir and Kent Eger are both 6-over. Stephen Ames is 8-over. But you've got Jamie Sadlowski on the horizon If you haven't seen this guy's swing, check it out here. He's the real-life Happy Gilmore. 6:45 p.m. Reader Jason Jarvis wants more Phil! I hope this is a
blog that gushes about whomever rattles off four birdies in a row,
whether it's Phil or anyone else. (And I don't care if he's a phony,
he's better entertainment than any other golfer playing today).
6:42 p.m. Phil yeah! Another birdie on 8, now 1-under. That puts PM in second along with Dustin Johnson, Ernie Els, Ryo Ishikawa, and Hiroyuki Fujita. Leader is Graeme McDowell at 3-over with a couple extra vowels. 6:39 p.m. Other big names heading home? Rory McIlroy (10-over), Geoff Ogilvy (10-over), Adam Scott (9-over), Hunter Mahan (8-over). 6:37 p.m. I guess I missed my chance to walk a few holes with Rocco Mediate this week. He's 12-over after a couple 77s. Rocco, we'll always have Torrey. 6:33 p.m. K.J. Choi (2-over) hits his third shot at 18 (his ninth) over the green. He was another victim of 14 today, making double on the par 5. 6:28 p.m. Mickelson (even) makes par on 7 and finds the fairway on the par-4 eighth. He took a chance here, running his ball almost up to the cliff. Can't blame him if the adrenalin is pumping after his four-birdie start. 6:26 p.m. ESPN showing highlights of Tom Kite's famous 1992 U.S. Open win at Pebble in the wind. I really hope we get a day like that this weekend. No wind at a Pebble Open would be like no snow at the Iditarod, or something like that. 6:23 p.m. Triple for Ian Poulter on 14, now 4-over. He's going to have to beat Slovenia now. 6:19 p.m. Mickelson finds the back edge on the par-3 seventh. He'll have a look at birdie. Meanwhile, playing partner Padraig Harrington (2-over) finds the bunker.
Longtime reader Eldrick from Orlando emails: I hope this isn't going to be one of those live blogs that gushes over Phil for five hours. You know he's a phony, right? 6:15 p.m. Poulter's taking the England tie pretty hard: two bogey on the first two hole and now he's making a mess of 14, his fifth. Looking at possible triple. 6:11 p.m. Mickelson flashes a big grin after making another birdie on No. 6, he's now even par for the tournament and looking like a contender. 6:10 p.m. Playing with Mickelson, Y.E. Yang having a good round today as well — he's 1-under for day, 1-over for tournament. 6:09 p.m. Golf Magazine's man in Europe Paul Mahoney caught Tiger's caddie Stevie Williams giving Ian Poulter the business over England's tie with Algeria tie: Steve Williams (New Zealand) heckles Poulter (England) on the range as
the Englishman heads off for his 2nd round: "Hey, even WE'VE scored more goals than you. 6:08 p.m. Mickelson (1-over) on the par-5 No. 6 — my favorite hole here — hits his approach about 20 yards short of the green. Phil + No Wind = Low Scores at Pebble Beach. Just watch. 6:05 p.m. Thanks, Connell, and Hello Live Blog readers. I'll be here Live Blogging Round 2 of the U.S. Open from Pebble Beach for the rest of the day. It's the graveyard shift, but don't treat me like a stiff, join the conversation below. Connell Barrett, editor at large, Golf Magazine6:04pm OK, I'm throwing this here blog over to Golf Magazine and Golf.com MVP Mike Walker, who'll be slaving over a hot keyboard for the rest of the action today. Be nice to him… he's still hurting over his Celtics.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of round 2. Later. 6:01pm On the par-5 6th, Phil pulls an iron and finds the fairway.
"It's 3pm in the afternoon, and the course is in the same condition as it was this morning," says ESPN's Curtis Strange, explaining why we're seeing birdies this afternoon. 5:56pm Cut watch! It's projected at 7-over, meaning Watson would stick around for another two days. 5:53pm Lefty's chip snuggles up to inches on the par-3 fifth, for his third straight 3. He's smacking his chops thinking about the reachable par-5 6th hole, then the 109-yard par-3 seventh, with very little breeze today. 5:47pm Phil's birdie train chugs to the 5th tee, the 195-yard par-3. He pushes his tee shot left into the greenside rough where he'll have a tricky up-and-down. But he appears to have a good lie, and he has green to work with. 5:44pm Three straight birdies for Phil, who gives a little Phist pump after draining it on no. 4. Just like that, he's vaulted into a tie for 13th, 4 off the lead. 5:39pm Phil hits a crisp and cool little stop-and-grab wedge from 64 yards on no. 4, parking it to about 8 feet from the cup for what would be a third straight birdie. Three straight birdies? Is this the U.S. Open or the Hope? 5:35pm The leaderboard is shaping up to be veddy interesting. Ernie, Ishikawa, Casey, maybe Phil by day's end. It's getting good. Better than yesterday's sleepy action, anyway. Someone's gonna shoot a 66, 67… 5:31pm Three straight birdies for Phil? On the short par-4 4th — just 331 yards — Lefty finds the short grass with a long iron. He should be able to attack the pin on the fourth easiest hole on the course. 5:27pm Charge! On no. 3, after a stunning approach, Mickelson rolls in a slick downhill birdie putt for his second straight birdie. He's 2-under on the day. Somewhere, Dave Stockon is smiling. 5:24pm Whoops. Had a little technical difficulty there — stupid dial-up! — but I'm back. We return to the action… 5:15pm Taking an aggressive swing on the third tee, Mickelson finds a fairway bunker.
Ahh, he's never boring, is he? 5:14pm Mickelson drains his 4-footer for birdie on no. 2, moving him to 1-under on his round and 3-over for the tournament. Before Phil addressed the putt, he did a one-handed (his left) practice putting stroke, perhaps a tip given to him last night from putting guru Dave Stockton. 5:10pm Just the 10th birdie of the day at no. 3, courtesy of '03 champion Jim Furyk, now 2-over for the tournament. 5:08pm Mickelson sticks his approach on no. 2 to 4-5 feet, for what would be Lefty's first — first! — birdie of the 2010 U.S. Open. 5:05pm Back to the action in a minute, but here's one man's take — blog reader Cam Hoy — on the Year of the Cat. Woods will go majorless in 2010, he thinks: No major for Tiger this year. That magic with his putter is what saved him so many times and facilitated so many victories. His driving has never been particularly accurate, even when it was substantially longer than the rest of the field. Those days are long gone. Without the flat stick magic he is just another pro. Whether this has anything to do with him playing in fewer and fewer tournaments is the more appropriate inquiry then whether the personal issues are too hefty a burden, in my humble opinion. Now watch, he'll win by five strokes at St. Andrews just to remind us all how little we know. 4:59pm S.I. contributor John Garrity, a leader of men, reports on the leader of the Open: A minute ago, McDowell, in his press conference, was asked if he thought that winning here would put him in a select company of winners. McDowell said no, because he hadn't a clue who else had won here, other than Tiger. He said, "I'm not a massive golf historian. I'd be lying if I said I was." Nicklaus, Watson and Kite will probably smile at that. Well, no – Kite won't. 4:54pm Lefty launches a loverly center-cut tee shot on no. 2. His swing looks tight. 4:50pm Phil nearly chips in on no. 1. He'll make a par. Stand by for more on a brewing Rules controversy involving Micheel, who apparently double-hit a chip today. 4:46pm On no. 1, Mickelson goes pin-hunting (from a good lie in the rough) and finds the short greenside rough. Still, he has a shot at a chip-in birdie, and should do no worse than par. 4:43pm Shameless plug of the day: Check out this video of Will Ferrell recreating Arnold Palmer winning the 1960 U.S. Open. It's wild, weird stuff! (Though WF's mid-section is less Arnold Palmer and more Arnold the "Green Acres" Pig.) Back to the action… 4:38pm Using a long iron on the par-4 first, Phil pushes his tee shot into the left rough. But it's a short hole — 380 yards — and he appears to have a fluffy lie. 4:35pm Bold prediction. The planets are aligned for Lefty: Good weather, no win, soft-ish course, repaired putting game. Phil shoots 68 today to get to par for the week. Count on it! (Of course, I also bet $5,000 that Team USA would beat Slovenia today. Whoops.) 4:32pm Phil's about to tee off! Get your Pepto ready.
You know, I like Phil, so seeing him struggle with his putter yesterday was a bummer. He had to call Dave Stockton last night to figure out why he was hitting it all over the face yesterday. But it's somehow heartening to know that these living golf gods on Tour have the same struggles as we hacker mortals. 4:28pm Where's Jim Nantz when you need a corny caption? "Michael Campbell: Mmmmm, mmmm, bad." 4:27pm S.I.'s Dick "Fairway" Friedman is on Johnny Miller one-liner watch. From his living-room bean bag in New Jersey, Friedman writes: Johnny, after Michael Campbell shot his second consecutive 7-over-par at the U.S. Open: "He's become consistent. Unfortunately, consistency is 78." 4:24pm Ishikawa taps in for par on 18, to stay at 1-under for the week. "Is this the last putt for Watson at a U.S. Open?" Hicks asks before Watson calmly drains his 4-footer for par. The pride of Kansas City might be around for two more days. (Ahh, if only he could have summoned those nerves on the 72nd hole at Turnberry last year.) 4:20pm Watson nearly stuffs a long birdie putt on 18. Still on the cutline at plus-7, he needs to make a 4-foot comebacker for par if he wants to play the weekend. 4:18pm Ishikawa sticks his approach on the par-5 18th to 12-15 feet under the hole. He'll have a shot at birdie, to get to 2-under for the week. 4:17pm That's pars all for the group of Woods, Els and Westwood on no. 9. 4:13pm Tiger hits a solid lag putt to a couple feet on 9, his last hole of the day, for a likely par to finish. 4:12pm Ishikawa lays up his second shot on the par-5 18th. (Did you catch that, Phil?) 4:10pm After a drive of at least 350 yards on the par-4 9th, Tiger pulls a wedge and overcooks it to the back of the green, with the pin cut front, leaving a long, nasty putt that McDowell was lucky to 3-putt. Johnny Miller read my mind when he said, "That's just horrendous there," adding that Woods has a putt "that could just go right off the green." 4:06pm The pride of Japan Ishikawa makes his birdie putt on the inhumane par-3 17th (a scoring average of more than 3.5 yesterday) to get to 1-under. An 18-year-old winning the U.S.Open would be a monster story… maybe the best story of the week, barring a Phil comeback. 4:02pm Tiger misses his birdie putt on no. 8. BUT [dramatic pause…] on no. 9 tee, he pulls driver, rips it, and catches the fairway's downslope and rolls and rolls and rolls… The 505-yard par-4 just became a (much needed) birdie hole for Tiger. 3:57pm Meanwhile, 18-year-old (!!) Ishikawa stripes his tee shot on the brutal par-3 17th — the hardest hole on the course — to about 10 feet. He'll have a look at birdie to get to 1-under for the event. Not bad for a guy who rode to the course today in a child's car seat. 3:54pm Is Dustin "Mr. Pebble Beach" Johnson, at 1-under for the week, the man to beat? He just rolled in a 35-footer for par on no. 17! 3:51pm Johnny's not impressed by TW's swing, but Tiger "is NOT out of this," Miller insists on NBC. "Two-over could win this thing." 3:49pm Tiger also takes 7-iron, stopping his approach near Westwood's on no. 8. He'll have a 25-footer or so for birdie. 3:47pm Ernie leaves his loooong approach on the par-4 8th short of the green. From 214 yards out, Westwood rips a 7-iron to the front-middle of the green. Next, Tiger… 3:45pm Ernie's now at 1-under for the week, 3-under on the day. If you had to lay down $100, who'd you pick right now? I'd go with Big Easy, who has the experience (two U.S. Open wins) and, of course, the game. And he must feel a sense of urgency being over 40 and knowing that he has precious few major chances left. 3:39pm Tiger from 10 feet on 7 brushes in his birdie to get to 4-over. He's 7 back after McDowell 3-putted from the back of the 9th green to finish with a 68 today. He currently leads at 3-under. 3:35pm Westwood has a great look at birdie on no. 7 but lacks the proper testosterone. Par for the Brit. Next, Tiger with his own nice look at birdie to get to 4-over for the week. 3:30pm Speaking of youch, Tiger left himself a LONG birdie putt on 6. 3:27pm De Jonge horseshoes a 4-foot birdie putt on no. 7 that would have gotten him back to even for the week. Youch. 3:24pm From 186 yards out on an awkward downhill lie from the fairway, leader-by-3 McDowell knocks his approach on the par-4 9th to the back-left portion of the green. He'll have a long, downhill putt to the front-right-cut pin. Bogey's still very possible. 3:20pm Tiger chases his second shot on the par-5 6th to a few yards off the front of the green. He'll have a chance to chip/putt for eagle, and should do no worse than birdie, which he needs badly. 3:16pm From Johnny's lips to god's ears. Yesterday was a bit ho-hum for a U.S. Open Thursday. Back to the action: On the 523-yard par-5 6th, Tiger pulls driver and splits the fairway. 3:12pm A ray of light for Phil on a gloomy day at Pebble: A low score is out there today, says NBC's Johnny Miller, citing the lack of wind and the low fog, which has kept much moisture on the greens and fairways. I expect something in the 60's for Lefty today, after his opening round 75. 3:09pm On the par-3 5th, Tiger rolls a 30-foot birdie putt a couple feet past. A likely par for Tiger. Meanwhile, McDowell stripes a driver down the center of the par-4 8th. 3:06pm Indeed, steady McDowell got up and down for his par on no. 8. On to the 505-yard par 4 9th, his 18th hole of the day. 3:02pm Oh no… Chris Berman on ESPN just referred to Dustin "the wind" Johnson, and De Jonge "and the restless." There's just never a Taser around when you need one. 2:59pm Question for our liveblog round-table: Is Tiger toast? I don't mean for the U.S. Open, but for 2010? More and more, this is looking like a lost season for the (for now) World No. 1. Sure, St. Andrews will be more forgiving off the tee next month, but it's not like Tiger's hitting it 50 yards farther than everyone else, like he used to.
Will Woods go majorless in '10? I think yes. I still think he catches Jack one day, but it's gonna take him longer than we thought it would. 2:56pm Woods hits a sand wedge to about 15 feet on no. 4. He'll have a nice look at birdie. 2:55pm McDowell hits a fine approach on the frightening no. 8, leaving his second just below the hole. He'll have an uphill putt or chip to make his par 4. He looks solid and poised. 2:52pm Tiger makes his short bogey putt on no. 3 — he's now at 5-over for the Open — and finds the fairway on the 331-yard no. 4 with an iron. 2:49pm The pride of Portrush, Northern Ireland — gritty Graeme McDowell — leads the U.S. Open by three. But he has two difficult holes left to finish his round, no. 8 and 9. His tee shot on 8 trickles into the lefthand side of the graduated rough. It shouldn't create a problem for his spine-tingling approach over the beach. 2:45pm Tiger missed his off-the-green putt on no. 3, leaving a tricky downhill 3-footer for bogey. 2:43pm Tiger leaves his approach a few paces off the front of the green on no. 3, with its pin cut front. Woods will have to chip in or hole an off-the-green putt to save par and avoid falling to 5-over for the week. 2:42pm Tiger, at plus-4, found his tee shot on no. 3 but will have to take an unplayable lie. He's hitting his third. Again, he'll have to scramble to save a par, putting way too much pressure on his already dodgy putter. The year 2000 seems like a century ago. It's hard to fathom how his game, life and image have changed since November. 2:38pm McDowell drops a putt to take it to 4-under, a 3-shot lead. Also: Tiger rope-hooks his tee shot on the par-4 No. 3 into a dark and nasty place. No apparent sign yet that they've found his ball, which would be a stroke-and-distance penalty for the foundering Woods. It's the worst swing I've seen Woods make all week. 2:36pm A fresh-from-the-course report from Golf Mag/Golf.com Senior Editor, Mike "Scoop" Walker: Just came in from walking the back nine with Tiger's group (his front nine). No wind at all today and the ocean looks as calm as a bathtub. Woods is out there grinding and the galleries are starting to get thick. It's a great group — Els and Westwoods are crowd favorites too so it's not just everyone watching Woods. No heckling yet, but 8 a.m. fans usually are still dazed from their 5 a.m wakeup calls. The beer is flowing freely at Pebble now — seeing more than a few double-fisters — so you'll hear louder cheers for the rest of the day. 2:33pm Tiger misses his long par putt on No. 2, for bogey. He's now 4-over, 7 strokes off the lead. 2:31pm I really dug S.I. senior writer Damon Hack's piece on Tiger Woods today. He made the great point that if Jack was in his prime and playing today, he'd cross a complaining TW off the list of guys he'd have to worry about this week – and that's not the Woods we know. Damon writes:
2:27pm Micheel goes for the par-5 6th green in two, leaving his approach just short of the green. He'll have a putt or chip off the front for eagle, setting up a likely up-and-down for birdie, which would get him back to even for the tournament and 2-over on the day. 2:24pm On the par-4 second, Tiger, after laying up, leaves his approach a good 30 feet below the hole. Woods is looking at another bogey. 2:22pm On No. 6, leader McDowell from 255 yards out leaves his second in the fairway short of the green on the par-5. He'll have a short iron in. He's currently leading at 3-under. 2:19pm After finding the fairway bunker on No. 2, Tiger splashes out, laying up well short of the green. Meanwhile, Duval rolls in a birdie putt on No. 4. 2:15pm Thanks, Farrell. And pardon the delay. A few technical woes. (My Net connection involves a Campbell Soup can and piece of string. I'm here for the next three hours of the U.S. (British) Open: 50's, breezy, pseudo-linksy golf and an Irishman leading the Open. Let's talk golf! Farrell Evans, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated Golf Plus 2:02pm One last thing to Cam Hoy. It's not just Dustin. All of the players are baffled. The greens are bumpy and fast so to the pros who are accustomed to rolling the ball on pure greens this is a nightmare. Take it away Connell. 2:00 pm Passing it off to the great Connell Barrett from Golf Magazine, who will take us into the afternoon. See you tomorrow afternoon when the leaders tee off at around 3 eastern. 1:56 p.m. Dustin Johnson just three-putted from inside 10-feet to fall out of the lead. The first putt was moving left to ride a tad and downhill but he was spooked by the speed more than anything. On the comeback putt, he just jabbed at it. 1:54 p.m. To SJCISKE: It has nothing to do with the season. It has to do with the tide, according to my colleague Cameron Morfitt. 1:48 p.m. To Cam Hoy: Tiger just went for it on 18 but he hit a one-handed fan and had a tough chip from some deep rough for his third to about 10 feet. So players are going for it but it's a low percentage shot with the howling wind. It makes more sense to layup to a little flip wedge from a big fairway. 1:45 p.m. That Johnson is contending early proves in part that the setup doesn't fundamentally change the DNA of Pebble Beach. Also with his length he might be able to hit 5-irons all the way around the course. 1:40 p.m. Speaking of Dustin Johnson, he just birdied the tough 10th hole to gain a share of the lead. 1:38 p.m. Dustin Johnson is right there at 1 under, two back of the leaders. A Three-peat at Pebble Beach. Now that would be a story. 1:36 p.m. To SJCISKE: The greens are obviously the same size as they are in February for the At & t. The critical difference is the pin locations, the weather and the rough around the fairways and the greens. Plus Pebble Beach is a natural golf course: rustic and raw so the tiniest changes can make the simplest chip a much harder shot. 1:32 p.m. To Cam Hoy: Phil will predictability be on attack mode. I forgot for a moment who I was talking about. And yes definitely the front is an easier place to reel off some birdies, at least until he gets to 8 and 9. 1:30 p.m. Tiger bogeyed the 17th hole to fall back to even for the day. 1:26 p.m. To "It's not Joe": No one is going after the fourth because an iron and a wedge is the prudent play. 1:23 p.m. To Cam Hoy: There is a 10-shot rule and who knows the cut could be +6 or 7 by the day's end. 1:20 p.m. The 208-yard par 17th, which is easily the hardest hole on the golf course, is going to send a lot of players to the insane asylum this week. Tiger just hit probably a five-iron way off target and he looked baffled by the result. Now that green is as small as any that you will see at your local muni. It's hard to imagine that it's the same place that Jack and Watson made such lasting U.S. Open history. 1:18 p.m. De Jonge now shares the lead with Graeme McDowell of Norther Ireland. 1:15 p.m. To Cam Hoy: If Phil has any common sense he better play careful or he could miss the cut. Even with his otherworldly short game, this course will eat his lunch. 1:12 p.m. The greens are the talk around Pebble Beach. I haven't heard this much talk about greens at an Open since Pinehurst. You have to be onsite to appreciate how small and undulating these things are. 1:07 p.m. To Cam Hoy: The mood is of players battling a tough golf course. It's early in the second round and the conditions are tough. It's cold and windy. The inaction is a reference to how careful the players are being around the greens and with their approach shots. Inaction is not playing aggressive. The rough around the fairways is not as penal as the stuff around the greens. So play is extra slow. 1:01 p.m. Gore did play awful on Sunday but he was on the brink of disaster all week. I think De Jonge is a more consistent player than Gore. 12:51 p.m. To reader Richard who is worried about TV ratings if Tiger and Phil don't play well: I used to think the same thing until I happened upon Dick Ebersol, the NBC Sports boss, at the Open at Pinehurst. I asked him about the little-known Jason Gore topping the leader board and he told me that it was great for the ratings. So people love these underdog stories as long as the underdog is a nice fella. 12:46 p.m. To reader Kris who calls the blog lame: It's friday morning of a four-day tournament and the greens are lighting fast and the wind is howling and the rough is high. All the players are cautious and slow over every shot and Tiger and Phil, the favorites, are playing not to make mistakes. Where the action? Right now it's inaction. 12:41 p.m. Tiger just birdied the 14th hole to get to 2 over for the tournament. 12:36 p.m. To my man, "It's not Joe:" Phil will be Phil but every U.S. Open has a Cinderella story. De Jonge might be that guy. 12:32 p.m. The scores look pretty good this morning. I think some more receptive pin positions are making the course a little more forgiving. I mean tee to green the course is for the taking, save holes 8 through 10 and the impossible 17th, but the greens are going to make or break this Open. 12:22 p.m. A reader named "It's not Joe" wants us to get on the Phil bandwagon. I'll believe it when I see it. The guy forgot how to hold the golf club on Thursday. But I'm not betting against him. 12:18 p.m. Tiger is even for the day. Don't expect any fireworks from a man hitting 3-irons all day. 12:16 p.m. Ernie Els is 2 under for the day and now in the Top 10. He's won this thing twice. 12:12 p.m. Brendon De Jonge is a native of Zimbabwe who played college golf at Virginia Tech and lives in Charlotte. He's made almost a $900,000 this year. He's no Jason Gore. He's legit. 12:05 p.m. Who is Brendon De Jonge? He is in the lead alone at 4 under. 12:04 p.m. This is off the subject but Darren Rovell of CNBC has reported that IMG lost $4.6 million from Tiger's lost endorsement fees in 2009. That means that if Tiger is paying the firm a 15 percent fee, he lost $30 million in endorsements in 2009. 11:59 a.m. Paul Casey is at 2 under par and a shot off the lead. He's due to win a major. 11:54 a.m. The U.S. soccer team has salvaged a tie with Slovenia, so now the world and ESPN can turn their attention to golf. 11:52 a.m. The wind is blowing about 12 mph and along the Cliffs of Doom, holes 8, 9 and 10, it's never calm. It's commonly a two-shot wind along that stretch. 11:48 a.m. To Reader David's question about the cut line possibly sending a 100 guys to the weekend. If this happens it really means that it's almost a new tournament starting on saturday with almost anybody left in the field with a chance to win. 11:42 a.m. Honestly, I don't think Tiger can win this week because even though he's hitting approach shots into tiny greens, he's not giving himself a lot of realistic birdie chances. 11:41 a.m. Tiger has birdied the 11th hole and is now at 2 over. Maybe he makes a run this morning. 11:35 a.m. It's way too early to call a cut line but I'm guessing with the 10-shot rule that it's probably going to be around 8-over par. 11:32 a.m. The other night I had dinner with Sean Foley, the hot new teacher on tour. I asked him how his pupil Justin Rose was dealing with not getting into the U.S. Open. Foley said half-jokingly that Rose had a million reasons (his Memorial payday) to be just fine and that the two went to a Hip Hop concert to celebrate his first PGA Tour win. 11:23 a.m. Dustin Johnson is 1 under for the day and two shots off the Friday morning lead. Johnson has won here twice on an obviously different course, but he knows his way around the place. He's in the mold of a Lucas Glover, a natural swinger, easy going and naive enough to think that he can win the thing. 11:19 a.m. Ryo Ishikawa probably hit the ball better than anyone yesterday. He hit a few drivers which shows that he's confident about hitting these fairways. I wouldn't count him out. 11:13 a.m. To reader Jackie's comment about the USGA website: Let the USGA concentrate on the golf course. 11:08 a.m. Mickelson tees off at 1:36 p.m. local. Yesterday his 74 was about the best he could have shot. 80 looked imminent at one point as his ball striking was horrendous. 11:05 a.m. Shaun MIcheel has birdied the 11th to go 3 under for the tournament. The majors are made for guys like him. Throw out consistency and for a week just throw everything against the wall and hope it sticks. 11:02 a.m. Tiger is teeing off at 11:06 a.m. eastern. I expect more grumbling from him about the greens. By the way, I talked his advance man yesterday, Glenn Greenspan, and he told me that Tiger didn't hold grudges against the media for everything that's been written about him. He doesn't love the tone of some of the riffs against him, but he's a big boy. 10:56 a.m. Tiger wasn't the only person to get heckled on the course yesterday. Coming down the back nine a table full of beers told Duval that they "felt his pain" and that they understood why he had given up the elliptical. "Who cares," one said, "when your wife is hot." 10:52 a.m. Longtime Live Blog reader Jim wishes that during the first round the announcers would talk more about the cut line than who is on the leader board. I think that's a valid concern but I think the leaders do give us a decent gauge of what the course is going to give up and who is playing the best. 10:46 a.m. To reader Jackie's question about Duval's ball-striking. D.D. looked solid. He hit most of his greens and fairways. He didn't look tentative on any of his putts. He looks like a major champion. He had one really bad swing on 16 off the tee but otherwise he played fine. 10:36 a.m. Good morning everybody. I was late getting to the blog because I was trying to help Mike Davis roll Pebble Beach's bumpy greens. But otherwise I'm wide awake on this cold Friday morning. 10:35 a.m. Sports Illustrated's Farrell Evans is warmed up and ready to take over the Live Blog. I'll be back later today. All yours, Farrell! 10:33 a.m. I heard some people laughing Thursday at Johnny Miller's line about pink-dressed Ryo Ishikawa looking like "Elton John on steroids." They must be grading Johnny's wit on the athletes' curve. 10:29 a.m. I was surprised that Woods got heckled yesterday because the morning crowds were so subdued, but California fans can be sneaky-rowdy when the beer starts flowing. 10:26 a.m. The shuttle from the Pebble Beach media center to the 10th tee (aka the Tiger Express) is leaving now. 10:24 a.m. No one lighting it up so far on the course today, although American Richard Barcelo is 1-under through 1, 5-over for the tournament. 10:21 a.m. Reader David Shook writes: "YOU'RE ESPN broadcast?" Come on… a grammar syntax mistake this early? Weekend starting early? 🙂
10:18 a.m. Tiger did make the homepage of The Drudge Report for his comments after his 3-over round Thursday. Headline: TIGER WHINES: 'The holes are much different…bunkering much different… It was so bouncy out there' That post-round interview was another low moment for Woods in a season full of them. 10:14 a.m. Tiger Woods is on the range, dressed in a weather-appropriate black. Forecast today is mostly cloudy with temperatures in the mid-50s. This really is the first of three British Opens this year, followed by St. Andrews, and Whistling Straits. 10:12 a.m. The leaders are going off early today. Shaun Micheel (2-under) tees off at 10:22 a.m., Paul Casey (2-under) goes at 7:44 a.m., and Brendon de Jonge (2-under) is at 7:55 a.m. "Alex, who are three guys I didn't pick to win the U.S. Open?" 10:10 a.m. And they're off! Round 2 of the U.S. Open is under way. Terry Pilkadaris, Rich Barcel and Gary Boyd are playing the first hole. Tiger Woods goes off in about an hour. Coincidentally, that's when your ESPN broadcast will begin.
Golf Magazine's Mike Walker will start the discussion this morning as the U.S. Open continues at Pebble Beach. Leave a question now and come back at 10 a.m. EST to join the conversation. You can also follow round 2 in our Nerve Center, which combines the blog, our leaderboard, and reader discussion in one smaller window. See it here.