SURELY Northern Ireland can’t win the US Open three years in a row but that outcome is well on the cards with 2010 winner Graeme McDowell sharing a two stroke lead with American veteran Jim Furyk going into the final day of the 2012 event at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
On the punishing Lakes Course layout McDowell shot a 2-under 68 to join 2003 champion Furyk (70) on 1-under.
McDowell’s countryman Rory McIlroy won in 2011 but missed the cut here by a long way.
The much vaunted comeback of Tiger Woods and his bid for a 15th major hit a big snag when the 36 hole joint leader failed to adhere to his traditional “moving day” script.
Woods certainly moved, but it was backwards. He shot a 5-over par 75 to finish tied for 14th.
“I’m definitely still in the ballgame,” said a defiant Woods, five shots behind the leaders in his attempt at a fourth US Open.
Australia’s hopes rest with John Senden who is tied in 8th place on 3-over. Senden shot a very creditable 68. Two 67’s were the best on the day.
“I like it,” Senden said when asked about his position going into the final round. “I think that’s why we practice, I’ve been getting more and more experience in the Major Championships. I need to enjoy tomorrow and it will be a tough day. Every day’s tough around this golf course, but Sunday with the pressure and going out there and just playing my game and do the best I can.”
Alone in third place on the second rung of the leaderboard was Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson (68) with Lee Westwood (67), Ernie Els (70), Blake Adams (70) and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts (71) a shot further back.2012 US Open Leaderboard