Tense afternoon in store at Merion

6/15/2013 7:52:00 PM
Phil Mickelson   (Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson (Getty Images)
The third round of the US Open Championship may have been behind schedule, but it wasted little time in getting off to a dramatic start at Merion.

The knock-on effect of weather delays totalling more than four hours on the opening day meant that the second round was only completed this morning, with 73 players making the cut at eight over par.

Five-time runner-up Phil Mickelson and Billy Horschel led the way on one under par - the only two players in red figures - with another American in Steve Stricker and English duo Justin Rose and Luke Donald just a shot behind.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were only four shots off the lead after matching rounds of 73 and 70 which meant they were paired together for the third day in succession, and both made the perfect start with birdies at the opening hole.

But McIlroy then pushed his tee shot out of bounds on the par five second and in the end did well to scramble a bogey six after pulling his fourth shot left of the green.

McIlroy and Woods, seeking a second and fourth US Open win respectively, both bogeyed the third when they came up short of the green on the long par three, while they were also unable to birdie the fourth despite the tee being brought forward to make it 604 yards.

John Senden was showing them how it was done, the Australian carding birdies at the first two holes and narrowly missing from eight feet for another on the third to join Mickelson and Horschel in the lead.

And he was then in the lead on his own when Mickelson and Horschel both bogeyed the third, the final group having taken exactly an hour to play three holes.