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Saturday, June 14, 2008

US Open Live Blog: Day Three at Torrey

6:12pm: All the leaders have now teed off as we get ready for some primetime Saturday night US Open coverage. Stuart Appleby just missed his par putt on the first and he and Rocco Mediate are tied at the top.

6:13pm: Davis Love had a great putt on the par-3 third. His effort had a chance to go in and get him even with the leaders. 2006 champ Geoff Ogilvy missed his putt at the fifth and he is now three behind.

6:16pm: Tiger Woods with a chance here to get back one of the two that he gave up with a first hole double at the second. He needs this to regain his swagger, and he didn't hit it hard enough and it stops on the left edge. Makes you think the Tiger we saw in the closing holes last night hasn't awakened yet. He's two behind.

6:18pm: Rocco Mediate is still a great story. He's tied for the lead. The thing I love about Rocco in this tourney is that it means something to him and he loves it. I love it. It's for the national championship. Guys should be excited to play it instead of whining about it. Sure the golf course is difficult. But it rewards good play.

6:21pm: The tough start has continued for Tiger. He's hit his tee shot on the third into the front bunker. Playing partner Robert Karlsson is into the hazard in the back. He actually got a very bad break hitting on the green, skipping through it and rolling down into the hazard.

6:22pm: Appleby hit a great approach at 2, but missed the birdie putt. Mediate follows with a similar birdie putt to try to take the lead outright. Rocco has made the putt and he's at three-under and the outright leader with 34 holes to play.

6:39pm: Over on Fox, Jon Papelbon has let the Reds tie the game in the ninth. Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer to tie it. Now Papelbon is just trying to get Paul Bako out with Joey Votto on first to get the game to extra innings. Bako has struck out, so they'll go extras. I'll go back to the golf.

6:42pm: Could the Thunderstorm warning logo be any bigger in the upper right hand corner of my screen? Everytime they put the player's info up there, it blocks it out. I know its raining, it is ruining my grilling opportunity. Tiger has bogeyed the fourth, he drops three behind.

6:45pm: Davis Love just made a par putt. He continues to be consistent and consistency is needed in the US Open. Appleby drove it into the rough at four and had to lay up. Will make a par tough. Mediate has hit it to the center of the green and a two-putt will probably give him the lead.

6:48pm: Appleby has hit it to about 25 feet. But he'll need that to save par. Phil Mickelson is at the finishing hole. His nine at the par-five thirteenth has pretty much ended his chances. Forget the pretty much, he has no chance. And he just missed a long birdie putt at 18. Tiger hit a good drive at 5, the only fairway he's hit today.

6:51pm: Tiger has hit the green, but a two-putt seems likely from the long distance he still has. Rocco has hit a decent putt on four, but not a good one, he has about six feet left for par. Mickelson actually just missed an eagle putt, and he follows with the four footer for birdie. Appleby missed his par attempt and for the moment, Mediate is again the lone leader at 2-under.

6:54pm: Rocco gets the lead with that par putt. I just don't see him holding up over the last 32 holes. I think the winner might be +1 or +2 when it is all said and done tomorrow. That might give Sergio Garcia a chance. He's lingering at +4 and playing well, since an opening round +6. He just missed on a birdie opp at 17, and is just about done today. He'll start a lot later in the day tomorrow, and my guess is a lot of people will go by him in the wrong direction, before he goes to bed tonight.

6:57pm: Tiger hit a great putt at six, but it did not find the bottom of the cup. Not much going right for him at the moment.

6:59pm: The leader in the clubhouse right now is Mike Weir. He's at +3, and tied for thirteenth. My guess is he'll be in the final five groups tomorrow and might have a chance late in the game.

7:01pm: Pink panted Camilio Villegas just rolled in a birdie putt at ten, he's within four at +2 for the championship and officially on the watch list. We'll keep our eyes there.

7:03pm: I've been impressed with DJ Trahan today. He looked like a scared kid on the first tee, and 77 seemed like a great possibility at that point. But he's kept it together to start the round, and has only that bogey at the first as the bad mark at this point. I don't know if he can win, but he isn't going away yet.

7:05pm: Of course if Rocco is going to keep rolling putts in, it might not matter what anyone else does. Mediate just made a quality birdie putt at five, and is showing some seperation at -3.

7:08pm: Stuart Appleby just made a six on the fifth. Four of those came on the putting surface, from about 18 feet. Not a good way to win a major championship. He's now +1, and that might be tough to recover from.

7:10pm: Peru and Colombia in a South American World Cup qualifier later tonight. You can watch that through the Thank Me Now link on the right hand side of the page we think. Greece was eliminated from the Euro today, in a 1-0 loss to Russia. Seemed to me like the Greeks were afraid to shoot.

7:12pm: Haven't said much about Lee Westwood here. (or anything for that matter) But he is the only guy other than the leader who is under par for the championship. He's one-under and a true threat to win it.

7:14pm: Remember a few moments ago, when I told you about Sergio and his chances. They were enhanced with a birdie at the last. He might end up playing with Weir tomorrow as they are both 3-over. I think one of those guys will make an appearance on the leaderboard at some point tomorrow evening.

7:16pm: Robert Karlsson, the Swede who I thought may have had a chance entering this round, is in trouble at the sixth and will fall further down the leaderboard. The curse of the FanBlog just struck Lee Westwood and DJ Trahan. I complemented them both, and they both followed it up with bogeys.

7:19pm: That potential pairing of Weir and Garcia tomorrow will not be the final one. Hunter Mahan has raced to the clubhouse after posting +2. Right now he's tied for eighth. I'm guessing he's better than that by the end of the day. Mediate is the only player in the last 17 pairings that is under par today. And its a simple formula. Hit fairways, hit greens, make a putt or two.

7:23pm: Stuart Appleby has made another bogey at #6. He's given up four shots in three holes, to go from the lead to five back. That was quick. Meanwhile, Tiger hit a good shot in at seven. Rocco burned the edge with a birdie putt on six. The qualifier who had to survive a playoff of 11 guys for seven spots, nearly got it to four under. Wouldn't it be something if it came down to two "old" guys, Rocco Mediate and Davis Love III tomorrow?

7:32pm: Tiger just made that birdie on seventh, to get back to even par again. His good play on the first two days came on the front nine, but maybe he's gearing up for a back nine charge today. If that ends up being the case he could be the leader by the end of the day.

7:35pm: Miguel Angel Jimenez just made a Saturday morning golfer birdie. He hit a good drive on the par-five ninth, then hooked ball badly, and hack to hack it out of the deep rough. He couldn't get it to the green. But not to worry he chipped it in for birdie to rack up a few specials.

7:37pm: Jimenez' birdie put him into a four-way tie for second. It is him, Love, Westwood and Woods. They are all chasing Rocco, who just hit a fabulous fairway bunker shot to the seventh green.

8:22pm: Took a little dinner break. There is no slowing Rocco down. He keeps making birdies. And speaking of birdies, DJ Trahan has made another one at 12 and he's in the group at even par, which is four shots behind the leader. The only guy between that grouping at even and Rocco is Lee Westwood who has gotten it back to -1.

8:25pm: The grouping at even has shrunk a little bit as Geoff Ogilvy just made a double bogey and Davis Love made a bogey. So now its just Trahan and Woods at even. Ogilvy's double came on the heels of back to back birdies.

8:31pm: Tiger Woods has a sand shot here. It looks difficult to me, but he's Tiger so let's see. He could not get it stopped, and he's got a long par putt. Rocco just made another par. Villegas for birdie at the seventeenth and he got it. Westwood for birdie and he moves to -2, so a little bit of pressure on Rocco.

8:38pm: Tiger just hit one so far right that he might be good. I mean so bad it's good. I've done that once or twice. But usually I can't hit it far enough to be hit it so far. Davis Love just had a chance at a birdie on the par-5 thirteenth. Trahan also missed a putt there, he had a real chance there. Ogilvy has made his third birdie in four holes, too bad there was a double in there. But he's one-over and in with a fighter's chance.

8:43pm: Phone report from the Big 33 football classic between Pennsylvania and Ohio, shows the Pennsylvania All-Stars ahead 24-0 as they near the half. Syracuse signee Mike Jones just scored from a yard out. Congratulations to Gettysburg head coach Sam Leedy for being named to the PA coaching staff.

8:49pm: Tiger hit a great shot out of that rough and is on the 13th with a huge downhill putt for eagle, putting out of the fringe. The NBC folks are saying he could putt it 50 yards off the green. He made it. He's Tiger. He's one under and three behind Rocco. I think Tiger liked it a whole bunch. The knee looked fine on the celebration. A huge roar from the huge gallery. How did you know it was going to go in?

9:01pm: DJ Trahan just made a nice par save at #14. He's really hanging in there. But that eagle from Tiger might be the best eagle in the history of the US Open. I really have nothing to compare it to, but I'm going to call it the best eagle in US Open history. Anybody want to argue with me?

9:04pm: Tiger has been hitting some errant tee shots lately. He got away with a real bad one on the last. Now he's right on the 14th. I'm guessing he doesn't get away with this one with an eagle.

9:07pm: Great commercial from NBC about the best moments in golf. They have one to add today. That eagle was incredible. The putt (which I doubt could have gone 50 yards down the fairway) was amazing. But so was the second shot. He has gotten another break here in the rough at 14. He's on the rough trampled down by the gallery with a good look at the green. But he pulled it left and he's in the bunker. Mediate hit a nice bunker shot out of the bunker at 13 and has a birdie putt, that just snakes by.

9:10pm: Mediate just three-putted from where he was and he's fallen to 3-under and Tiger picked up three on that hole. Mediate still has a two-shot lead on Tiger, one on Westwood and both of those guys are in some trouble. Tiger in more.

9:12pm: Woods is on the green but he'll have a long putt for par. Chances are he's going to give a shot back. But let's remember he's Tiger.

9:14pm: He just missed and he's back to even with Jimenez and Trahan, who just missed, so he's now +1. Ogilvy is on the back fringe at 18, with a chance to make birdie to get back to even. Jimenez has a bogey putt at 16, so he's going to give up at least one. Ogilvy, just chipped it through the green and he's now on the front fringe. He's actually lucky it didn't go into the water. Jimenez got the eight-foot bogey to stay at +1.

9:17pm: Lee Westwood made a nice sand save at 16, to stay at 2-under. Robert Allenby made a birdie at 17 to get back to 2-over. He has the par-5 18th to go, and might be a contender tomorrow.

I'm done for the day. Chances are we'll see you tomorrow.

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