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Around the U.S. Open

Kids overcome county sourpusses

Children from two families put up a lemonade stand on private property — a neighbor's yard on a corner across from a spectator entrance to Congressional — to raise money for a cancer charity. They received three visits from Montgomery (Md.) County officials Thursday, twice with a warning. The third time, a citation was issued for operating the stand without a permit. The fine: $500 and a required court appearance. This particular stand could create a safety hazard in an area where police want to keep fans and traffic moving, county spokeswoman Bonnie Ayers said. A deal was worked out. Friday, the stand was moved, and the citation was rescinded. The county waived the need for a permit, which would have cost about $38. A homemade sign at the old location announced: "Grand Reopening: 25 Feet Down." By mid afternoon, the children had raked in a good haul, including a $250 check from a man who had heard of their plight.

More Blue than Rory

Rory McIlroy is making the Blue Course at Congressional look almost easy. At the other end of the spectrum, there are golfers such as St. Petersburg native Michael Barbosa, left, and Cheng-Tsung Pan, a fellow amateur playing in his first U.S. Open. Barbosa, who was studying for the bar exam this time a year ago and shot 12-over 83 on Thursday, was still on the course at No. 17 when play was suspended Friday. The 28-year-old was 10 over on the day and 22 over overall, last in the 156-man field.

Pan, who attends the University of Washington, followed his 74 with 78 Friday. "McIlroy is 11 under right now, and I'm 10 over? Twenty-one shots difference? That's a lot," said Pan, 19. "And the course is hard, as everyone knows. But there's still a way to play these courses, so I think I'll work harder in the future, just trying to get better."

What golfers are saying about McIlroy

"I personally won't look at the leaderboard all weekend because there's no point." — Brandt Snedeker, tied for third, nine shots back

"It's only two days. I'm not going to give it to him yet." — Zach Johnson, former Masters champ, who is tied for third

"It's crazy, isn't it? Pretty incredible what he's done so far." — Steve Stricker

"He's striking it flawlessly and putted great on the greens. His first two rounds were very impressive." — Phil Mickelson, McIlroy's playing partner, who shot 69 to finish at 1-over 143

"We'll see what Rory does. He's had leads before." — Lee Westwood, 12 strokes back

Times wires

Older and out

Ernie Els stood along a wall adorned with photos from his 1997 U.S. Open victory. He wasn't in the mood to reminisce, not after missing the cut in the championship's return to Congressional in Bethesda, Md. "Fourteen years ago I was in a different position," said Els, left. "Missing the cut now, I'm a little bit older, I'm (turning) 42 this year, and obviously things aren't going my way right now. … I'm just as low as I've ever been."

Els' rounds of 73 and 75 put him two shots below the cut line, projected to be at 4-over 146 when the suspended second round concludes this morning with 21 players finishing.

2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink and Adam Scott are certain to miss the cut after each bogeyed his last hole to go to 5 over. 2003 U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk (149) is also done, as is former Gator Camilo Villegas (149), the only player who had made the cut in the last 12 majors.

Around the U.S. Open 06/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2011 11:02pm]
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