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Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk tied for U.S. Open lead as Tiger Woods fades

Leaderboard

Graeme McDowell 69 72 68 209 -1

Jim Furyk 70 69 70 209 -1

Fredrik Jacobson 72 71 68 211 +1

Lee Westwood 73 72 67 212 +2

Ernie Els 75 69 68 212 +2

Blake Adams 72 70 70 212 +2

Nicholas Colsaerts 72 69 71 212 +2

Notables

a-Beau Hossler 70 73 70 213 +3

Retief Goosen 75 70 69 214 +4

Tiger Woods 69 70 75 214 +4

David Toms 69 70 76 215 +5

TV/radio: 4 p.m., Ch. 8; 1040-AM

Weather: High of 70, no rain, wind southwest at 13 mph

Westwood on a charge

Lee Westwood ties for the best round of the day at 67 to contend for his long-awaited major. 3C

SAN FRANCISCO — It was difficult to tell Saturday what was more help in bringing the best out of Jim Furyk in the third round of the U.S. Open at the diabolical Lake Course of the Olympic Club.

It could have been the presence of Tiger Woods, considered to have the best chance to win of the three men tied for the lead at the start of the round. Or maybe it was the significance of the national championship and the chance to win his second, nine years after capturing his first.

Whatever the case, Furyk hit a good share of fairways and greens, saved par four times after hitting his approach shot in bunkers, and finished 54 holes in a tie for the lead with Graeme McDowell, meaning two former Open champions will go off in today's final pair.

Furyk, 42, shot par 70, beating Woods by a whopping five strokes. He concluded three rounds at 1-under 209 along with McDowell, who fired 68.

Woods' 5-over 75 shocked a golf-crazed public that expected him to seize control and get a leg up on his 15th major. But Furyk exhibited better play, carding three birdies and three bogeys, recovering after going 2 over through five holes.

Woods bogeyed two of his last three holes and fell to a tie for 14th at 214.

"It was just a tough day all day," Woods said.

Fredrik Jacobson was alone in third at 1-over 211 after shooting 68. Then came a group of four at 2 over: Lee Westwood (67), two-time Open champ Ernie Els (68), Blake Adams (70) and Nicholas Colsaerts (71).

Beau Hossler, the 17-year-old amateur who briefly led Friday, remained steady by shooting 70 and was at 3-over 213 along with five others.

Furyk was 4-of-5 on sand saves, missing only at the par-5 16th where he bogeyed to fall behind McDowell, who birdied No. 18 from 4 feet. Furyk came back with a 15-foot birdie at the par-5 17th and two-putted the treacherous 18th green from 20 feet above the hole.

The winner of the 2003 Open at Olympia Fields near Chicago, Furyk got back to par for the day by sinking birdies of 10 feet at No. 7 and 15 feet at No. 11. The birdie on the seventh came after he hit his tee ball on the drivable par-4 into a greenside bunker.

McDowell, who played the first two rounds with Furyk, said after the second round that the way you win the national championship at the tough Olympic Club is to "play Jim Furyk golf."

McDowell, the 2010 Open champion down the coast at Pebble Beach, didn't have Furyk in his group Saturday, but he took his own advice to heart with three birdies and a bogey.

As for what he likes about Furyk, the 32-year-old McDowell said, "He doesn't take chances he doesn't have to take on. He gets it back in the fairway. He putts well, holes out well. He takes his chances when it comes. And that's my type of golf as well."

Woods stumbled with three bogeys on the first six holes, and he three-putted No. 8 for another bogey. He appeared to right the ship with a 15-footer at No. 9, but it was his last birdie.

"I'm still in the ballgame," said Woods, who wound up five shots off the pace at 4-over 214. "It's not like you have to shoot 62 or 63. It's the U.S. Open."

Jacobson has improved each day, from 72 to 71 to 68. Westwood, the world's third-ranked player who is 0-for-56 in majors, tied for the best round of the day. David Toms, who with Furyk and Woods started the day at 1 under, shot 76 and was tied for 18th at 215.

Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk tied for U.S. Open lead as Tiger Woods fades 06/17/12 [Last modified: Sunday, June 17, 2012 12:36am]

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