US Open 2012: Lessons as Woods impresses on day two at Olympic
As the US Open reaches its halfway stage, James Tompkinson reflects on an eventful second day at the Olympic Club
Donald’s MBE isn’t based on Major performances
It was announced that Luke Donald would be made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List this week. The world No1 has been in quite stunning form all year but when it comes to the Majors, he just does not seem to be able to cut it. Shooting a nine over par 79 in the first round meant that it was going to take something very special even to get back into the top half of the field, but the Englishman failed to even produce that as he carded a two over par round of 72 to finish eleven over and miss the cut. Afterwards, he comically tweeted, “I better start playing better in the majors or they might take it [the MBE] away”. With only the British Open and the PGA Championship left to play this year, it seems clear that Donald is starting to wonder whether he will ever win an elusive Major.
Woods looks set to contend for a 15th major
The 2012 US Open is far from over, but it looks like Tiger Woods will certainly be in contention come Sunday night, and there are very few people who would argue he does not stand a great chance of winning at Olympic. His fairway hitting is phenomenal and therefore it is no surprise that the former US Open winner and world No1 is right in the mix this time around. Woods currently holds a share of the lead having carded a level par round of 70, which included three birdies and three bogeys. He will be well aware that the job is far from finished and that one bad round could ruin his dream, but Tiger is certainly on the prowl and that will send warnings to the rest of the field.
Olympic delivers the toughest US Open course yet
Has there ever been a more difficult venue than Olympic for the US Open? Defending champion Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut on Friday, blazed his way round Congressional last year, posting a score of 16 under par, and the USGA have ensured that there was not even the slight chance that someone could do that at Olympic. The fairways are extremely narrow and Friday’s pin positions were as tough as any around the world – pinned tight to corners and on tricky slopes to ensure getting close with the approach was simply impossible. It would be amazing if the eventual winning score is anything more than perhaps -2 or -3, and the fact that only three players (Woods, David Toms and Jim Furyk) are better than level par at the halfway stage shows just how difficult Olympic is to negotiate.