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With a bogey at his last hole, Poulter fell to a five-way tie for fourth at 141 with Rose, Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood and defending champion Brooks Koepka, who matched Fleetwood's 66 for the best round of the championship thus far.

Playing alongside Andrew "Beef" Johnston Saturday, Mickelson and his playing partner chuckled about the incident walking to the 14 tee.

"I feel like right now, my game's in very good shape", Johnson explained to Sporting News. "I've had multiple times where I've wanted to do that, I just finally did it". The fiasco unfolded on Mickelson's 48th birthday. He was serenaded with "Happy Birthday" at almost every green, and even after four consecutive bogeys the fans were supportive.

"If somebody is offended by that, I apologize to them but toughen up".

Then came No. 13, where nothing was special — just outrageous. "Really hard to put the ball in the fairways, can't hold the greens". His swat sent the ball off the hole.

Rory McIlroy (#6) and Jason Day (#8) all failed to finish better than eight-over-par for the tournament as all four players struggled to recover from high scores on Thursday's round.

"I can have someone tell me to do stuff all the time every day and if I don't want to do it, I ain't gonna do it", Johnson told CNN.

It's easy to talk the talk, but Koepka also walks the walk. "I let it slip", said Poulter.

"Unfortunately, it's just what I've done the last few events", he said. "It was odd, no one ever has those thoughts, it just happens".

Steve Stricker, a part-timer on the PGA Tour these days at age 51, has made the cut at 11 straight U.S. Opens. Daly was on No. 8 in the final round when he took an 11 on the hole and signed for an 81.

Johnson didn't have anything that wild - not like the 82 he had at Pebble Beach when he entered the final round with a three-shot lead in the 2010 U.S. Open. "I've had it with the USGA and the way they run their tournaments".

Fellow American Tony Finau also shot 66, charging with a back nine of 31 strokes to join Berger at three-over. That made for a 14, a total of 83 in the first round, and a withdrawal. His 148 got him to the weekend. The most well-rounded, balanced golfer is typically the one who comes out on top at these setups. That's a sharp contrast from previous year at Erin Hills, where 44 players broke par in the opening round to set a U.S. Open record.

Woods had a goal of shooting 67 or 68 in the second round and working gradually back into the tournament, and that did not look particularly unrealistic after he birdied his first hole, the par-four 10th. He made triple-bogey there on Thursday, and then after playing the back side in even par Friday, got to the first, hit the fairway, then hit a wayward approach into tall rough.

"It's meant to take advantage of the rules as best as you can", he said.

At the end of the day, I'm never going to be one to condemn the USGA or the course for being "unfair" or "too tough".

He eventually needed eight strokes to complete the hole before accepting a two-shot penalty for "making a stroke at a moving ball", rather than the more severe offence of "an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in play" which could have resulted in disqualification.


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