Video: Is that the old Tiger Woods playing at the US Open?
He was the pre-tournament favourite for the US Open and Tiger Woods is living up to that billing after 36 holes.
How hard is the course they are playing this year’s US Open on? Well the Olympic Club forced out the world No 1 and 2 after just two rounds, with Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy finishing +11 and +10 respectively.
Even with the cut mark set at a ridiculous +8, it wasn’t enough to save players of the calibre of Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson from having a weekend off.
But a few players managed to tame the testing San Francisco course. Most ominously, one of them is Tiger Woods. His card looks normal after two rounds (69, 70), and that leaves him on -1, a score that would look average anywhere else. Here it is extraordinary. It leaves Woods tied for the lead with two other Americans, Jim Furyk and David Toms. And while that pair are famed for their steady play, Woods has been erratic since, well... you know what happened. There were signs his famed concentration and consistency were back in the last few months. The first two rounds here confirmed it.
The video above will show some poor short shots and some missed putts but everybody, without exception, makes mistakes on this course. Woods just made a whole lot less than almost everyone else.
There’s good news for Ireland too. Graeme McDowell, winner of this Major two years ago, sits tied for fourth, and at +1 he is right in the hunt for a second big one. Padraig Harrington, looking for his fourth Major, is on +4 and inside the top 20. To catch up, a birdie or two wouldn’t hurt but 18 pars would be equally useful.
However, at this point it is all about Woods. In nine previous Majors where he led at after 36 holes Woods won eight of them. Yes, that was in the old days, with the old Tiger’s game and aura.
Based on what we saw so far, he might be back.