US Open 2013 Day Two: Phil Mickelson ties Merion lead with Billy Horschel at close of play


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The Independent Online

A birdie at the last after the horn had blown to signal the end of play for the day took Phil Mickelson back to the top of the leaderboard for a share of the US Open lead on one under par. Mickelson was two over for his round but relieved to tie Billy Horschel, who also birdied the 18 hole, as the only players in red numbers at Merion.

“It was a nice way to finish. I fought hard all day. Let a lot of birdie opportunities slide early and in the middle of the round,” Mickelson said. “I fought hard to stay in there and hit a lot of good quality shots. Made a bunch of good pars. On 18, when you don't really expect to get one, I put the ball in a good spot and was able to roll one in. It felt good.”

Justin Rose, playing in the same group as Mickelson, holed a tricky five-footer for par to close one back on level par alongside the day’s early leader Luke Donald. Rose, who shot a second round 69, was only the second player after Horschel (67) to card a sub-70 score in the second round.

Ian Poulter is also level for the tournament bust must return early today to complete the final four holes of his second round. Poulter is one of 67 players yet to finish as the weather interruptions of the first day spilled into the second.

Donald started with a one shot lead on four under, but was back to two under after completing the final five holes of his first round for a US Open personal best 68. Three hours after starting the day in cold, damp conditions at 7.13am Donald returned to start his second. Five bogeys in six holes on the back nine stole his momentum but a birdie at the penultimate hole saw him in with a 72.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods closed in a tie for 17 on three over par after each shooting 70. Lee Westwood struggled to a 77 but is likely to survive.