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May 19, 2008

Early morning course workers give the graduated rough at Oakmont a trim before the second round of the 2007 U.S. Open Championship. Oakmont's fairways were running about 11 on the Stimpmeter; the first cut is mowed to about 2¾ inches, with the primary rough ankle deep -- and nasty to hit out of, as Phil Mickelson discovered.Early morning course workers give the graduated rough at Oakmont a trim before the second round of the 2007 U.S. Open Championship. Oakmont's fairways were running about 11 on the Stimpmeter; the first cut is mowed to about 2¾ inches, with the primary rough ankle deep -- and nasty to hit out of, as Phil Mickelson discovered.

Paul Casey pleads for a beneficial bounce during the second round of the 2007 U.S. Open Championship. He got it: Save for a bogey on 18 -- his ninth hole of the day -- his round of four-under 66 was as close to perfect as Johnny Miller's legendary 63 in the 1973 Open.Paul Casey pleads for a beneficial bounce during the second round of the 2007 U.S. Open Championship. He got it: Save for a bogey on 18 -- his ninth hole of the day -- his round of four-under 66 was as close to perfect as Johnny Miller's legendary 63 in the 1973 Open.

Phil Mickelson tees off with a hybrid during Friday's play. The three-time major winner had missed the cut at an Open only once in 16 appearances, in 1992. But an injured wrist led to a 74-77, 11-over showing; he missed weekend play by one shot when leader Angel Cabrera made birdie on the last hole to get to even par.Phil Mickelson tees off with a hybrid during Friday's play. The three-time major winner had missed the cut at an Open only once in 16 appearances, in 1992. But an injured wrist led to a 74-77, 11-over showing; he missed weekend play by one shot when leader Angel Cabrera made birdie on the last hole to get to even par.

Tiger Woods extricates the ball from one of Oakmont's deep greenside bunkers. "It's just so hard out there," he said after his four-over round of 74. Still, only 12 golfers are ahead of him after two rounds of play.Tiger Woods extricates the ball from one of Oakmont's deep greenside bunkers. "It's just so hard out there," he said after his four-over round of 74. Still, only 12 golfers are ahead of him after two rounds of play.

Vijay Singh bellies a putt up close on Friday. Singh is eight over through two rounds.Vijay Singh bellies a putt up close on Friday. Singh is eight over through two rounds.

Tiger Woods weighs his options after driving it in the rough.Tiger Woods weighs his options after driving it in the rough.

Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy, who played the first two rounds with Tiger Woods, the 2006 British Open champ, finished 36 holes at 6 over, one stroke back of Woods and six back of midday leader Angel Cabrera.Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy, who played the first two rounds with Tiger Woods, the 2006 British Open champ, finished 36 holes at 6 over, one stroke back of Woods and six back of midday leader Angel Cabrera.

Jim Furyk muscles one from a fairway bunker on Friday; he's also a 6 over -- with 36 holes to play, he's well within reach of a second U.S. Open trophy.Jim Furyk muscles one from a fairway bunker on Friday; he's also a 6 over -- with 36 holes to play, he's well within reach of a second U.S. Open trophy.

Phil Mickelson tracks a shot during second-round play. Mickelson received a cortisone shot for the pain in his left wrist. "You're trying to win and hit great shots, but you're also trying not to end your career on one shot..." he said of the brutal course conditions.Phil Mickelson tracks a shot during second-round play. Mickelson received a cortisone shot for the pain in his left wrist. "You're trying to win and hit great shots, but you're also trying not to end your career on one shot..." he said of the brutal course conditions.

Ian Poulter makes a play from the church pew bunkers. "It is not unfair because we are all playing the same course," said Poulter, after a 77. "You can't double-question yourself and say it's unfair, let's all chuck the towel in and go home. It's been set up the way it has been set up and get on with it."Ian Poulter makes a play from the church pew bunkers. "It is not unfair because we are all playing the same course," said Poulter, after a 77. "You can't double-question yourself and say it's unfair, let's all chuck the towel in and go home. It's been set up the way it has been set up and get on with it."

Amateur champ Richie Ramsay of Scotland hits up and out of the sand while fellow-competitor Tiger Woods watches. Ramsay improved on his opening-round 78 to shoot 74, but missed the cut by two strokes.Amateur champ Richie Ramsay of Scotland hits up and out of the sand while fellow-competitor Tiger Woods watches. Ramsay improved on his opening-round 78 to shoot 74, but missed the cut by two strokes.

Tiger Woods hits driver on Friday. Woods was nine of 14 in fairways hit the first round, but hit only six fairways on Friday, though several drives came to rest in the more manageable first cut of rough.Tiger Woods hits driver on Friday. Woods was nine of 14 in fairways hit the first round, but hit only six fairways on Friday, though several drives came to rest in the more manageable first cut of rough.

Adam Scott, arguably the hottest player in golf over the past month, struggled in his two rounds at Oakmont, shooting an 82 on Friday to finish two rounds at 18 over par.Adam Scott, arguably the hottest player in golf over the past month, struggled in his two rounds at Oakmont, shooting an 82 on Friday to finish two rounds at 18 over par.

Phil Mickelson lets go after hitting from the deep hay on Friday. Despite a strategy of hitting hybrids and irons of some tees, Mickelson managed to find the short grass only five times out of 14 each of the two rounds he played.Phil Mickelson lets go after hitting from the deep hay on Friday. Despite a strategy of hitting hybrids and irons of some tees, Mickelson managed to find the short grass only five times out of 14 each of the two rounds he played.

Joe Durant, who finished at 11 over par, was one of 19 players on that number who were knocked out of weekend play when Carbrera birdied the last hole to get to even par. Only players within 10 shots of the lead make the cut.Joe Durant, who finished at 11 over par, was one of 19 players on that number who were knocked out of weekend play when Carbrera birdied the last hole to get to even par. Only players within 10 shots of the lead make the cut.

With his left foot perched on the grassy mounds that help make up the infamous church pew bunkers on the fourth hole, Tiger Woods plays back into the fairway. Bogey was the result.With his left foot perched on the grassy mounds that help make up the infamous church pew bunkers on the fourth hole, Tiger Woods plays back into the fairway. Bogey was the result.

Two-time Open champ Lee Janzen makes his own play from the church pew bunkers. Back-to-back 73s have Janzen in contention.Two-time Open champ Lee Janzen makes his own play from the church pew bunkers. Back-to-back 73s have Janzen in contention.

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