It had been easy to lump Lee Westwood in with the two other guys in his threesome the first two days. The difference was, he played well enough to hang around for the weekend, and he played well enough Saturday to get into contention for his first major title.
Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy, his mates in a group composed of the top three players in the world ranking, both failed to make the cut, which gave the whole group a bad name. Westwood hung in there and made five birdies Saturday to shoot 3-under par 67 and finish 2 over, three shots behind the leaders.
Of the U.S. Open, he said, "It has no respect for who you are or what your ranking is."
He turned the tables Saturday by not getting overwrought by the occasion or anything else. "I go out and play golf for a living on the best golf courses in the world in the biggest tournaments," said the man who has seven top-three finishes in majors. "It's not a bad way to pass time."
Peterson makes an ace
John Peterson, 23, had been having a bad day, playing in the thick of the action in the next-to-last group with David Toms, his fellow LSU alumnus. Peterson was 4 over par through 12 holes and going nowhere until he got to the 180-yard par-3 13th hole. He saw his ball roll in the cup for a hole-in-one and leaped for joy. That brought him back within four of the lead. Ernie Els, who has won two U.S. Opens, put himself back in the mix (2 over) with pitch-in eagle on the par 5 17th hole.
Phil Mickelson turned 42 on Saturday and was serenaded with "Happy Birthday" on No. 18, but it wasn't the same lighthearted scene he experienced with a similar chorus at Bethpage 10 years ago. He is 8 over.
From wire reports