Scoring remained just as difficult on day two of the US Open and now just three players lie under par. Overnight leader Michael Thompson battled to a round of 75, yet still finds himself in contention, just two shots off the lead held by Tiger Woods, David Toms and pre-tournament pick Jim Furyk. Thompson carded three birdies on day two, taking him to a total of ten for the tournament. He trades at a huge 60.00 for the win or 10.00 for the place.
Tiger Woods (2.50 to win) is looking as ominous as ever in a familiar position at the top of the leaderboard. This won't be a pleasant sight for the chasing pack, especially with Tiger seeming in complete control of his game. I thought that Woods may struggle on a course such as this, but with only five bogeys on the scorecard so far, the former world number one is in full flow.
Jim Furyk is living up to pre-tournament expectations. Hitting 27 greens in regulation so far, the 2010 Fedex Cup champion is possibly emerging as the one to beat at the Olympic Club. His game is perfectly suited to the Lakes Course and US open set-ups in general, and Jim likes nothing more than a grind over 72 holes. Trading at 6.00, expect the gritty Furyk to hang around over the weekend.
As per usual in this competition, Americans dominate the leaderboard: 11 of the top 17 are from the US. Former champion Graeme McDowell and up-and-coming superstar Nicolas Colsaerts lead the European charge, both sitting at +1, just two off the lead. They trade at 15.00 and 25.00 respectively.
Top ball striker Hunter Mahan is lurking in the background; on offer at 35.00 with Unibet or 6.00 for the place, Hunter is definitely one to keep an eye on over the weekend. Boasting an almost flawless tee to green game, Mahan is a player who will avoid the treacherous rough for the most part and will keep rolling in the pars as the other falter. He may see himself edge up the leaderboard.
If the conditions we’ve seen over the first two days continue on day three, early starters may get the chance to close the gap on the leaders. Greens for the early starters have been softer and winds have been lighter; one commentator even went so far as to say that "players have been playing a different course in the afternoon". So all hope is not lost for those as far back as +5, where big names such as Justin Rose, Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia are all waiting for their chance to make a move.
All in all, an extremely exciting weekend beckons for golf fans the world over. With the leaderboard likely to be fairly volatile, there are plenty of betting opportunities for punters to get stuck into. Hunter Mahan, is my pick before the start of play on day three.