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U.S. Open, Friday Recap: Billy Horschel and Phil Mickelson take lead into Saturday

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

• Billy Horschel, a winner already on tour this season and a man who has made all but one cut in 2013, fired a 3-under 67 to get into red figures heading into the weekend.

• It wasn't the type of day that Phil Mickelson wanted, but a birdie on his final hole, his only birdie of the day, put Mickelson in the final group with Horschel as the only two men in red figures.

• Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were paired together for the first two days, and if there was ever a time to compare the two, it's this week. The top two players in the world both shot rounds of 73-70, with the latter being good enough to slowly move up a leaderboard that is heavy with bad second rounds.

• His score isn't the only headline that involves Tiger. Woods, who has winced a few times after golf shots, seems to have injured himself in the rough at Merion. He isn't saying much about it, but he has definitely grabbed his left arm and elbow a few times and continues to play through the pain.

Billy Horschel was not a household name before the 2013 PGA Tour season, but the kid has really turned it on this year. A T-2 in Houston was impressive, and he broke through in New Orleans for his first PGA Tour victory.

On Friday Horschel kept the dream season going with a round of 3-under 67, the only person in the clubhouse in red figures. Horschel hit all 18 greens in regulation on Friday and looks as confident as anyone on the grounds at Merion. Horschel now sits at 1-under for the week.

While Tiger and Rory did themselves a big favor by posting rounds of 70 to move past nearly 30 golfers, it was Steve Stricker and Justin Rose that made big leaps up the leaderboard with their rounds of 1-under 69. There were just three rounds in the 60s on Friday, with Stricker and Rose owning two of them.

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Tiger Woods — Getty Images

Tiger Woods can avoid talking about his left arm and elbow, but these pictures speak for themselves. Woods is definitely in pain here and you can see it on his face.

• Graeme McDowell was one of the former U.S. Open winners that will not be around this weekend, and that has everything to do with his seven double-bogeys he accumulated in just two rounds at Merion. McDowell had made just seven double-bogeys all season heading into the U.S. Open, so it wasn't the best of weeks for a guy whom a lot of people had on their short list of players to watch.

The list of U.S. Open winners who won't be around for the weekend is lengthy; McDowell, Jim Furyk, Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, with Zach Johnson joining them as a Masters winner that will be leaving Merion early, something Johnson apparently is fine with considering what he said of the course setup after his second round.

This shot by Justin Hicks was simply nothing but net.

Carl Pettersson had an interesting situation on the 5th hole on Friday at Merion. As he was about to pull the trigger on his shot an errant shot from No. 2 came his way and collided with his golf ball.

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With the horn sounding on play for the second day in a row, there will be plenty of golfers who have to come out early on Saturday to finish their second round.

With that, nobody really knows what the cut line is, but we do know about the leaders and what will have to happen in the third round. Plenty of pars, take your medicine when needed and try to avoid the big numbers.

That will be the plan on moving day, where we will know plenty more when the golfers finish their second rounds early on Saturday at Merion.

More U.S. Open coverage from Yahoo! Sports
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