PGA: Johnson 2 Back After Day 2 At British Open

By Mike Hlas, Reporter

Jun 13, 2013; Ardmore, PA, USA; Zach Johnson walks to the second hole during the first round of the 113th U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: JD Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

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By Grant Burkhardt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - It was a day for battling at Muirfield, with wind and rock-hard greens and fairways.

Zach Johnson of Cedar Rapids, the first-round leader at the British Open, led or shared the lead through much of Friday’s second round. But the 15th hole, which bedeviled all sorts of players Friday, cost Johnson the lead. He 3-putted from 8 feet for a double-bogey to slip to 2-under-par. He had a wayward tee shot on 18 and bogeyed that hole to finish with a 4-over-par 75, nine shots higher than his Thursday score. Playing in the afternoon punished players as much Friday as it did Thursday, when Johnson played in the morning.

That left Johnson two shots behind leader Miguel Angel Jimenez entering Saturday’s third round and tied for sixth place. In a 4-way tie for second place, one shot behind cigar-chomping Jimenez. are Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson and three-time Open champion Tiger Woods.

Jordan Spieth, the 19-year-old who beat Zach Johnson in a playoff to win the John Deere Classic Sunday, is just four shots back at 1-over, the same score as Phil Mickelson’s.

Zach Johnson had four birdies, six bogeys and the aformentioned double bogey.

“It was significantly harder (Friday),” Johnson said. “The wind was much stronger, and a totally different direction, a direction I hadn’t seen.

“Considering that, for the most part I hit solid shots.

“I was tested, there’s no doubt about it. I felt like I hit pretty good shots at times and was getting nothing out of it.”

Johnson will play with Ryan Moore in the fifth-to-last pairing Saturday.

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