Some of golf's biggest names failed Friday to make the cut at the U.S. Open, victims of the Olympic Club's unforgiving roughs and slick greens.
The departure of such big names as Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Luke Donald seems to have paved the way for the sports biggest star, Tiger Woods.
Woods had another solid day Friday, moving to a tie for the lead with Jim Furyk and David Toms. They all ended 1-under through two rounds.
Furyk, winner of the 2003 U.S. Open, said he will be ready for the weekend.
"I feel solid and in control so far," Furyk told reporters. "I know it's going to get even ... firmer and faster and even more of a stern test for the weekend."
Others struggled on the tree-lined San Francisco golf course despite the near-perfect weather.
McIlroy, the defending U.S. Open champ, finished 10 over. He may have sealed his fate on the last hole Friday.
McIlroy seemed to have a birdie putt set up nicely to get him to eight over. Instead, he three-putted for a bogey in a shaky performance that had the crowd groaning and McIlroy looking to the sky in frustration.
"You really have to be so precise out there and if you're not, you're going to get punished," McIlroy told reporters. "It's just something that you have to adjust to in this tournament. I wasn't able to do that very well this week."
Watson finished at plus 9 as he continued to struggle hitting fairways.
The grouping of Woods, Phil Mickelson and Watson was billed as the marquee pairing of popular champions, but Woods was the only one that lived up to the billing.
Mickelson barely made the cut by ending at 7-over. The lefty got a birdie at the end of the round.
Also having a disappointing showing was world No. 1 Luke Donald, who wilted on the northern California course, finishing 11 over.
Donald said his game was off both Thursday and Friday.
"I think I missed nine putts inside 10 feet yesterday and just couldn't get the feel for the greens, the reads, the speed," the 34-year-old Englishman told reporters.
Another crowd favorite missing the cut was 14-year-old Andy Zhang. The teen, who is the youngest golfer to ever compete in the U.S. Open, was widely followed. He had some good shots both Thursday and Friday but was plagued by stretches of bogeys and double bogeys and ended 17 over.