McIlroy tees off at beatable Congressional - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

McIlroy tees off at beatable Congressional

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BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Rory McIlroy is on the course in the third round of the U.S. Open at Congressional, where good scores were there for the taking for any player trying to start a comeback.

In search of his first major championship, McIlroy took a six-stroke lead over Y.E. Yang after shooting 11-under 131 over the first two days, an Open record at the halfway point. McIlroy and Yang both made par on No. 1.

McIlroy's six-shot lead tied a record for the biggest advantage after 36 holes, but there were red numbers going up at every corner of the course, which was soft after being hit by numerous downpours during the week.

Teeing off early, Webb Simpson shot 5-under 66 to get to 1 under for the tournament.

Meanwhile, Fredrik Jacobson was 6 under through 11 holes to move to 5 under. That was even with Yang and two shots ahead of Jason Day, Russell Henley, Henrik Stenson, Robert Garrigus and Matt Kuchar, who had combined for 13 birdies early in their round.

"The golf course is pretty soft. The greens are soft," said Simpson, who made seven birdies. "I got a couple good lies in the rough today that I probably didn't deserve. I think you'll see some pretty good scores like mine, and some pretty high scores, too."

World No. 1 Luke Donald shot 3-over 74 to fall 18 strokes out of the lead, but even he wasn't overly impressed with Congressional's bite.

"The rough isn't quite as gnarly as at some other U.S. Opens," Donald said. "It has a different feel. It almost feels like the Firestone or something. But it's still tough out there. Some tough pins and you've got to play well to shoot a good score."

Nobody came into the day playing better than McIlroy, who became the first player to reach 13-under par in the history of the tournament. He gave two shots back with a double bogey on No. 18 Friday, but even that didn't spoil what was widely viewed as one of the most impressive two days of U.S. Open golf anyone can remember.

But McIlroy, who blew a four-shot lead on the last day of the Masters, said he knew his work was only beginning.

"It's nice to have the records and those kind of things," he said before his late-afternoon tee time. "But I've really got to concentrate on the next 36 holes."

Others trying to get in the conversation were Brandt Snedeker, Sergio Garcia and former Masters champion Zach Johnson, all at 2 under. Johnson opened his day by making birdie, but gave the shot back with a bogey on No. 2.

Before the leaders got on the course, the most talked-about round of golf in the Beltway was going on a few miles away: President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner teed it up in the early morning at Andrews Air Force Base — a little politics on the links.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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