SAN FRANCISCO Michael Thompson, the surprise first-round leader, lingered on the first page of the U.S. Open leaderboard all week. The unheralded Birmingham, Ala., resident backed up the conviction he expressed Thursday that he was a legitimate contender.
"I was nervous yesterday, and I didn't want to be nervous today," Thompson said Sunday. He tied for second. "I wanted to go out and just have confidence."
He missed a short birdie putt on No. 17, but he received a great break on No. 18 when his tee shot ricocheted off a tree and into the fairway. So, no regrets, despite coming up one shot short.
"To start (the tournament) off in such a way and then finish it the same way practically, it just feels amazing," Thompson said.
No Tiger charge Tiger Woods is now 0 for 49 in majors when trailing after 54 holes.
He quickly rendered himself irrelevant Sunday by playing the first three holes in 4 over par. Tied for the lead starting Saturday, he was tied for 36th as the leaders teed off.
His play was as cool as the conditions, but he didn't beat himself up.
"There are a lot of positives this week," he said. "I hit the ball really well."
Drought deepens It wouldn't be an Open Sunday at Olympic without a ball in a cypress tree.
Lee Westwood's chances to end his 0-for-56 major championship skid took a big hit when his drive on No. 5 stuck in a tree. The bad luck came on the same hole and right side of the fairway that Lee Janzen hit into in the 1998 Open.
Janzen's ball dropped to the ground just before he officially declared it lost, and he went on to win.
Westwood made a double bogey to fall from contention.
Westwood eagled No. 17 to produce a backdoor top-10 finish.
Red, white and blue Jim Furyk was the fan favorite, at least after South African Ernie Els faded from the picture with bogeys on Nos. 8 and 9.
"C'mon, Jimmy," the crowd implored as the final twosome he played alongside Graeme McDowell made its way around the Olympic Club.
"USA!" and "Do it for PA!" (Furyk is a Pennsylvania native) were also popular refrains.
Els made an eagle 2 on the 7th hole to move into a tie for second place, then a bogey 4 on the 8th when his tee shot hit the green's false front and rolled 50 yards back down the hill.
Et cetera Jordan Spieth's tie for 21st means that Sacramentan Spencer Levin's 13th-place tie in 2004 is still the best finish by an amateur since Jim Simons in 1971.
Dixon's Nick Watney closed with a four-birdie, four-bogey round of 70 to tie for 21st.
Padraig Harrington birdied Nos. 7, 8 and 9 to contend, but he botched No. 18, hitting into a buried lie in a greenside bunker with a wedge from the middle of the fairway. He made a bogey when a birdie would have tied him with winner Webb Simpson.
John Peterson, 23, the 2011 NCAA individual champion at LSU, was in the title hunt until missing an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 15 and then making a double bogey at No. 16.