On Friday, Garcia did very well to hang in there in a grueling 36-hole marathon. He got into contention showing off his formidable arsenal of ball-striking skills and also showed his scrambling skills. From 165 yards out at his last hole of the day, Garcia got up and down for par. Garcia also holed a 51-foot putt to ignite a roar around the clubhouse.
Garcia left Oakmont with hope that something magical awaits this weekend. "This week, my head has been good," Garcia said. "Even though I went through a couple of stretches where I didn't hit the ball that great, I stayed with it. I think my short game was really good. I chipped well. I putted well. So that was important. And I'm going to need more of that throughout the weekend. It's definitely the toughest golf course I've ever played. There's no doubt about that."
After Thursday's weather suspensions, Garcia was among those players sentenced Friday to a double dose of Oakmont and he survived quite well. In his first 18-hole trek, Garcia opened with a 2-under-par 68, equaling his lowest opening round in his 17 U.S. Open appearances. In his second trek, Garcia posted an even par 70.
"We know how difficult the U.S. Open is, and here at Oakmont, it's even tougher," Garcia said. "Physically, at the end, I could feel my legs tightening up a little bit. But we're so happy we got it done. We don't have to come back tomorrow until the afternoon. We can rest a little bit, take a nice, hot bath and get ready for tomorrow."
The 36-year-old Garcia fired at one flagstick after another, giving himself one birdie chance after another on Friday.
"I'm very happy to finish at 2 under," Garcia said. "I didn't play that great this afternoon, but I thought I scrambled nicely and I made a couple big putts when I needed to."