Woods narrowly misses par at U.S. Open

SAN DIEGO - Tiger Woods grimaced and pursed his lips, unable to disguise the pain Thursday in the U.S. Open.

No, it wasn't his left knee, though that was still tender from surgery.

It was more the three-putt to end his round at Torrey Pines and leave him four shots behind a pair of surprising leaders and one behind Phil Mickelson.

Nothing torments Woods more than that.

He expected soreness in his knee. He didn't expect his first double bogey in 416 holes.

What no one saw coming - certainly not the gallery that stood a dozen deep to watch the All-Star pairing of Woods and Mickelson - was Kevin Streelman and Justin Hicks tied for the lead at 3-under 68.

'To make two double bogeys and a three-putt and only be four back, that's a great position to be in,' Woods said after his 1-over 72, 'because I know I can clean that up tomorrow.'

The leaders have some history at Torrey Pines that takes some explaining.

Streelman was an unknown rookie when he got into the Buick Invitational in January as the third alternate and wound up in the final group with Woods in the third round. His world ranking was No. 1,354, and he closed with rounds of 75-77 to slip back into oblivion until he emerged anew at Torrey Pines this week.

Hicks played at the Buick Invitational, too - but it wasn't the same guy whose name was atop the leaderboard of the U.S. Open. Turns out there's another Justin Hicks, a club pro in San Diego, who qualified for the PGA Tour event. He showed up in the gallery to watch Justin Hicks, the Nationwide Tour player, fire off six birdies on his opening nine and hold it together.

'A lot of weird stuff going on out there today,' Hicks said.

That includes the star pairing of Woods and Mickelson that brought enormous crowds outside the ropes and more than 100 media inside the ropes. Woods made his first double bogey since September, worked his way onto the leaderboard and then made another.