US Open Golf 2012: Leader Jim Furyk On Tiger Woods, Course Conditions And More

Round 4 of the 2012 U.S. Open opens with Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell tied for first place at 1-under-par. Furyk has been in front for much of the tournament, and in his post Round 3 interview he gave some insight into how he might close out the tournament with a victory. Straightforward play and patience will be key, according to Furyk:

I think you have to bide your time and get through certain holes each day trying to make pars. And there will be a couple of opportunities you get. There are some‑‑ if you can drive the ball in the fairway, there are some places you can get short irons in your hand and there are some pins that you can attack. You just have to be patient and wait for those moments instead of trying to force them.

Furyk doesn't expect many gifts from the course at the Olympic Club:

The greens are starting to look stressed. And 15 was one that came to mind. And I think it was because they moved that tee up so much. They kept that green pretty firm and glossy. 18 looked pretty baked out. I was nervous that putt was going to be quicker than it was.

I expect it to get firm. I expect it to get faster and the greens to be maybe a touch quicker. The golf course is going to play difficult. It looks like I need to kind of look at the weather report again and see how the wind is going to be tomorrow. If that wind gets up or it gets blowing 10 to 20 again like it was earlier in the week it's going to be a very tough day. Today it laid down a little bit. It was a lot warmer. Gave us more of a chance to score in spots.

Tiger Woods started Round 3 tied for first place with Furyk, but a rough Saturday saw him fade to +4 overall, ties for 14th. Furyk still doesn't count him out:

So he's 5 shots back. I think he's probably disappointed with the 18th hole. And 16, 17, 18 with the finish, being 3‑over par, if he gets it in with a birdie or so on the way in, he's only two shots back, to make two bogeys and maybe five back is probably disappointing.

He's come from farther back before. And I don't think he's really too worried about the disarray, or I forget what the other term you used, at the moment. He's probably already flipped the page and worried about what he needs to do to play well tomorrow.

Things are crowded at the top of the leaderboard, so Round 4 is likely to be as close as it is decisive. The top 10 start to tee off around 5:30pm EDT, with leaders Furyk and McDowell teeing off at 6:10pm. You can find full tee times here and updated odds here.

Stick with this storystream for updates, scores and more from the 2012 U.S. Open. For more coverage of the event including live video, check out USOpen.com. SB Nation's dedicated golf hub is your source for full time golf news and analysis, and don't miss SB Nation on YouTube:

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