Woods stumbles, but maintains out of US Open gate

La Jolla, California Tiger Woods has a spectacular record when leading a major championship after 54 holes - he has never lost on 13 such occasions. The question being asked at the US Open at Torrey Pines on Sunday afternoon was how he will do when he trails after 55 holes.

While the 32-year old Woods started the final round with the lead at 3-under, he quickly gave way by making double bogey, bogey on his first two holes. The double bogey at No 1 was his third on the hole this week. Wincing in pain after an errant drive on No 2, Woods went on to make bogey on the 389-yard par-4 and fell to even-par for the tournament.

Meanwhile, PGA Tour veteran Rocco Mediate, playing one group ahead, made birdie at No 2 to move to 2-under for the tournament and move into the lead. If Mediate can hold on, he would become the oldest player to win the US Open. At 45 years six months, he is slightly older than Hale Irwin was when Irwin set the standard for the oldest winner at Medinah in 1990.

England's Lee Westwood, playing in the final pairing with Woods, also got off to a shaky start, opening with a bogey. But Westwood settled down with pars on the next four holes to idle at 1-under for the tournament. When Mediate backed up with a bogey at No 5, Westwood moved into a share of the lead.

Westwood also is chasing history. The 35-year old European Tour star is trying to become the first European to win the US open since Britain's Tony Jacklin turned the trick in 1970.

Red numbers certainly appeared available during the final round, underlined by Heath Slocum's 6-under-par 65 earlier in the day. But none of the leaders going off in the afternoon were making a pronounced move.

Australian Geoff Ogilvy began the day at 1-over for the tournament and was still there after five holes, two strokes off the pace. Sweden's Robert Karlsson had a birdie on No 3 to get to 1-over par for the event. But Karlsson took a backward step with a bogey at No 7 and trailed by three.

Another Australian, Robert Allenby, was at 3-over par and four strokes back through six holes. South Africa's Ernie Els, Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez, Americans Hunter Mahan and John Merrick, and Sweden's Carl Pettersson also were 3-over par.

Phil Mickelson had a final-round 68. He finished the tournament with a 6-over-par 290. (dpa)