By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO -- David Toms was paired with Davis Love III in the first two rounds last week in Memphis. On a TPC Southwind course that favors his game, Toms shot 74-75 and failed to make the cut at the FedEx St. Jude Classic -- and no doubt, failed to make an impression on the U.S. Ryder Cup captain.
He got a second chance in front of Love this week, as the two were grouped in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open. This time, he delivered -- 69-70 at the Olympic Club for a 1 under total that gives him a share of the 36-hole lead with Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk.
"Really part of my goal this week was to play a little better in front of our Ryder Cup captain, and I was able to do that," Toms said, "which is an extra bonus for me right now."
Now he shares the U.S. Open lead and searching for his second career major, having won the PGA Championship 11 years ago.
Although some U.S. Open courses might be too long for him -- like Congressional last year -- Toms feels better about his chances at the Olympic Club.
"My attitude is pretty good starting the round to know that I don't have to bomb it to play the golf course," Toms said. "Sometimes that is the case. It's not this week.
"I'm pretty confident that I can play the golf course well, but you still have to go out and execute, and I've done that for a couple days."
Toms will be playing Saturday's third round with John Peterson, who is a tie for fourth at 1 over. The two know each other well; both are LSU graduates, with Peterson having won the 2011 NCAA individual title. Peterson's dad followed Toms during his final 36 holes at the Colonial last year.
"He's a great kid," Toms said, "and I hope he plays great this weekend."
Toms wouldn't mind playing great himself, too.