ARDMORE, Pa. -- A 20-foot birdie putt snuck in the side door at the seventh hole and has lifted Justin Rose into a tie for the lead at the U.S. Open with Hunter Mahan.
Rose, who is bidding to become the first English winner since Tony Jacklin in 1970, has made three birdies, two bogeys and a pair of pars in his first seven holes to move to even par for the tournament. Mahan, on the other hand, has reeled off five pars.
Jason Day is one stroke off the lead after playing his first eight holes in 1 under. The last man to win a U.S. Open at Merion was his countryman David Graham, the first winner from Down Under at the national championship.
Overnight leader Phil Mickelson, who has made two double bogeys in his last three holes, has dropped back to 2 over while Billy Horschel is 3 over. Mickelson's five runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open are the most in history for a single player.
Charl Schwartzel, the former Masters champion who was tied for the lead with Mickelson when he birdied the first hole on Sunday, has fallen off the pace with four straight bogeys.
Jason Dufner, who lost in a playoff at the 2011 PGA, is working on one of the best rounds of the day. He was 5 under through 14 holes before a triple bogey at the 15th hole halted his momentum. Dufner birdied the next, though, and is now tied at 5 over with Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Rickie Fowler, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and amateur Michael Kim.