Golf

U.S. Open 2019: Brooks Koepka lurking at Pebble Beach after second-round 69

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U.S. Open 2019: Brooks Koepka lurking at Pebble Beach after second-round 69

PEBBLE BEACH, CA. -- He wasn't in the promotional video for the tournament he's won each of the last two years. He quietly went about his business during Thursday's first round while the crowds at Pebble Beach focused their attention on Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy and the like. 

Attention or not, Brooks Koepka once again is in position to win a U.S. Open. 

The four-time major winner has carded back-to-back 2-under-par-69s at Pebble Beach and sits at 4-under-par, three shots back of leader Justin Rose at the end of Friday's morning wave. 

While Koepka -- who is looking to become the first golfer to win three straight U.S. Opens since Willie Anderson did so from 1903 to 1905 -- has been a bit of an afterthought early on at Pebble Beach, Rose noticed his name jump up the leaderboard. 

"You know, it's a good start for him," Rose said after the second round. "To come here, that's a great couple days. He's got to be feeling like he can build into the weekend and put a good weekend together. And no doubt, with him on the leaderboard, his recent form in majors, absolutely he's a threat. He's the guy probably that his name is standing out more than anyone else's. For sure."

With Pebble playing firmer and faster than in Round 1, Koepka appeared to be stuck in neutral for much of Friday's round. But after picking up a birdie on the Par-5 sixth hole, Koepka walked to the Par-3 seventh and threw a dart to five feet to move within three of Rose. 

Through two rounds, Koepka's iron play has made up for his sporadic game off the tee. 

After 36 holes, the two-time defending champion has gained 5.78 strokes on the field on approach to the green, the best mark of any player in the field. If his putter gets hot, it could be another romp for golf's terminator. 

[RELATED: Spieth explains why he called out caddie during first round]

"I feel great. I'm excited," Koepka said. "I've got a chance. That's all you can ask for. I just need to make a few putts. Sometimes the hole just needs to open up.

"If I can get off to a good start tomorrow, have that feeling where the hole's opening up, it could be a fun round. And I'll be honest with you, I struck it so poorly Monday and Wednesday. I wasn't playing good. And then it's been nice to kind of find some confidence, especially on the golf course."

A confident Koepka could spell doom for the rest of the U.S. Open field. 

Tom Brady silences Charles Barkley with insane birdie in 'The Match'

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Tom Brady silences Charles Barkley with insane birdie in 'The Match'

Tom Brady's start in "The Match" with former NFL star Peyton Manning and PGA Tour legends Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods wasn't great, leading to an endless parade of criticism on social media.

The six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback found a way to silence the haters with this remarkable shot for birdie on the seventh hole at Medalist Golf Club.

[RELATED: Warriors' Steph Curry wants in on next iteration of 'The Match' event]

Charles Barkley is part of TNT's telecast, and was in Brady's ear all the way up until he hit the shot.

Unfortunately for Brady, his pants didn't survive the hole.

Warriors star Steph Curry and former Warrior Andre Iguodala both are avid golf fans, and were just like the rest of us after seeing Brady's shot.

The San Mateo native got his mojo back, but he and his partner Mickelson have some catching up to do with Manning and Woods in control.

How to watch The Match: Tiger vs. Phil charity golf streaming, on TV

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How to watch The Match: Tiger vs. Phil charity golf streaming, on TV

The golf event we've all been waiting for is nearly upon us.

Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson, Part 2 ... with a twist.

On Sunday, Tiger will team up with NFL legend Peyton Manning to take on Mickelson and six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady in The Match: Champions for Charity at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla.

Get ready for some epic trash talk.

Tiger and Phil squared off in the first edition of The Match back on Nov. 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, with Mickelson winning on the fourth extra hole.

Now the two championship golfers will be joined by two champion quarterbacks.

[RELATED: Manning takes perfect shot at Brady]

The stakes will be high, and the side bets should be incredible.

Here's how to watch The Match: Champions for Charity on TV and streaming online:

When: Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT
TV: TNT
Stream: TNTdrama.com