(Reuters) - Justin Thomas said he was proud of the way he battled to stay in contention for a second major title after a late rally in the second round of the U.S. Open on Friday helped offset a disastrous start.
Thomas, the overnight leader, was slow out of the blocks with bogeys at the 13th and 14th and two more at the 16th and 17th before a double bogey at the first.
But the world number three steadied the ship with a birdie at the third and seventh holes to card a three-over 73 that left him two strokes behind leader Patrick Reed.
"It's just one of those days where things -- some of the par putts could have gone in, or I could have chipped it a little bit closer," Thomas, 27, said.
"Every single person in this tournament is going to go through a stretch where they get a bad run, especially here.
"I wasn't driving it well and then had a couple of putts that easily could have gone in that kind of stayed out, but I just stayed positive and kept fighting. I'm proud of myself for how I hung in."
The American, who has just one top-10 finish in five U.S. Open starts, is confident his game will hold up over the weekend.
"It's a better position than I've been in a U.S. Open before. Just have to stay patient and play my own game. I'm not going to worry about what everyone else is doing. I just need to stay focused," he said.
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)