England's Kenneth Ferrie admitted he was "peeved" at the back-to-back double bogeys which saw him relinquish a two-shot lead on his US Open debut.
Ferrie saw his hopes of leading after two rounds disappear at 14 and 15
The 27-year-old fired four birdies in his first 11 holes to reach three under overall but doubles at 14 and 15 handed the lead back to Steve Stricker.
"I left a few shots out there but I am only one over par and everyone says over par is going to win," said Ferrie.
"I'm sure I'll wake up and be pleased but at the moment I'm a bit peeved."
The Ashington-born Ferrie, who qualified by virtue of his top-15 finish on the European Order of Merit last year, ended with a level-par 70 and a share of third, two shots off the lead of America's Stricker.
"It's my first US Open and I had no idea what to expect after hearing some of the horror stories about previous events," added Ferrie.
The greens are going blue out there - they've gone from brown to white to blue
"But I'm a huge fan of this golf course. There are a lot of birdie chances but, as with me, two bad swings and it's back-to-back double bogeys.
"I knew where I was on the leaderboard and when you are walking down a fairway and 25,000 photographers turn up it's a bit of a dead give-away anyway.
"For the weekend I'll try to do the things I've been doing the last few days and hopefully that will stand me in good stead."
One shot behind Ferrie was Ireland's Padraig Harrington after a patient 69, while Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell mixed two birdies with four bogeys in a 72 for three over.
Afterwards Portrush's McDowell, 26, joined compatriot Darren Clarke and England's Ian Poulter in bemoaning the state of the Winged Foot greens.
The greens are poor basically, they are very poor
"I have really played good golf for 36 holes and I'm pleased with the ball striking," he said.
"I got a bit ragged on the back nine but in general I have been enjoying my golf. It was a tough day on the greens, they are starting to get crusty and it was nice to make a couple [of birdies] coming in.
"The greens are going blue out there. They've gone from brown to white to blue.
"The premium on accuracy is getting greater all the time. I just have to keep reminding myself this is the US Open and you are not supposed to make a pile of birdies, just par the course to death and that is what I'm trying to do."
Most people are struggling on the greens - they are getting a little bumpy out there
Clarke scrapped his way to a two-over 72, which included four birdies and six bogeys, for five over.
The 37-year-old insisted the greens were "comfortably" the worst he had seen.
"The greens are poor basically, they are very poor," he said. "They are jumping about and with the combination of the slope and the speed it makes it very tough to hole putts on.
"A 72 is by far and away the worst score I could have shot and I managed to do it. I had 32 putts yesterday and 34 today. Maybe at the weekend with a few less players on the greens it might be easier to hole some putts."
Also on five over and still very much in contention was Poulter, who climbed to three over after seven holes of his second round before finishing bogey, double bogey, birdie.
"I was enjoying it until the 17th," admitted Poulter after a 71.
"I missed the fairway, came up 20 feet short with my third and three-putted.
"It bobbled off line from four feet away but most people are struggling on the greens. They are getting a little bumpy out there."