Logjam At Top of US Open Leaderboard After Round 2
- Author: Joanne Flowers Jun 17, 2017,
Jun 17, 2017, 20:06
Last year's victor and world number one Johnson, who arrived late in Wisconsin after staying in California for the birth of his second child, added a one-over-par 73 to his opening 75 to finish on four-over 148, three off the cut line.
He clawed that back with a birdie on the 12th, draining a six-foot putt but was soon in trouble on the 13th, three-putting for bogey. "You've got to make putts".
He also said he might have been rattled by starting out Thursday afternoon knowing that Rickie Fowler had already posted a 65.
Both golfers struggled to find the fairways and too often they were forced to hack it out of the waist-deep rough.
And they had even more company.
It means Scott, Day, Wade Ormsby (six-over after a second 75) and Nick Flanagan (10-over after a 79) are all looking at a free weekend.
Casey, the former world No 3, has always possessed so much talent that it is, in fact, a surprise that he has not figured at the business end of more majors. There no longer is a 10-shot rule that would allow anyone within 10 shots of the lead to make the cut.
Last year's U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett withdrew from the U.S. Open with a sore back on Friday as the Englishman's injury woes continued.
He never would have guessed it.
"You play 54 holes around here before the golf tournament, I felt really, really comfortable", said McIlroy, who won this event in 2011. "And just unfortunately, this didn't pan out".
It didn't for McIlroy, either.
After tying for 45th at the Memorial last month, Matsuyama arrived at Erin Hills on a downturn in a topsy-turvy season. If only he had hit the fairways.
McIlroy entered the U.S. Open having not competed since last month's Players. And even that was frustrating.
McIlroy could at least take heart from a strong finish on Friday, which saw him birdie four of the last six holes.
MONEY PUTT: Jason Kokrak made a 16-foot putt on his final hole, No. 9, for a birdie that got him to 1 over - good enough to make the cut.
McIlroy dismissed the notion of being rusty before the tournament, but conceded on his way out of Wisconsin that he hasn't played almost enough. 12 and 13 to fall two shots behind Brooks Koepka.
All told, 42 players were under par after two rounds, an unheard of number for the U.S. Open with its notoriously hard course setups. Hopefully, I've got a lot of the bad stuff out of my system [Thursday] and some parts [Friday].
The 23-year-old put himself in a hard position Thursday by shooting a one-over 73 due largely to uncharacteristic struggles on the green.
His schedule will pick up immediately.
Joining Matsuyama two shots back is an eclectic mix that includes PGA Tour rookie Xander Schauffele (73), amateur Cameron Champ (69), 36-year-old PGA Tour veteran Brandt Snedeker (69) and 21-year-old South Korean Kim Si-woo (70), the youngest player to win the Players Championship.