The mighty recovery of Paul Casey puts him in US Open mix

McIlroy won the US Open with a record 16-under-par total in 2011, but was a combined 50 over par for his seven other appearances before this week and missed the cut at Oakmont a year ago following rounds of 77 and 71. "I've never played in [one of the final pairings of] a U.S. Open, so tomorrow will be a very cool experience". Just look at the hole location sheet for the day's play on Friday; nearly all of them are hidden away near the edge of greens. He was 100 feet away for birdie on No. 6 and burned the edge of the cup on that one, except that it ran by some 7 feet and he three-putted for bogey.

Paul Casey rode a rollercoaster to a four-way share of second-round lead at the US Open on Friday.

Behind the leading quartet, a logjam grouped eight players within two shots of the lead.

"If you look at the golf course and you even talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up flawless for us", Johnson said. "It was a bit of a roller coaster". "I guess it's rare you get through a US Open or any major without some kind of a hiccup". Alas, due to his struggles on Thursday when he shot 78, McIlroy finished at 5 over and suffered the same fate as Day. Get through the tough pin and get to the next hole ... "I feel like that's going to help me to get back into contention and hopefully try to win some of these things". He shot 73 and missed the cut by three.

"I've got a busy summer, so I'm excited to play a lot of golf, " McIlroy said. McIlroy has been out for six weeks because of a recurring rib injury that caused him to miss two months at the start of the year.

Japan's Satoshi Kodaira was making the biggest move of the day, opening with back-to-back birdies and adding two more at 11 and 12 to reach three-under for the championship, four back of the pacesetters.

Rory McIlroy's 71 wasn't enough and he'll miss the cut at five-over. He said that his 16 years of experience is what allowed him to keep the wheels from falling off on the par-5 14th hole.

For the first time since the two golfers started playing in majors, the weekend at the U.S. Open will be without a McIlroy and a Day. But on Friday, after running off 28 relatively stress-free holes without a bogey, the mojo suddenly left, and Fowler found himself scrapping and scraping so as not to lose too much ground. "Part of that is just age, and part I'll give credit to caddy Johnny McLaren, credit to my wife and my little boy".

"It was a good display, all my own fault, of what can happen if you get out of position on this golf course, which is what I did on 14", Casey said. "Even just trying to take my medicine is very, very hard. It was a good eight in the end". His 7-under par tied the record to par for the first round of a U.S. Open held by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, who each shot 7-under 63 at Baltusrol in 1980. Even as the course slowly recovered from rain early in the week, reasonable scores were available.

There is no telling what the weekend will bring - starting with the weather, which includes a possibility of thunderstorms that could delay play and make the greens soft again.

The 44 sub-par rounds broke the first-round mark of 39 at Medinah in 1990.

Dustin Johnson. Rory McIlroy.

No one took advantage like Fowler. Day had no answers. And I felt the most calm I have in a major in a long time this week. "And just unfortunately, this didn't pan out".

  • Julie Sanders