Three straight bogeys drop Fowler, but only one back

This might have been more than anyone was expecting.

Co-leaders Paul Casey (71), Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka (all 70) are at seven-under. None has ever won a major, and neither have the next 14 players behind them. It won't be Dustin Johnson. It was the first time since the official world rankings began in 1986 that the top three all missed the cut in a major.

Henrik Stenson. Alex Noren.

Olympic champion Justin Rose is another who will be heading home early after carding a two-over 74.

Koepka had the lead until he turned a birdie chance into a bogey on the par-5 first hole after making the turn.

Harman, a St. Simons Island resident who carded a 67 on Thursday, made birdies Friday at Nos. Billy Horschel was tied for the 36-hole lead at Merion. We're playing for the national championship here, people.

The top 60 and ties make the cut at the U.S. Open.

A triple-bogey didn't stop Paul Casey from grabbing a share of the lead at the midway point of the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

While Erin Hills was still not playing as hard as many past U.S. Open courses, it was beginning to firm up from the early week rain, plus the USGA had a few tricks up its sleeve. I feel like I'm playing good. Only a half-dozen of them have even experienced Sunday contention in golf's biggest events.

"It's going to be great", said Fleetwood, a 26-year-old Englishman who won at Abu Dhabi on the European Tour earlier this year.

Xander Schauffele had never made a bogey in the U.S. Open until the par-3 ninth hole at Erin Hills.

At Erin Hills, all Johnson could do was go down swinging on a Friday.

Now, he's still very much in play, at six under after shooting a 73. The USGA is providing complimentary bottled water the rest of the week. No one has been reported to have become sick from drinking the tainted water, but the hydration station was shut down after the positive test.

Then he exited stage left, stopped to sign a couple golf balls for the patrolmen who followed him for the second round, and checked his cellphone as he walked up the hill and toward the locker room for the last time this week.

World number two McIlroy will have the weekend free after the Northern Irishman added a 71 to his first-round 78 for a 5-over total of 149.

The record for most players under par after the first round of a US Open was 39, at the Medinah Country Club in 1990.

Johnson shot 1-over 73 on Friday to finish at 4 over, three shots off the cut line.

"I hate just being in the situation where I've been in a good spot and maybe let it get away from me a little bit and let some mistakes compound", Fowler said. I couldn't possibly shoot any higher than I did. "Part of that is just age, and part I'll give credit to caddy Johnny McLaren, credit to my wife and my little boy".

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.

Fowler lost most of his ground over the final two hours. Hadwin's shotmaking improved the back nine, that's when the putter cooled off.

The leading South Africans are two-time US Open champion Ernie Els and Thomas Aiken, who are tied for 24th at 2-under-par. "Looking forward to the next two days".

A 338-yard drive off the tee took him to the edge of the green and he got up and down in two for a birdie.

"I think just in practice I was really, really good, and I just wasn't able to translate that onto the golf course", said the Ulsterman, who has played just six events this year and none since The Players four weeks ago.

  • Julie Sanders