Defending champion Johnson out of US Open
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 18, 2017,
Jun 18, 2017, 9:27
Also playing in the afternoon was Dustin Johnson, the defending champion and No. 1 player in the world, who opened with a 75.
As a point of fact, the U.S. Women's Open is not organized by the LPGA.
A whopping eight players are at 6 under, including world No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama and Louis Oosthuizen.
He made three birdies and one bogey on his opening nine holes (the back nine) to move to 1-under par, including a crowd-pleasing birdie on 18 when his 101-yard approach shot hit the hole and stopped less than a foot away. But at 5-over 149, he'll have the weekend off, too.
But there was no hope for Day and McIlroy. "Just excited to get on a run of golf and get going". That's more than Johnson can say this week. The rankings began in 1986 and this is the first time the top three players in the world have missed the cut in a major.
"If you look at the golf course and even talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up flawless for us", Johnson said. The US Open. One of the four majors, one of the world's great tournaments.
"Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an eight on the card, but I'm a pretty happy man", Casey said.
Casey took his place amongst the leading group after recovering from an early implosion that sent him plunging down the leaderboard. Willett struggled to a 9-over 80 in the opening round before announcing he would not return.
Thomas, decked out in fluorescent pink trousers, was on the move quickly with a birdie-birdie start and had an even hotter finish to his front nine, carding birdies on four-of-five closing holes, including the last three to move to seven-under.
The course played much tougher than it did during Thursday's round. "And just unfortunately, this didn't pan out".
Casey's five birdies were one short of the U.S. Open record last matched the day before by Adam Hadwin. 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. Going into the final round, 42 players were still under par.
However, after dropping another shot on the 15th, Casey regained his composure superbly to birdie the 17th and 18th, the latter being the second longest hole in major history at 676 yards.
His good form is the result of a turnaround in two key areas: His putting, which saw him jump from 131st in the tour's strokes gained statistic last season to 29th in 2017, and his driving, which propelled him from 97th on tour to 39th.
"It was definitely conducive for good scores today".
McIlroy took some solace from his final six holes, four of which he birdied. "And I feel like once the can gets open, I'll start pouring them in". "I just get a little shaky and jittery on putts and that's what happened on 15".
McIlroy said he would be hitting the practice ground this weekend.
"I hadn't been out of position all day and suddenly I was staring double bogey in the face".
"I played 54 holes around here before the golf tournament, and I felt really, really comfortable". "I'd like to shoot a good round here". Everything was in good shape. He'll get his, but he'll need to find a little more balance in his game to truly dominate.
"Some of the weaknesses and flaws that are in my game at the minute showed up over the last couple of days". He won't play again until the British Open.
Chez Reavie did what he thought couldn't be done at a U.S. Open.
He was at 7-under 137, two shots clear of anyone else who played early in warm sunshine on a course that was getting dry and crispy. Former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson shot a 71, though he was still seven shots behind. He never expected to be making those plans on a Friday.
McIlroy has now missed three U.S. Open cuts since his 2011 win at Congressional and four of nine in his career. This week, he didn't have it. "I got in a hazard on one. I've seen guys hit it on the green from there, and I've seen guys not able to hit it at all".
Germany's Martin Kaymer, victor in 2014, took 41 shots to complete the front nine and although he picked up two birdies on the back nine, his three-over 75 saw him drop back to level par.