Big guns out, US Open up for grabs

Big-hitting Dustin Johnson was one of the biggest disappointments in Thursday's opening round of the U.S. Open as the defending champion and world number one shot three-over 75 to languish 10 shots behind leader Rickie Fowler.

"It sets up really well for me, especially if I'm driving it like I did today".

It was 7:15 Friday night, Zach Johnson had just played over five hours of golf in some pretty fierce heat for June in Wisconsin, and his day hadn't been close to what it had once looked like it could have been.

However, while the world's top three are making other plans for the weekend after missing the cut, college amateur Cameron Champ is proving that massive tee shots can still help get the job done on the long, links-style layout.

The player who stunned everyone was joint-leader Casey, who got a triple-bogey on the par-five 14th hole, and roared back into contention with five consecutive birdies.

But Casey rebounded with five straight birdies at Nos. I executed 18. I hit five good shots and tapped in for a 6 (on the par-5).

"But when you're visually looking down the fairway, I think when you're trying to aim at a target at a normal golf course, with normal width fairways, there's some pressure into hitting the fairway because it is a lot narrower than we have out here". "It was a bit of a roller coaster", said Casey.

None of the leaders had as shaky a stretch as Casey, who made 8 on the par-5 14th hole - after hitting into the fescue and almost whiffing on his swing to get out - and bogeyed the next hole. 11, 12 and 13 as he missed makeable putts on each hole to fall off the pace before finishing with a 1-over 73. Schauffele is playing in his first major championship and is the No. 352 player in the world.

"The thing I like about Fowler and Koepka is they putt really well and their short games are really good around the greens". "And I'm kind of going out there and just doing it, and letting it go". If you do that you're going to deserve a bogey out there. Brian Harman, who had the lead coming into the day, made a long birdie putt on No. 3 to join Koepka on top. I've been in positions where there's been a couple that have kind of gone the wrong way and you miss the cut.

The bogey save on 18 certainly changed his day.

The No. 2-ranked McIlroy and the third-ranked Day also failed to advance to move after struggling for a second straight day.

McIlroy took some solace from his final six holes, four of which he birdied.

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. 2 and 3 Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, all of whom missed the cut.

"If you look at the golf course and you even talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up ideal for us".

"But this game's all about putting".

"That's why you're seeing some big scores, because the greens are so receptive".

The quartet are seven under at Erin Hills after a Friday that saw Japan's Hideki Matsuyama surge up a congested leaderboard with a stunning seven-under 65, while the world's top-ranked players were unable to stage recoveries. Matsuyama will enter Saturday tied for eighth and Reavie will begin the weekend tied for 13th. He opened Thursday with a 9-over 81. No foul play is expected, according to local authorities.

  • Julie Sanders