Johnson holds outright lead at halfway point of US Open

Woods expressed no doubt when asked whether he still had another major victory in him, but it was a fair question for a 42-year-old who for all his greatness has lost his putting touch and has no guarantee of ever finding it. If you're going to win a U.S. Open, which is one of the biggest events in the world, it should be that kind of test. Gone are Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. "The leader at the start of the round, Dustin Johnson, has made four bogies and a double on the front nine, dropping to one-over and relinquishing his lead to defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, who was even par but has since dropped to one-over".

He capped off the day at his 16th hole, the par-three seventh, where he curled in a 45-foot birdie putt that trundled downhill before trickling in as fellow competitor Woods looked on with admiration and perhaps a tinge of envy.

That left Charley Hoffman the only other player under par until he missed the 18th fairway and had to make a 5-footer to escape with bogey and a 69.

Former US Open champion Johnson fired a brilliant 67 to climb to 4-under and he will take a four-shot cushion over Scott Piercy (71) and Charley Hoffman (69) into day three in NY.

"Every time you come in to a U.S. Open you know it's going to be tough". Fowler said that he, "left a lot out there on the greens, had a lot of good looks but just couldn't get them to go". More than 50 golfers, meanwhile, are 10-over par or worse. "All it takes is one shot in the fescue and you could be in there for a while", Koepka said. He had three double bogeys and one triple for an 83. "But I'm all of a sudden in a position where I can have a good round tomorrow and be up there for Sunday, hopefully".

"Absolutely", he said. "Have you seen the way I've been swinging?"
"I should have done it several times at Augusta on 15", he said. You don't know what the weather is going to do and how hard it's going to get.

Scott Piercy, a runner-up to Johnson at Oakmont two years ago, had a 71 and will play in the final group with him Saturday.

Then, of course, there's Tiger Woods. As he stepped toward the tee shot, one fan screamed, "Hit a good birthday shot, Phil!" "I don't get too nervous".

Dustin Johnson leaped into a share of the first-round lead late in the day at the US Open on Thursday and then fired an ominous warning to the rest of the field.

Spieth countered a bogey at the par-four third with a gain on the fifth, while Mickelson, who dropped shots at the first and third, was two feet away from successive birdies at the sixth. It is his third at the U.S. Open, after missed cuts in 2006 and 2015.

"I'm 10-over par. So I don't know that you can be too happy and too excited about 10-over par".

"It was three or four years after that that I realised this is the way it is". I came out today and I was playing a little faster, I guess a little less concerned with how was playing and good golf came from that.

Stenson shot 70 to remain in contention. "I was playing it worse than most and wanted to get to the next hole eventually, which I did".

Odd never had to deal with a potentially career-ending injury in the way Woods has, but nonetheless battled for consistent excellence after falling short in his quest in 1990 to become the first player to win three straight U.S. Opens.

  • Julie Sanders