Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Golf heavyweights miss US Open cut

Golf heavyweights miss US Open cut

Casey laid up in the rough, took two chops to get out of more rough behind the 14th green, and staggered away with a triple-bogey 8 that might have ruined his day at Erin Hills.

On Saturday, Justin Thomas tied the record for the best round at a major by shooting 63.

Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy provided quite the contrast here on the second day of the 117 US Open. He went from pouring putts into the center of the cup to burning the edges, and his 39 on the back nine cost him the lead, though not his chances of breaking through for that first major.

He was at 7-under 137, two shots clear of anyone else who played early in warm sunshine on a course that getting dry and crispy.

This isn't like most Opens.

Now consider that the largest 36-hole comeback in U.S. Open history was 11 shots by Lou Graham in 1975. Players noticed firmer greens that were allowing putts to race past the hole. It led to an eagle to close out his 63. Joined by Americans Brian Harman and Brooks Koepka on seven-under, the leaderboard for the second major championship of the year has concertinaed up meaning any of the 68 players to have made the cut for the weekend have a chance of scooping the title.

Lots of support: At 5 under is Xander Schauffele, who for a few holes was tied with Fowler for first place.

"If you look at the golf course and talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up ideal for us", world No.1 Johnson said.

Harman closed with two birdies and three tough pars for a 5-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead at 12-under 204. And he wasn't through. At that point, he was leading by seven shots.

Morgan shot 77 and, remarkably, still had the lead at 4-under 212. "That fifth shot on the 18th was the best shot all day".

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He did not understand it and neither did Dustin Johnson, the world No 1, who helped make it a first by crashing out on three-over. The Southport course should suit and there is no doubt he has the ideal game for Quail Hollow, where the US PGA takes place.

However, it looks like Lee Westwood's wait to win a major will go on to The Open in July. He had 310 yards to the hole when he hit 3-wood that could have led to big trouble if he went too far long or left. He was coasting along, playing par golf and hanging out at the top of the leaderboard.

McIlroy was never in the short grass from the 11th hole to the end on Thursday when he opened with a career-worst 78, and he didn't do almost enough in the second round until it was far too late. Even as the course slowly recovered from rain early in the week, reasonable scores were available. Furyk closed with a 72. The South African rallied with an eagle two on the par-four 15th but had a triple-bogey seven on the 17th to drop to five over after a 79.

He added: "It doesn't matter how good you hit it, if you struggle on the greens, there's nothing you can do".

He has yet to win in America (though he does have 13 victories on the European tour).

Both players liked the course but put their performance down to a lack of execution.

"It was a good bogey though", joked Fleetwood, who regained his composure to hit a superb pitch from well below the putting surface.

The greens remained receptive on Friday, but began to firm up later in the day.

On Friday, the 39-year-old responded to a similar situation with a run of five successive birdies but he was unable to replicate that on Saturday, as he ended the round on four under par. The tournament was never really in doubt after that, though the wind arrived and Kaymer couldn't maintain the pace.

Koepka faded on the back nine with two bogeys on the home straight, while Fowler slumped with three bogeys in a row just after the turn and could not battle his way back to top spot. Casey has 10 career top-10s at the majors, including at the last three Masters.

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