In the previous 116 U.S. Opens, only six players had ever reached 10-under par or lower, never in the same tournament.
As for scoring drama – well, this was one time he may have wished he didn’t know where he stood.
Si Woo Kim, who captured The Players Championship a month ago, had a 70 and was at 5-under 139 along with a pair of U.S. Open newcomers.
Johnson shot 1-over 73 on Friday to finish at 4 over, three shots off the cut line.
The biggest jolt of all, however, came watching world number one and defending champion Dustin Johnson, number two Rory McIlroy and number three Jason Day all trudge to the exit after failing to make the halfway cut, which fell at one-over 145.
ERIN, Wis. (AP) – An 11-year-old golf course shaped from Wisconsin pastureland was sure to bring something different to the U.S. Open.
“I couldn’t have shot any higher”, Johnson said. I just struggled on the greens. He doesn’t have all the pressure on him, doesn’t have the spotlight on him, but he’s very much right in the thick of things.
It’s not been a good tournament for Australians, with Marc Leishman – who is four shots off the lead after an even-par 72 – set to be the only Aussie to make the cut.
At least he’ll have plenty of company at the airport.
He saw Rickie Fowler, the ancient old hand of 28 who had begun early in the morning, grab the top of the leaderboard and perch there through the midday sun, his seven-under 65 brimming with seven birdies and no bogeys.
“If you look at the golf course and you even talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up flawless for us”, Johnson said.
“Myself and Rory, we didn’t quite have the greatest tee game yesterday and it showed in the scores”, said McIlroy, who finished at five-over. “I was just happy that I was the one that was able to take advantage of it today”. He missed the cut at last year’s PGA and withdrew from this year’s Masters after falling down a staircase. Right behind him were 43 other players who broke par, breaking a championship record that had stood for 27 years.
In the final round at Oakmont previous year, his golf ball moved slightly as he positioned himself for a short putt on the fifth hole.
One stroke back are a trio of Americans in J.B. Holmes, Jamie Lovemark and first-round leader Fowler. He ended up winning by three. Spieth ended up winning by a shot. Responding to critics of Erin Hills – who said, after numerous low scores were posted Thursday, that the course wasn’t hard enough – Hadwin took to Twitter: “For all of those ppl that thought this course was too easy, turn your tvs on”.
After a bogey at the 15th hole, Casey rolled off five consecutive birdies on his way to a 1-under 71 that moved him back to 7 under for the week.
“I had been swinging it well and it felt really, really good a couple holes later to be picking the ball out of the hole for a birdie”.
“That means I’m a part of history”, he said.