November 19 2017

Four tied atop US Open leaderboard heading into weekend

November 19 2017, 12:52 | Irvin Gilbert

The player who turned the U.S. Open into a soap opera of sorts the previous two years won't be around for the weekend this time.

"The majors have a different feel and sound to the roars and to hear the crowd go insane when I holed that putt on 18 was really cool", said Thomas, whose back-to-back wins in Hawaii in January included an opening 59 in the Sony Open. "For the most part, the wind was nonexistent".

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

"If you hit it in the fairway, you can attack the golf course".

This is his sixth year on the Tour and fifth U.S. Open. "If you do that you're going to deserve a bogey out there".

Oosthuizen, whose sole major title to date came at St Andrews in 2010, birdied the first, fourth, seventh and eighth to move to four under par, while 2015 victor Spieth had covered his first 11 holes in level par.

Koepka is 16 in the field in driving distance with a 324-yard average, but more importantly he's tied for the lead with Paul Casey, Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood at 7 under par after a 2-under 70 on Friday. He hammered a chip from just short of the par-5 14th that led to another three-putt bogey.

McIlroy was playing just his seventh tournament of 2017 due to a rib injury.

"If you look at the golf course and you even talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up ideal for us, " Johnson said. "But you don't really know until you put a card in your hand and you're under the gun a little bit", said McIlroy, who said goodbye at 5 over.

After weeks of pouring his heart and soul into qualifying for the first U.S. Open played in Wisconsin, Madison's Steve Stricker was right where he wanted to be after the tournament's second round.

Jamie Lovemark, Rickie Fowler and J.B. Holmes featured in a three-way tie at six under.

"I think this is the best I've ever felt at a US Open; definitely the most comfortable I've felt on a US Open course". I got off to a good start, but it sort of caught up with me as the round went on.

Six players are at 4-under, including Chez Reavie, the other player to shoot 65.

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.

Thomas broke the U.S. Open record for low round in relation to par.

But for the first time since the rankings were introduced in 1986, none of the world's top three made the cut as defending champion Dustin Johnson joined Rory McIlroy and Jason Day in making an early exit.

World number three Jason Day followed his opening round 79 with a three-over 75 for a 10-over-par 154 total to miss the cut. "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". We were anxious about putting driver into that bunker. "Hopefully I've got a lot of the bad stuff out of my system and it's just a matter of getting competitive rounds under my belt".

"It's just golf. It's frustrating".

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