Paul Casey rallies after triple-bogey for share of US Open lead
20 June, 2017, 13:19 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
England s Paul Casey featured in a four-way tie at the top of the 117th US Open leaderboard on Friday as the big guns crashed out of contention.
McIlroy (78) and Day (79) are coming off their worst scores ever in a U.S. Open, mainly because they couldn't keep it out of the thick fescue that frames the wide fairways at Erin Hills.
Behind the leading quartet, a logjam grouped eight players within two shots of the lead.
McIlroy however, who is returning from a hip and back injury, put a courageous face on his second consecutive missed cut at a US Open following his exit at the halfway stage in 2016. "It was a bit of a roller coaster". At 6-under 138, he trails four players by a shot as he readies for 36 more holes at Erin Hills. With Johnson, McIlroy and Day misfiring, it was left to a clutch of unheralded players to dominate the upper reaches of the leaderboard.
Day was particularly disappointed because he thought he had prepared properly for the championship. "I was out of it. trying to stay out of the way of Rory". I've never a led US Open, so it will be a very cool experience.
And despite carding four birdies in his last six holes for a 71 on Friday, the four-time major victor saw his own pre-event prediction come true, having said on Tuesday that anyone who could not hit the wide fairways "might as well pack your bags and go home". The Englishman shot a one-under 71 but had to fight back from two bogeys and a triple bogey in his first six holes. Johnson came in with 73, but that was not almost enough, as he finished at 4-over 148 when 145 or better was needed to advance.
McIlroy however, who is returning from a hip and back injury, put a courageous face on his second consecutive missed cut at a US Open following his exit at the halfway stage in 2016.
But three costly bogeys on the back nine left Johnson needing to pick up strokes down the stretch which proved beyond him.
He had a pretty good final round, too, shooting a 3-under 69 to finish at 5-under for the tournament.
Also playing in the afternoon was Dustin Johnson, the defending champion and No. 1 player in the world, who opened with a 75.
"I birdied the first two holes, but those were tap-ins".
Casey did his part to set the pace, even after his triple bogey. With a blind shot to the green, he went long into deeper hay, and his first hack at it moved the ball only a few feet. "I was just happy that I was the one that was able to take advantage of it today". Even just trying to take my medicine is very, very hard. "It was a good eight in the end".
Matsuyama and Reavie each shot a 7-under 65 in the second round of the U.S. Open. Even as the course slowly recovered from rain early in the week, reasonable scores were available.
Day, who also is playing Travelers next week, gathered his wife, Ellie, and son, Dash, and made plans to head home to OH the soonest that they could. His 7-under par tied the record to par for the first round of a U.S. Open held by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, who each shot 7-under 63 at Baltusrol in 1980.
Day and McIlroy were left feeling pretty empty, as each had arrived to Wisconsin nearly a week ago with high expectations.
That increased the likelihood of a seventh successive major producing a first-time victor, although the likes of Masters champion Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer - who claimed U.S. Open glory in 2014 - were handily placed four off the pace. McIlroy could only take some optimism away from his finish.
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