World No 1 Dustin Johnson will take a four-shot lead into the weekend after carding a three-under-par 67 in yesterday’s second round of the US Open at Shinnecock Hills.
The tough set-up and strong winds saw only three players in the 156-player field at par or better, with Johnson the only one with a red number next to his name at four-under-par.
“You’ve got to play really good golf if you want to shoot a good score. I like where par is a good score on every hole no matter what club you’ve got in your hand, what hole it is,” said Johnson, who is gunning for his second US Open title after winning in 2016 at Oakmont.
Japan’s world No. 10 Hideki Matsuyama birdied his closing hole for a 70, which moved him up 20 rungs to T26 on 5-over, nine shots back of Johnson and as the leading Asian. Byeong Hun An represents the only South Korean to make it to the weekend. The recent runner-up of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide is T45 entering Saturday, 7-over for the week, after shooting 76 on Friday.
China’s Haotong Li sank three birdies against a lone bogey for a fine 68 to safely make the halfway cut on 7-over as well, while Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat battled to a 72 to squeeze into the final two rounds right on the number at 8-over as he looks to lock his PGA Tour card for next season.
Charley Hoffman, who was eighth in the 2017 US Open, shot a 69 and moved into a second-place tie at one-under with Scott Piercy, one of four first-round co-leaders, who shot 71 despite a four-putt bogey at No. 16.
Defending champion Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood each shot 66, the low score of the day, and are in a five-way tie for fourth, at 1 over. Henrik Stenson (70), Justin Rose (70) and Ian Poulter (72), are also at 141.
Although Johnson has a four-shot lead going into the weekend, he doesn’t believe the matter has been decided on a course as unyielding as Shinnecock Hills.
“There’s still a lot of golf left,” Johnson said. “There are still 36 holes left no matter what position I’m in. I’m going to stick to my game plan, stick to trying to play the holes how I have the first couple days and see what happens.”
The cut was set at eight-over 148 and claimed many high-profile victims. Among those who failed to qualify for the weekend were former US Open champions Jordan Spieth, Lucas Glover, Graeme McDowell and former Masters champions Charl Schwartzel, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Danny Willett.
Three-time winner Tiger Woods shot a 72 but still missed the cut, finishing at 10-over 150 in his first US Open appearance since 2015. “I’m not very happy the way I played and the way I putted,” Woods said. “I don’t know that you can be too happy and too excited about 10-over par.”