Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

US Open leaderboard crowded at the top

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). Brendan Steele hits a drive on the fifth hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Friday, June 16, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. 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.

Germany's Martin Kaymer, victor in 2014, took 41 shots to complete the front nine and although he picked up two birdies on the back nine, his three-over 75 saw him drop back to level par.

"I felt the most calm I have in a major in a long time this week", said Day, who arrived last Friday.

"Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an 8 on the card, but I'm a pretty happy, man, " Casey said. But any bad taste in his mouth shouldn't last long because it's been an impressive week for the 29-year-old Valspar Championship victor from Abbotsford, B.C. In Thursday's first round, he tied a U.S. Open record by making six consecutive birdies en route to a four-under 68 and a share of seventh place.

It was the first time since the rankings system was launched in April 1989 that the world's top three players have all failed to make the third round of a major.

For the first time since the world golf rankings were established in the mid-1980s, the top-three ranked players missed the cut in a Major - last year's victor and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (73) finished on four-over 148, three off the cut, and No. 3 Jason Day had a second-round 75 to finish on 154.

On a day with scoring more hard, Hadwin found his game to be a little off early in the round but he was able to grind out pars with great putting. "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". Even though he hasn't won since THE PLAYERS Championship in 2016, he had been playing better of late, finishing second late last month at the AT&T Byron Nelson. But I hit the flawless shot and I was made up when I got on the green.

The course was set up at 7,845 yards, the longest of any major.

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.

"Show up for the last six holes, anyway", McIlroy said. Going into the final round, 42 players were still under par. McIlroy said his transition was too quick, that he would get to the top of his swing and then essentially lunge at the ball. He smoothed that out on Friday, and had better results.

I don't know. I couldn't have shot any higher. "And I showed what I can do".

Sure, he birdied four of his last six holes to salvage a 71 and finish at 5-over 149. When I get down he kind of tells me a joke or something dumb. But at least I know that it's in there. "And I just unfortunately didn't execute".

McIlroy said he has more work to do with the new putter he put in his bag (TaylorMade Spider) in order to raise his comfort level. "I'd like to shoot a good round here". Everything was in good shape. "It means I have a lot better chance to win the tournament than I did when the day started".

McIlroy has a busy stretch ahead. He's playing the Travelers Championship next week, then after a week off, heads to the Irish Open, the Scottish Open and The Open in consecutive weeks. "You don't think you're going to shoot 7-under par at the U.S. Open". He only shot 75, with just one birdie.

He made three birdies and one bogey on his opening nine holes (the back nine) to move to 1-under par, including a crowd-pleasing birdie on 18 when his 101-yard approach shot hit the hole and stopped less than a foot away.

Southport's Fleetwood, who finished tied for 27th on his only other US Open appearance in 2015, appeared to be heading towards his second bogey-free round of the tournament after laying up with his second shot on the par-five 18th. He never expected to be making those plans on a Friday.

The top 60 and ties make the cut at the U.S. Open. This week, he didn't have it.

"Part of that is just age and part I'll give credit to Johnny McLaren (his caddie), credit to my wife and my little boy".

England's Tommy Fleetwood is one shot off Brian Harman's lead going into Sunday's final round of the US Open.

Rickie Fowler had a run of three successive birdies from the 14th as the leader from the first round, shot a four-under 68 to get to 10 under.

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