Defending champion Johnson out of US Open

Posted June 20, 2017

More startling than the low scores was smoke rising from about a half-mile away when a commercial blimp, not affiliated with the tournament, crashed into a field and burst into flames. And I pulled the four-iron on the par-three (sixth).

"I was in the hay too much over the last couple of days", Day said.

Casey's five birdies were one short of the U.S. Open record last matched the day before by Adam Hadwin.

The second round of the 117th U.S.

"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.

Don't try this at home. "Then clawed all the way back and actually picked up one more to the good by the time we were finished".

It didn't work all that well.

Then, inexplicably, he lost his putting touch.

In all, 23 players are within four shots of the lead. His second shot drifted off the fairway, third shot was over the green in the fescue.

Paul Casey chopped his way to a triple bogey, only to respond with five straight birdies that carried him to 1-under 71 and make him the first to hit the clubhouse with the lead at 7-under 137. But Erin Hills, this 11-year-old layout with which the game is still coming to terms, was a more demanding test than on Thursday.

OK, this is his first U.S. Open.

"It was still gettable", said Charley Hoffman, who has posted 70-70 and is three shots out of the lead.

Charley Hoffman is all by himself on top of the U.S. Open — for now. He and Casey were joined by Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood, who each had 70. His best finish came in his first start at the event in 2013, when he tied for 10th at Merion. A bogey at the extremely hard par-4 fourth hole was the only blip on the front nine and he made the turn at one-over for the day.

The cut-line for the top 60 players and fell at one-over.

Casey, Koepka, Harman and Fleetwood have yet to tee off.

Wisconsin golf fans love home-state favorite Steve Stricker. And he's giving the fans something to cheer.

In the final round at Oakmont past year, his golf ball moved slightly as he positioned himself for a short putt on the fifth hole.

Matsuyama is playing in his fifth U.S. Open.

The performance of the 23-year-old from San Diego has been no less remarkable. He just has to listen to the crowd.

When he birdied his second hole it appeared to be the stress-free golf of his opening 66. He just missed an eagle at the par-5 seventh after a long putt rolled just wide of the cup.

Thomas is 2 under on the day and for 4 under for the tournament. He said that his 16 years of experience is what allowed him to keep the wheels from falling off on the par-5 14th hole. He shot 68 and was only three back.

The biggest surprise at the U.S. Open on Friday was not who was leading but who was leaving. None has ever won a major, and neither have the next 14 players behind them. Fowler, the world number nine from California, revelled in benign conditions at Erin Hills Golf Course to reel off seven birdies and 11 pars in a superb 65.

Low scores were available.

His sister, Callie, served as his caddie at Erin Hills. The next one went long, he chipped up to 12 feet and took two putts from there. Jordan Spieth was even par through 12 holes and going nowhere.

The talented Englishman shot a second round of 71 to leave him on seven under for the competition. Johnson put his weekend in jeopardy after missing a 6-footer for par on the par-3 13th. 1, 2 and 3 all missed the cut in a major.

Not bad for a guy who made the cut on the number. And if that's not enough of a traffic jam at the top, 18 players are separated by three shots to start the third round.

McIlroy said he would be hitting the practice ground this weekend. There were 18 rounds in the 60s on Saturday.

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.