But only for a couple minutes.
The course played much tougher than it did during Thursday's round.
The cut came at 1 over, which tied the record for lowest cut in tournament history, in relation to par, also established in 1990.
"If you look at the golf course and you even talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up flawless for us", Johnson said.
What a day for Justin Thomas. 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. Vijay Singh was the last player to accomplish the feat in 2003 at Olympia Fields. Southpaws have won every major except the U.S. Open.
"I put it in the wrong places, ' he said". Or at your home course.
It didn't work all that well.
Then, inexplicably, he lost his putting touch.
Casey then reignited his charge birding his eighth hole and ended the run with a "3" at his 12th.
One shot back. Jamie Lovemark.
Paul Casey is looking to recover from another triple bogey.
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. He loved Erin Hills, a course with wide fairways between the knee-high fescue that he figured would allow him to attack.
The 26-year-old Reed had eight birdies and one bogey. That led to a double bogey, which hurt him as badly as making only one birdie. He looked like he was making a move toward the tourney's leaderboard.
But Koepka was even better, carding four birdies on his bogey-free outward nine as both players settled in at nine-under with nine to play.
All four players enter the weekend at Erin Hills seeking their first career major title. And he's giving the fans something to cheer. The top 60 and ties qualify for the final 36 holes. Rain for the opening two rounds at Pinehurst No 2 contributed to Martin Kaymer opening with 65-65 (a US Open record) on his way to an eight-shot victory in 2014. He just has to listen to the crowd.
"It's still Saturday, 36 holes is a very long time in a U.S. Open".
Koepka raced out to nine under early in his second round, but dropped two shots on his back nine on his way to a 70.
He rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 5 from the edge of the green that broke so severely that he stood with his toes facing the hole and rapped the ball toward his left foot.
The American charge continues down the leaderboard after Xander Schauffele and amateur Cameron Champ shot credible second rounds. They were three shots clear of anyone else. He has birdied three of his last four holes.
"The biggest thing about this course is that the fairways are massive", Day said. "It's our national championship, so to be in good position and have a chance to win it, it's special".
Low scores were available. McIlroy could only take some optimism away from his finish. Jordan Spieth was even par through 12 holes and going nowhere. The defending champion shot a 73.
Day thought his game was perfectly suited for Erin Hills.
However, plenty of others were firmly in contention at the start of the penultimate day; only eight shots separated the leaders from those who made the cut on the bubble.
Still to be determined was who made it to the weekend, and where the cut would fall.
Jordan Spieth is not among them.
"Showed up for the last six holes, anyway", he said.
Attribute that to the Wisconsin weather. They are still about three hours away from teeing off.
"I had no idea that nine-under was the best ever in an Open, so that was pretty cool once I saw my card".
But that's not all that makes the possibilities so limitless Saturday.
The U.S. Open was only his sixth start this year.