Carnage at US Open as world's top three sent packing

Esther Moore
June 27, 2017

The Englishman began the day one shot behind Fowler and quickly joined the American at the top of the leaderboard.

Between them all you won't find one victor of a major.

In fact, you have to go down to 19th place to find a victor of a major, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer, at three under.

On a crowded leaderboard, American amateur Cameron Champ - who turned 22 on Thursday - and Xander Schauffele were unlikely contenders on five under par alongside Matsuyama, Players Championship victor Si Woo Kim and Brandt Snedeker. Fowler shot a 73 and was still very much in the hunt at a second straight major just one shot behind. He still has some holes left to play and it will be interesting to see how he responds.

Jason Day, the world number three, also looks poised to get the weekend off after a 75 left the Australian at 10 over through two round.

He also said he might have been rattled by starting out Thursday afternoon knowing that Rickie Fowler had already posted a 65.

Often overlooked when talking about the brightest young stars in the game, Koepka has proven he can hang around a leaderboard at major championships.

He hit just eight out of 14 fairways on his way to a three-over 75. "Pitchers have good days and bad days and I took an L today".

Casey took his place amongst the leading group after recovering from an early implosion that sent him plunging down the leaderboard. No harm, no foul.

Casey then reignited his charge birding his eighth hole and ended the run with a "3" at his 12th. He made sure the third chip went well past the flag, but triple-bogey 7 was the best he could do.

He missed a five-footer for birdie on his first and then squandered another chance on 11, where he missed a 12-footer.

Casey birdied five holes in a row after the rough stretch and was the first player in the clubhouse at seven-under.

"I really like this golf course". "But I'm a pretty happy man". "It was a bit of a roller coaster", said Casey.

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The four-way tie was the most after two rounds in a U.S. Open since Winged Foot in 1974, back when the names were more familiar for a major - Raymond Floyd, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Hale Irwin, who went on to win his first major. Lots of talent, just looking for that one break-out moment.

Matsuyama is playing in his fifth U.S. Open. His best finish was fourth in 2014 at Pinehurst.

The Englishman won the Masters past year for his only PGA Tour victory.

Kim won The Players Championship in May for his second PGA Tour title.

With two rounds to play there is some 23 players within four shots of the lead. Then his game flattened out on the front nine, bogeying one and six.

"Showed up for the last six holes, anyway", he said. If you do that you're going to deserve a bogey out there.

Canadian Adam Hadwin is tied for 24th at two-under par after double bogeying the 17th hole on Friday for a two-over 74.

"Guess what?" he said to 4-year-old Dash.

Former Masters champion Danny Willett has withdrawn from the Open with a back injury. "Anything can happen. There are always ups and downs out there".

Johnson put his weekend in jeopardy after missing a 6-footer for par on the par-3 13th.

The U.S. Open was only his sixth start this year.

"I have no expectations", he said.

"I'm playing the weekend". It's just frustrating, like I said.

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