Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

JB Holmes one shot off US Open lead heading into weekend

US Open 2017 Brian Harman fired six birdies and one bogey in a 67 to claim pole position yesterday GETTY US Open 2017 Brian Harman fired six birdies and one bogey in a 67 to claim pole position
Kristopher Love | 27 June, 2017, 08:10

Matsuyama birdied six of his first eight holes Friday, shot 30 on his opening and flirted, albeit briefly, with shooting golf's magical 63 in a major, eventually settling for a 65 in Round 2 of the U.S. Open.

Right behind was a trio of players that included Rickie Fowler, who went 28 holes before making his first bogey and then went three holes without making a par.

But the world's top three missed the cut - the first time that has happened at a major since the rankings began in 1986.

That's not to say a worthy champion won't be crowned Sunday - but there's plenty of work left to do for golf's upper echelon of players, many of whom missed the cut Friday.

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

"If you look at the golf course and you even talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up flawless for us". Unlikely as it seems, that was the last major he played on the weekend.

That got him into the weekend here, but on the 36-hole cut line, and eight shots behind co-leaders Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Brian Harman and Brooks Koepka.

Behind the leading quartet, a logjam grouped eight players within two shots of the lead.

Fowler dropped to a share of fifth at six under, alongside compatriots Jamie Lovemark and JB Holmes (both 69).

Following the three United States golfers were South Korea's Si Woo Kim (70), Japan's Hideki Matsuyama (65) and the U.S. trio of Xander Schauffele (73), Cameron Champ (69) and Brandt Snedeker (69).

Matsuyama and Reavie each shot a 7-under 65 in the second round of the U.S. Open.

"I think that's a testament to how good the golf course is and how well it's set up", Harman said. He hit an eagle on No. 18 to finish nine-under on the day and 11 under after three days at Erin Hills.

"I nearly hit a 7-iron on my third shot and chose to hit a hard 8 and I still went long".

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.

There were 68 players who made the U.S. Open cut at 145, 1 over par. "But you don't really know until you put a card in your hand and you're under the gun a little bit", said McIlroy, who said goodbye at 5 over.

Day was particularly disappointed because he thought he had prepared properly for the championship.

After opening with a 79, Jason Day's struggles continued with a second-round 75 ensuring he ended the longest active streak of cuts made (17) at the majors.

Second-ranked Rory McIlroy also looked sure to have the weekend free when the Northern Irishman added a 71 to his first-round 78 for a five-over total of 149.

Despite a flurry of late birdies it was not enough to turnaround an erratic round littered with errors and missed opportunities.

"With where I was hitting it", he said with a smile, "I wasn't in the way". It's just a matter of getting competitive rounds under my belt.

"I hate just being in the situation where I've been in a good spot and maybe let it get away from me a little bit and let some mistakes compound and turn a round that you (just) kind of fight through it and end up being in a decent spot after the day", Fowler said.