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Those golfers are Paul Casey, Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka.

Indeed Matsuyama is now the highest ranked player in the field with the top three in the world all missing the cut.

Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day - the top three players in the world, all of them professing expansive Erin Hills to be ideal for their games - spent Friday cleaning out their lockers after missing the cut.

Making matters worse, however, Fowler compounded the mistake with three-putt bogeys on the next two holes, suddenly falling from out of the lead for the first time in two days.

He had struggled through a nagging rib injury that has limited him to six tournaments this year, but was buoyed by his second round at Erin Hills after complaining about feeling rusty after his substandard opening 18 holes.

However, he was unable to build on that momentum and was still one over par after a birdie on the 12th.

Fowler, sharing a house with Thomas this week, was being left behind until he ran off three straight birdies and shot 68.

Harman closed with two birdies and three tough pars for a 5-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead at 12-under 204.

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"Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an eight on the card", Casey said.

After opening with a six-under 66, Casey was one off the overnight lead as he went out among the early starters on Friday. He birdied No. 12 but double bogeyed the 13th.

Li found the rough with his tee shot on 18 and hacked it out with an eight-iron, but his ball settled into a deep divot on the fairway, before his third shot bounded through the green into more nasty grass, from where he took six more shots to hole out for a 10-over 82 at Erin Hills.

So this year, the USGA set up a brand new venue, Erin Hills, for the 117th US Open Championship and I can only hope they do their usual black magic to cause players to reach for Maalox and Valium.

"I made a complete mess on the 14th". It didn't get any better when he made the green.

"It was important to do that". It's coming a little harder, it seems like, on a regular basis, but I still feel like I do a lot of good things to compete out here. John, my caddy and I kept communication great.

On top of that, he faced a 8:37 a.m. start time for Saturday's third round in the U.S. Open. But there's a couple today where I kind of puffed them out there and I'm back there a couple extra clubs.

"Someone has a very good chance of ending up with their first major tomorrow", Fowler said. He's alone in fifth place and two shots back of Harman.

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Big-hitting Koepka, who averaged 320 yards with his driver on Saturday, had five birdies in his four-under round.

"I'm looking forward to hearing about that when I get back to the house since J.T. and I are staying together", said Fowler.

Casey chopped his way to a triple bogey, only to respond with five straight birdies that carried him to a 1-under 71 and make him the first to post at 7-under 137.

All it took was a 9-under 63, the lowest round to par in a major long known as the toughest test in golf. If you get four or five, that's pretty good.

Hideki Matsuyama had a solid showing at the Masters in April.

Si Woo Kim, who captured The Players Championship a month ago, had a 70 and was at 5-under 139 along with a pair of US Open newcomers.

Olympic champion Justin Rose is another who will be heading home early after carding a two-over 74.

That was a 10-shot improvement on his second round and left the 26-year-old on eight under par as he seeks to turn his Ryder Cup heroics into individual success.

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In fact, of the 14 Englishmen, three Scots, two Northern Irishmen and one Welshman who started on Thursday, only seven will play the weekend.

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