Four share lead at US Open

The 30-year-old from Georgia had never gone past the second round in a US Open before this year, missing the cut on his two previous visits in 2012 and 2015.

This might have been more than anyone was expecting.

At the top of the board, there's a four-way logjam for the lead with English pair Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood joining American duo Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman on 7-under par. None has ever won a major, and neither have the next 14 players behind them. But the former Irish Open victor posted one under for the back nine to get into the clubhouse just inside the cut mark.

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.

Other Tour stalwarts who missed the weekend include Billy Horschel (+12), Jason Dufner (+7), and Jon Rahm (+5).

Other notable players failing to make the cut included British Open champion Henrik Stenson (147), former Masters winners Charl Schwartzel (147) of South Africa and Australian Adam Scott (147) and double Masters victor Bubba Watson (148).

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Friday wasn't almost as favorable for the world's three-top ranked players, none of whom will move onto the weekend.

In the first round, McIlroy only hit five fairways en route to a 78.

The Southport-born Fleetwood had five birdies in his round and just two bogeys. He didn't make a birdie the rest of the way and had to settle for 70 and a tie for the lead.

Johnson shot 1-over 73 on Friday to finish at 4 over, three shots off the cut line.

Eight of the top 12 in the world will not be around for the weekend at this most unusual U.S. Open, where the top 60 and ties advanced to the final two rounds. I'm definitely disappointed I'm not playing the weekend, but there is a lot I can take out of it.

Erin Hills again lacked enough wind to be the stern test the U.S. Open wants, and it showed. The cut was at 1-over 145, tying a U.S. Open record set in 1990 at Medinah.

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Fowler will be among the later starters along with defending champion Dustin Johnson, who opened defence of his crown with shaky three-over 75 and will need to mount a charge to make the cut. "Then three-putt the next two holes".

"I'm optimistic with where my game is", he said. "So that just kind of gave me a confidence boost, knowing I can hit those shots". "When it is the US Open and you're leading it is a different type of pressure because it is new so I'll see how that goes tomorrow".

"The greens were still receptive to good shots, but they were firmer and faster", said Fowler.

Casey, who had shot a six-under-par 66 on Thursday, had threatened to mount an early assault on the leaderboard but came unstuck with a disastrous triple bogey eight on the 14th. "So it's going to be a dog fight, and be a U.S. Open over the weekend".

"Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an eight on the card, but I'm a pretty happy man", Casey said. "Yeah, it was a bit of a roller coaster". McIlroy chalked his poor play up to rust and lack of competitive rounds.

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