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US Open 2016 - Round 2 Reports - Scores

Dustin Johnson in tie for lead

Dustin Johnson unleashed another powerful tee shot that got lost in the darkening sky over Oakmont. Positioned some 200 yards away on a forward tee, his caddie tried to track the flight of the ball until he gave up and said, ''Where did it go?''

Like he even had to ask.

One year after Johnson let the U.S. Open slip away from him at Chambers Bay, he drove his way to the top of the leaderboard Friday at Oakmont on a marathon day of 36 holes with rounds of 67-69 that left him poised for another shot at a major.

''I've got a good game plan for this course,'' Johnson said. ''And if I keep driving it like I am, I'll be tough to beat.''

More than the long ball, Johnson has a short memory.

For all his chances in the majors - four of them and counting - he has the remarkable capacity to move on. The most crushing was last summer at Chambers Bay, when Johnson had a 12-foot eagle putt to win the U.S. Open and three-putted to finish one behind Jordan Spieth.

When asked if last year motivated him, Johnson deadpanned, ''What happened last year.''

This year has been nothing short of impressive. Johnson played 27 holes before making his only bogey in two rounds. He still hasn't made a birdie on a par 5. And he was at 4-under 136, the best score by two shots of the 50 players who finished two rounds in the rain-delayed championship.

Andrew Landry had a much shorter day.

The 28-year-old qualifier only had to hit one shot Friday when he returned in the morning to make a 10-foot birdie putt for a 66 and the lead. It was the best opening round in 10 majors at Oakmont, beating a record shared by Ben Hogan and Tom Watson.

Landry also became the first player in 30 years to have the sole lead after his first U.S. Open round. Now his name shares billing with Johnson, whom Spieth recently described as ''arguably the most talented player on the PGA Tour.''

Landry doesn't start his second round until Saturday morning.

Three storm delays Thursday left a disjointed schedule and no clear picture of who's in control. The nine players who completed the opening round Thursday, including 19-year-old Scottie Scheffler and his 69, had the entire day off Friday. Those who had to return to finish the first round initially were given tee times deep into the evening until the USGA decided it best that everyone from that half of the field - including Spieth at 2 over - start Saturday morning.

Sergio Garcia, who also knows his share of heartache in the majors, stayed with Johnson as best he could. He made a tough par on No. 4 by playing his third shot from the fifth fairway. And he finished his round with a 50-foot par putt for a 70.

Garcia was at 2-under 138, along with Scott Piercy, who also went 68-70.

''I'm too old for this,'' the 36-year-old Spaniard said. ''We know how difficult the U.S. Open is, and here at Oakmont even tougher.''

On the leaderboard, they were one shot behind Lee Westwood, who closed with two birdies in the morning for a 67.

Daniel Summerhays had a tournament-best 65 and joined Andy Sullivan (68) at 1-under 139. Jim Furyk, a runner-up at Oakmont in the 2007 U.S. Open, also was at 1 under with one hole remaining before play was halted by darkness.

Johnson made his only bogey when he found a deep bunker left of the first fairway, a rare miss off the tee. He could only advance the ball about 40 yards and narrowly missed a 20-foot par putt. He missed plenty of other birdie chances along the way, not alarming because Oakmont's greens are difficult to putt.

Far more impressive was his accuracy.

Johnson missed only three fairways in the second round, and he has missed only five greens through two rounds. If the lead stands after the second round is over, it would match the lowest 36-hole score in a U.S. Open at Oakmont. And he still hasn't made a birdie on a par 5 in two rounds.

''It was a long day today, but I felt like I played really solid all day for all 36 holes,'' he said. ''I drove it really well.''

Spieth, who finished off a round of only one birdie for a 72, returned to Oakmont in the afternoon to putt. Rory McIlroy, who matched his worst score in a U.S. Open with a 77, came back to work on his swing.

On the course, other stars were struggling.

Jason Day, the No. 1 player in the world, opened with a 76 and was at 5 over with three holes remaining. Phil Mickelson was in danger of missing the cut for the second straight time at Oakmont. He was at 7 over with two holes remaining.

For Johnson, it's time to put up his feet and contemplate another run at a major.

''He played awesome,'' Garcia said. ''It's impressive. He drove the ball great, very far. I don't think he missed many fairways at all. Out of 36 holes here at Oakmont with only one bogey, it shows you have to play really, really well. He's going to be tough to beat, but I'll give it a shot.''

Top players struggling at Oakmont

Golf's ''Big Three'' might be in big trouble at the U.S. Open.

Jason Day, the top-ranked player in the world, needs to grind if he wants to make the cut, let alone get in the mix at rapidly drying out Oakmont. Jordan Spieth, the defending champion, spent a significant portion of his unexpected afternoon off trying to get his balky putter back on track. And Rory McIlroy's bid for a second Open title to go with the one he captured so easily five years ago may have ended before it really began.

While the leaderboard features a mix of familiar (Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk) and not so familiar names (hello, Andrew Landry) the twenty-somethings who have helped fill the vacuum left by Tiger Woods' decline are nowhere to be found.

Spieth wrapped up his water-logged first round early Friday morning, carding a 2-over 72 that included five bogeys, two birdies and a handful of exasperated looks after watching putt after putt burn the edge. Following one approach shot he held out his hands, turned and sighed ''Oh my God'' while flipping his club in frustration.

''You just have to really stay present, not get negative. I did a bit today,'' Spieth said. ''(My caddie) was sure to knock me back into shape. I'll do a better job the next 54.''

When Spieth arrives at Oakmont on Saturday morning faced with the prospect of playing 36 holes in a day, at least he'll do it in relatively good position. McIlroy not so much. His slow start Thursday only accelerated after the rain stopped. He slogged his way to a 7-over 77 thanks to a 40 on the back nine, finishing up a miserable 24 hours with three straight bogeys.

''Honestly, I've been struggling with my swing, even the practice rounds a little bit,'' McIlroy said. ''I mean, I know what I'm doing, but it's hard to change it out there.''

Particularly when the conditions are morphing too.

Thursday's gloom gave way to a clear sky and a steady breeze Friday morning, which was then replaced with in the afternoon with more benign conditions but also included greens double-rolled by the USGA during the hour break between the first and second rounds.

Day avoided the stop-start nature of Spieth and McIlroy's opening 18 holes, trading it instead for 12 hours on Friday battling his driver and searching for anything resembling a spark. He arrived at Oakmont as the hottest player on the planet, having won seven times since his ninth-place finish at Chambers Bay a year ago.

Yet he could do little during a shaky 76, starting his bid for a second major title to add to his romp in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits last summer with a whimper. He bogeyed the first, double-bogeyed the seventh and struggled to take advantage of the few breathers Oakmont provides thanks to an inability to put himself in good position off the tee consistently.

Day hit 17 of 26 fairways and 20 of 33 greens before play was suspended to darkness with him at 5 over and three holes left in his second round. With Oakmont expected to tough up as the course continues to dry out, Day has a chance to stick around for the rest of the weekend.

Simply making the cut isn't what Day had in mind when he arrived in western Pennsylvania earlier in the week. His string of four straight top 10s at the Open is in serious jeopardy following a draining day that left some of the world's best players frazzled, scrambling or both.

Weather making a very messy US Open

This U.S. Open has become such a slog that by the time it's over, the Oakmont Country Club logo will need a makeover. The suggestion here is swap out the squirrel holding a ball for a golfer waving a white flag.

The locals occasionally refer to the course as ''Soakmont'' and rarely has the moniker been more fitting than during Round 1, when fast-moving storms swept across the place in three powerful waves, the last one mercifully ending play Thursday after only nine golfers had completed 18 holes. That left a big disparity in how many holes golfers in the 156-man field had to play Friday.

Overnight leader Andrew Landry, for instance, got a full night's sleep, then was back in place at 7:30 a.m. with nothing more strenuous than a 10-foot birdie putt to finish Round 1.

As he came through the gate early Friday, hundreds of spectators were still lined up on Hulton Road, kept off the course until 8 a.m. while groundskeepers mopped up the mess left by overnight rain. So when Landry - a U.S. Open rookie ranked No. 624 in the world, no less - rolled in the putt to reach 4 under, Oakmont was almost empty.

Asked whether he'd ever made a birdie on the 18th hole and heard nothing, Landry wisecracked, ''Yes, many times. It's called the mini-tours.''

But at least his work for the day was done. He'll return early Saturday to play Round 2, and if he makes the cut, Landry can expect to tee off in the third round around 2 p.m.

On the other end of the spectrum was Dustin Johnson, who teed off for his first round at 8:36 a.m. Friday, part of a group of 78 players who didn't set foot on the course a day earlier. He had just enough time to sign his Round 1 scorecard for a 67 before heading out for Round 2 in mid-afternoon.

Asked between rounds whether he had a game plan, Johnson said, ''You know it's going to be a long day. Still do everything exactly how you would if you were just playing 18.''

Granted, it's not like these guys are carrying bricks in the hot sun. But by the end of the day, after carding a 69 on his second 18-hole trip around Oakmont, Johnson had played 36 holes to Landry's one putt - yet the two shared the perch at 4 under atop the leaderboard.

If the weatherman cooperates and the plan hatched by U.S. Golf Association schedule-makers runs smoothly, everyone in the field will have two rounds under their belt by around 2 p.m. and the 60 or so players who make the cut will begin Round 3 shortly after that. Whether the reduced field begins that round in threesomes, or goes off both the first 10th tees to make sure they can squeeze in 18 holes, remains to be seen.

In any case, the plan is to make Sunday's final round - players going off as twosomes with everyone leaving off the first tee - look like just about every other U.S. Open final round for the last 50 years.

Confused?

Don't fret. So is just about everyone else at Oakmont.

Pro golfers are finicky and most are creatures of habit. The brutal rough and lightning-fast greens already had plenty of players fearing they'd be embarrassed or worse. A few get upset simply because their favorite brand of shampoo isn't available in the locker room. Even for those who've made all the other adjustments required to contend, the impromptu schedule here has messed with their dining and sleeping routines.

Take Masters champion Bubba Watson. He finished his Round 1 on Friday at 1 under, then was told he'd begin Round 2 around 8 p.m.

''I need 12 hours of sleep. I get cranky,'' Watson said. ''I'm not going to get my 12 hours of sleep tonight.''

Fortunately, USGA officials changed course and moved Watson's tee time to 8 a.m. Saturday. But whether he gets his full beauty rest may not matter. There's scant evidence that a good night's sleep is going to make a difference at Oakmont. One of the most interesting things about the chaos is that the golfers who teed off Thursday morning finished, on average, two shots higher than their counterparts by the time both halves of the field completed Round 1.

''It has just been a really, really long day on a really tough golf course,'' said Lee Slattery, even after two rounds, speaking for most of the players in the field. ''I'm going to sleep well tonight, that's for sure.''

Lee Westwood in contention

Having shrugged off the frustration of multiple weather delays at Oakmont Country Club on Thursday, Lee Westwood continued his run of good form by charging into contention at the U.S. Open on Friday.

The English former world number one had four holes to play when he returned to the rain-softened course to complete his marathon opening round and he finished birdie-birdie to card a three-under 67 to sit just one stroke off the early lead.

"It was good," Westwood told reporters after a round highlighted by an eagle at the par-four 14th, four birdies and three bogeys. "I've been playing well. Really looking forward to coming back to Oakmont.

"I had a good experience here the last time, albeit everybody found it tough," he said of the 2007 U.S. Open when he tied for 36th at 18 over par. "I like a challenge, and this golf course is certainly a challenge. It tests you mentally.

"I sort of picked up where I left off at the Masters and the last three weeks I've played. I hit the ball well, a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. I hit it close quite a lot, 26 putts. It's a good way to start this championship."

It was Westwood's best opening round at a U.S. Open in his 17th appearance in the year's second major, and it followed on from his tie for second at the Masters in April.

"I felt confident out there and hit a lot of good shots," said the 43-year-old, who is still seeking his first major title after 18 top-10s in grand slam events over the years.

"I was shaping it both ways, which you need to do in U.S. Opens to get at a lot of the flags. To walk off two under par for those (last) four holes was obviously very satisfying and a great way to finish the round off."

Asked how difficult it had been to stay focused through Thursday's three weather delays, Westwood replied: "In professional golf, you should be able to switch off, switch on, switch off, whenever you can. We're doing that between shots.

"So if you have to switch off for two or three hours ... so be it. It's part of the job a lot of the time. Just got to grin and bear it and get on with it and have another coffee."

Another chance for Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson comes to every major trying to exorcise the demons. And if he needed a reminder of his mission Friday, all he had to do was look to his playing partner, Sergio Garcia, for a reminder.

The USGA likes to have fun with its pairings come U.S. Open time. They've had the pleasantly plump pairing. They had the short-name long-name pairing Friday (Na, Kim and Aphibarnrat). DJ's was the best-players-never-to-have-won-majors pairing.

Garcia is as famous for that as he is his enthusiasm. The wonder kid who almost won the PGA Championship as a 19-year-old in 1999 has finished second three other times in majors.

What Sergio was to the majors in the 2000s, Johnson is to the 2010s.

Multiple heartbreaks, grueling at times. Painful and unfortunate, too.

He went to the 18th at the 2010 PGA with a one-stroke lead only to wind up fifth after he infamously hit a ball out of a hazard, incurring a 2-stroke penalty. He was charging toward the lead in the 2011 British Open, when he shanked a drive out of bounds, leading to double bogey and a second-place finish. And of course he had the eagle putt on 18 to win last year's U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, only to miss it and then the next one, giving the trophy to Jordan Spieth.

It would have only been natural for those thoughts to run through his head Friday in the midst of a 36-hole, weather-induced marathon, one that started at 9:06 a.m. and didn't end until 8:43 p.m., with Johnson in prime position.

After a 3-under Round 1, putting him one off the lead set by the heretofore unheard of Andrew Landry, Johnson and Co. were offered a 40-or-so-minute respite before they were called to action again. And he responded, with par after par after par, which could have been birdie after birdie after birdie.

Hole after hole, Johnson put himself in position to go lower, and hole after hole, he barely missed. You count your blessings at Oakmont, take what it will give you, but when the U.S. Open is there for the taking and you know birdie opportunities are going to be fleeting as the course toughens over the weekend, you'd like to take advantage when you can.

On 17 (Johnson started on the back nine) he had a 10-footer for birdie that lipped out. He burned the edge on 18, settling for another par. On No. 4, he just missed a 7-footer. Then another near-miss at No. 5 before finally dropping one at No. 6 to move him to 4-under and a share of the lead.

"I hit so many good putts that I thought were going in, but that's just how it goes," Johnson said. "These greens are tough."

Tough enough that the Big Three of Jason Day, Spieth and Rory McIlroy finished Round 1 in a combined 15-over par.

When play starts again Saturday morning around 7 a.m., with more than half the field needing to finish or start their Round 2, Johnson will see his name atop the leaderboard, just above Landry, the 624th-ranked player in the world, who's scheduled to tee off at 7:11 a.m.

The tournament, at this point, is his to lose, a place he knows well, and a place he's trying to forget.

Down the stretch today, was what happened at Chambers Bay weighing on your mind? Johnson was asked after his round Friday night.

"What happened last year?" Johnson deadpanned.

It's a start.

 

Scores

# Nat Selected Others Score Hole Today
1 USA Andrew Landry -4 0 Par
1 USA Dustin Johnson -4 18 -1
3 ENG Lee Westwood -3 0 Par
4 USA Scott Piercy -2 18 Par
4 ESP Sergio Garcia -2 18 Par
4 IRL Shane Lowry -2 0 Par
7 USA Daniel Summerhays -1 18 -5
7 ENG Andrew Sullivan -1 18 -2
7 USA Jim Furyk -1 17 -2
7 USA Scottie Scheffler -1 0 Par
7 USA Kevin Streelman -1 0 Par
7 USA Bubba Watson -1 0 Par
7 NZL Danny Lee -1 0 Par
14 ENG Lee Slattery Par 18 -2
14 JPN Hideto Tanihara Par 0 Par
14 KOR Sung-Hoon Kang Par 0 Par
14 USA Daniel Berger Par 0 Par
14 SCO Russell Knox Par 0 Par
14 USA Harris English Par 0 Par
14 AUS Adam Scott Par 15 -1
29 USA Jordan Spieth +2 0 Par
54 AUS Jason Day +5 15 -1
54 ENG Danny Willett +5 0 Par
72 USA Rickie Fowler +6 0 Par
94 NIR Rory McIlroy +7 0 Par

 





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