U.S. Open R2

What a difference a day makes

September 17-20
Winged Foot Golc Club, Mamaroneck, New York
$12,500,000
Round 1 Round 3, Round 4


U.S. Open 2020 R2 - What a difference a day makes
Patrick Reed tees off on the third hole. (Darren Carroll/©USGA)


The singer Dinah Washington made famous the song, “What a difference a day makes” and that certainly applied to those playing in Friday’s second round at Winged Foot West for this year’s US Open championship. Mother Nature stepped to the front and the slap players encountered was a clear wake-up call that the final two rounds will be anything but a walk in the park.


Consider the following — 

Thursday’s opening round yielded an unprecedented 21 sub-par scores. Friday’s second-round yielded just three below the par of 70. What happened? An autumnal-like northeast wind was involved from the moment the sun rose till play came to an end. The wind pattern had players on the defensive and the inability to adjust was apparent on the scoresheet.



The course average went from 72.56 – the second-lowest first-round average behind only Baltusrol in 1993 — to 75.25. That increase of 2.69 strokes from Round 1 to Round 2 is the largest in US Open history — Pinehurst in 1999 was the previous high at 2.58.

The September time frame has also played a role. Instead of the possibility of scorching heat during the traditional June time frame with the possibility of thunderstorms softening the course — the cool dry air — roughly 12 degrees below average — has only added to the firmness of the A.W. Tillinghast design. Couple the weather with the overall tenacity of a West Course that yields birdies even less so than Scrooge handed out compliments. There were 11 rounds in the 80s on Friday, the most in a single round since 29 were posted in Round 1 at Shinnecock Hills in 2018.


The 36-hole cut came in at six–over-par 146 and given the unpredictability of scoring conditions it’s not improbable that someone could make a comeback while those at the top of the leaderboard struggle.

The weekend ahead portends to be a survivor show. Winds will remain in the northerly direction and while velocities may vary — it’s likely to be in the 10-mph range. No bogey-free rounds were recorded through the first two rounds — matching what happened at Shinnecock Hills in 2018 and before that at Merion in 2013.

Is it likely that the winning score will be over-par as it was in 2006? Hard to say. But as mentioned — what a difference a day makes.



Patrick Reed holds a one-stroke lead over Bryson DeChambeau with a four-under-par 136 total. There are also a number of players lurking — but only six players are under-par through the halfway point.

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DeChambeau’s approach was totally frank. “I want it to play as hard as possible. I feel like there’s so many holes out here that I can take advantage of that some people can’t. Now that doesn’t mean that I’m going to win or anything. You’ve still got to execute. If I’m hitting the driver far but all over the place, you can’t make birdies from the rough. I still have to work on hitting it straight while hitting it far. And that’s a unique combo that I’m going to strive (to accomplish) for the rest of my life.”

Three-time winner and 15-time major champion Tiger Woods failed to make the cut scoring 73-77 but summed up the reality facing those competing on the weekend.

“The way this golf course is changing and the way it’s gotten faster and it’s cooler, drier, the greens got a little more bumpy, it’s going to be a hell of a test this weekend.”



World number one player Dustin Johnson amplified a strong belief that those who are trailing are far from out of serious contention if weekend play is solid.

“I think still on this golf course with the conditions that we’re supposed to have the next couple days, I don’t feel I’m out of it (73-70=143). I’m going to have to play really well, but I like where I’m at. I think obviously two solid rounds and I’m right back in the mix.”

U.S. Open 2020 R2 - What a difference a day makes
Tony Finau, left, putts on the 10th hole as Dustin Johnson, center, and Bryson DeChambeau, right, look on during the second round. (Jeff Haynes/©USGA)


Getting near the pin with approach shots will be severely tested. That is the core strength of Winged Foot. The key rests with the USGA in making sure appropriately firm conditions do not drift towards unplayable rock-like conditions. With a range of internal contours and a number of the greensites elevated the wherewithal to get near the pin will only happen with players finding elusive fairways. 

Yes, what a difference a day makes.


Onward to a weekend in which the physical and mental strength of the players will be front and center.

“The greens finally dried out. It was a difficult afternoon. If there’s any breeze [this weekend], over par is winning.” – Adam Scott on his mindset despite being 9 strokes back

In short — a traditional US Open is shaping up.




Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
Total
1
Patrick Reed
-4
66
70
136
2
Bryson DeChambeau
-3
69
68
137
T3
Rafa Cabrera Bello
-2
68
70
138
T3
Harris English
-2
68
70
138
T3
Justin Thomas
-2
65
73
138
6
Jason Kokrak
-1
68
71
139
T7
Hideki Matsuyama
E
71
69
140
T7
Thomas Pieters
E
66
74
140
T7
Xander Schauffele
E
68
72
140
T7
Brendon Todd
E
68
72
140
T7
Matthew Wolff
E
66
74
140
T12
Stephan Jaeger
1
71
70
141
T12
Joaquin Niemann
1
68
73
141
T12
Louis Oosthuizen
1
67
74
141
T12
Jon Rahm
1
69
72
141
T12
Bubba Watson
1
72
69
141
T17
Tony Finau
2
69
73
142
T17
Lucas Glover
2
71
71
142
T17
Billy Horschel
2
72
70
142
T17
Viktor Hovland
2
71
71
142
T17
Webb Simpson
2
71
71
142
T22
Daniel Berger
3
73
70
143
T22
Thomas Detry
3
71
72
143
T22
Dustin Johnson
3
73
70
143
T22
Rory McIlroy
3
67
76
143
T22
Renato Paratore
3
71
72
143
T22
Lee Westwood
3
67
76
143
T28
Tyler Duncan
4
73
71
144
T28
Zach Johnson
4
70
74
144
T28
Cameron Smith
4
71
73
144
T28
Will Zalatoris
4
70
74
144
T28
Erik van Rooyen
4
70
74
144
T33
Lanto Griffin
5
71
74
145
T33
Adam Hadwin
5
72
73
145
T33
Charles Howell III
5
73
72
145
T33
Sungjae Im
5
70
75
145
T33
Shugo Imahira
5
71
74
145
T33
Romain Langasque
5
71
74
145
T33
Danny Lee
5
70
75
145
T33
Adam Long
5
71
74
145
T33
Sebastián Muñoz
5
71
74
145
T33
John Pak (a)
5
69
76
145
T33
Taylor Pendrith
5
71
74
145
T33
Rory Sabbatini
5
69
76
145
T33
Adam Scott
5
71
74
145
T33
Michael Thompson
5
70
75
145
T33
Matt Wallace
5
70
75
145
T33
Bernd Wiesberger
5
73
72
145
T49
Abraham Ancer
6
71
75
146
T49
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
6
70
76
146
T49
Patrick Cantlay
6
70
76
146
T49
Paul Casey
6
76
70
146
T49
Jason Day
6
72
74
146
T49
Rickie Fowler
6
69
77
146
T49
Chesson Hadley
6
73
73
146
T49
Brian Harman
6
74
72
146
T49
Lucas Herbert
6
72
74
146
T49
Ryo Ishikawa
6
72
74
146
T49
Shane Lowry
6
76
70
146
T49
Robert MacIntyre
6
74
72
146
T49
Troy Merritt
6
72
74
146
T49
Alex Noren
6
72
74
146
CUT
Byeong Hun An
7
71
76
147
CUT
Corey Conners
7
71
76
147
CUT
Joel Dahmen
7
73
74
147
CUT
Matthew Fitzpatrick
7
74
73
147
CUT
Takumi Kanaya (a)
7
72
75
147
CUT
Martin Kaymer
7
71
76
147
CUT
Chan Kim
7
71
76
147
CUT
Kurt Kitayama
7
70
77
147
CUT
Collin Morikawa
7
76
71
147
CUT
Davis Thompson (a)
7
69
78
147
CUT
Paul Barjon
8
77
71
148
CUT
Keegan Bradley
8
75
73
148
CUT
Tommy Fleetwood
8
74
74
148
CUT
Mackenzie Hughes
8
72
76
148
CUT
Shaun Norris
8
69
79
148
CUT
Andy Ogletree (a)
8
71
77
148
CUT
Ryan Palmer
8
73
75
148
CUT
Kevin Streelman
8
73
75
148
CUT
Andy Sullivan
8
71
77
148
CUT
Gary Woodland
8
74
74
148
CUT
John Augenstein (a)
9
74
75
149
CUT
Si Woo Kim
9
72
77
149
CUT
Matt Kuchar
9
74
75
149
CUT
Sandy Scott (a)
9
75
74
149
CUT
Preston Summerhays (a)
9
72
77
149
CUT
Paul Waring
9
72
77
149
CUT
Daniel Balin
10
73
77
150
CUT
Jim Herman
10
73
77
150
CUT
Jazz Janewattananond
10
73
77
150
CUT
Matt Jones
10
76
74
150
CUT
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
10
73
77
150
CUT
Adrian Otaegui
10
71
79
150
CUT
Victor Perez
10
76
74
150
CUT
Justin Rose
10
73
77
150
CUT
Connor Syme
10
75
75
150
CUT
Jimmy Walker
10
72
78
150
CUT
Danny Willett
10
77
73
150
CUT
Tiger Woods
10
73
77
150
CUT
Brandon Wu
10
74
76
150
CUT
Chun-An Yu (a)
10
70
80
150
CUT
Cameron Champ
11
73
78
151
CUT
Cole Hammer (a)
11
77
74
151
CUT
Marc Leishman
11
73
78
151
CUT
Tom Lewis
11
74
77
151
CUT
Curtis Luck
11
75
76
151
CUT
Chez Reavie
11
75
76
151
CUT
Henrik Stenson
11
74
77
151
CUT
Steve Stricker
11
74
77
151
CUT
Ricky Castillo (a)
12
73
79
152
CUT
Tyrrell Hatton
12
74
78
152
CUT
Kevin Kisner
12
76
76
152
CUT
Kevin Na
12
75
77
152
CUT
Ian Poulter
12
75
77
152
CUT
JC Ritchie
12
74
78
152
CUT
Brandt Snedeker
12
75
77
152
CUT
Richy Werenski
12
73
79
152
CUT
Justin Harding
13
77
76
153
CUT
Lee Hodges
13
76
77
153
CUT
Dan McCarthy
13
76
77
153
CUT
Phil Mickelson
13
79
74
153
CUT
J.T. Poston
13
71
82
153
CUT
Branden Grace
14
75
79
154
CUT
Rasmus Hojgaard
14
77
77
154
CUT
Max Homa
14
78
76
154
CUT
Mark Hubbard
14
76
78
154
CUT
Eddie Pepperell
14
78
76
154
CUT
Davis Riley
14
79
75
154
CUT
Matthias Schwab
14
77
77
154
CUT
Jordan Spieth
14
73
81
154
CUT
Sami Valimaki
14
78
76
154
CUT
Sergio Garcia
15
74
81
155
CUT
Ryan Vermeer
15
78
77
155
CUT
Graeme McDowell
16
76
80
156
CUT
Marty Jertson
17
76
81
157
CUT
Lukas Michel (a)
17
80
77
157
CUT
James Sugrue (a)
17
78
79
157
CUT
Scott Hend
18
74
84
158
CUT
Ryan Fox
19
74
85
159
CUT
Sung Kang
20
74
86
160
CUT
Greyson Sigg
20
75
85
160
CUT
Eduard Rousaud (a)
21
76
85
161
WD
Andrew Putnam
8
73
73
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