June 28, 2017

Jason Day ends up near bottom in US Open Round 1

17 June 2017, 06:18 | Jackie Morgan

ERIN-Golf isn't supposed to be as stress-free as Rickie Fowler made it look Thursday.

American Brooks Koepka has stormed into a share of the lead midway through the second round of the US Open, golf's second major championship of 2017.

Day shot a 75 for a two-day total of 10-over 154, ending at 17 the longest active streak of making the cut in the majors. But the former Irish Open victor posted one under for the back nine to get into the clubhouse just inside the cut mark.

Phil Mickelson withdrew from the U.S. Open a little more than an hour after the sun climbed over Erin Hills, realizing there was no chance to get from his daughter's high school graduation in California and make his Thursday afternoon tee time in Wisconsin.

He won the US Open with a record 16-under-par total in 2011, but missed the cut at Oakmont a year ago following rounds of 77 and 71.

"There are a lot of things I could have done better today, obviously", McIlroy said.

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Easy for Fowler to say. He doesn't shy from the game's toughest challenges or its biggest stages, and counts among his four PGA Tour titles the big-time Players Championship in 2015.

Jason Day, with two triple bogeys, shot a 79.

Westwood's 69 was just the third time the former world number one has broken 70 in the first round of the US Open, with his lowest score of 67 coming previous year.

"I feel like I'm capable of a low score on Friday, I just need to get the ball on the fairway and give myself some chances for birdies". "I thought it was spectacular". "But at least I'll get to sit in the air con (air conditioning) and watch the guys tear it up on the weekend".

Casey said conditions could also be radically different for the second round.

Yet McIlroy was over par.

The hottest man on the course was unquestionably Hideki Matsuyama, who bounced back from his first-round 74 by birdieing six of his first eight holes on Friday to sit five off the lead.

Most freakish about this day was that as many amateurs broke par as top 10 players in the world - two apiece.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia meanwhile was lurking five off the lead after a two-under-par 70.

And then there was Stricker.

"I would have snapped your arm off for six under", said the 39-year-old, who chipped in for an eagle on the first and added six birdies and two bogeys. He made an 8, and followed that with a tee shot into the rough to make a bogey. The world's third-ranked player was working on the driving range at Erin Hills until almost 8 p.m local time, and he's clearly not going to go down without a fight.

With most of the big names struggling in the first round, it will be interesting to see if Fowler can maintain his composure and sharp play and put more distance between him and the rest of the field. Fowler's 65 also represents the second-lowest first-round score in tournament history behind Nicklaus and Weiskopf.

Which is probably the way it should be.

Erin Hills was kind to Rickie Fowler and rough on several others during the first round of the U.S. Open. But if he does, there's no doubt who the fan favorite will be for the next few days.

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