June 28, 2017

Paul Casey fights back after nightmare start to second round

19 June 2017, 05:14 | Jackie Morgan

Bradley Dredge has won twice on the European Tour

Bradley Dredge

It's not the kind of leaderboard that makes someone cancel their weekend plans to stay home and watch the last two rounds of the U.S. Open.

"Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day are all out of the US Open 2017 at Erin Hills". "For the most part, the wind was nonexistent". As I've gotten older, I've gotten a little farther, but a lot more straighter.

"If you hit it in the fairway, you can attack the golf course".

"If you look at the golf course and you even talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up flawless for us, " Johnson said.

Then again, none of the top 16 on the leaderboard has ever won a major.

Nobody should have been shocked to see Casey up there on seven-under, alongside another Englishman in Tommy Fleetwood, who shot a 70, and the Americans Brian Harman (70) and Brooks Kopeka (70).

No fewer than 44 players ducked under par in the first round, and as the second round unfolded Friday, the 7,839-yard layout continued to give up birdies freely.

"I really like this golf course; it sets up really well for me, especially if I'm driving it like I did today, " said Johnson, who shot 73 along with a first-round 75 to finish at 148. "It was a bit of a roller coaster".

Overnight leader Rickie Fowler looked set to retain his place at the top of the leaderboard but broke his 28-hole streak without dropping a shot with three bogeys in as many holes to derail his campaign.

T8. Hideki Matsuyama, Si Woo Kim, Xander Schauffele, Brandt Snedeker: Matsuyama posted a 65 on Friday, the third round of 7-under already at Erin Hills. "Yesterday (Thursday), I just hit some shots close and made some putts". Matsuyama moved into a tie for eighth at 5 under, and Reavie was 4 under in a tie for 13th.

"It was a good display, all my own fault, but a good display of what can happen if you get out of position on this golf course", he said. Those dozens of players under par. His seven-under-par tied the record to par for the first round of a US Open held by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, who each shot seven-under 63 at Baltusrol in 1980. It is the first time since the introduction of the official world rankings in 1986 that the top 3 players in the world missed the cut in the same major championship.

"I couldn't have shot any higher", Johnson said. Former US Open champion Ernie Els chose the 20th anniversary of his last victory in the tournament to remind fans that he is not quite ready to be put out to grass. But I think at the end of the day it's competitive rounds with a card in my hand that I need and I've been very light on them this year. "I'm glad I went through it and I'm glad I'm here". But I don't let it bother me. But he also struggled around the greens, failing to get up and down once in six opportunities. Erin Hills must have felt like another planet, not the same state.

"I was upset with the score I had made, but it had, in no way, any effect on my attitude or how I was going to then approach the rest of the round or the next shot". On the 12th tee, they told him he might be penalized and he played the final seven holes not knowing how big his lead was.

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