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Rory McIlroy hits it all over the place at US Open

17 June 2017

Paul Casey produced a brilliant fightback to remain in contention for a first major title as former champion Rory McIlroy missed the cut in the US Open for the second year running.

Rory McIlroy almost aced his final hole Friday, striping a 153-yard approach on No. 9 to a hot dog's length. But as the sun rose over Erin Hills, and the forecast was for no rain, Mickelson withdrew.

"Even though it's very disappointing to not be here on the weekend, I think these last two rounds will serve me well going into the summer", McIlroy said. "Obviously, I paid the price for it today". And they plenty of company. Dustin Johnson hit nine of 14 fairways and was 3 over Thursday. He missed the 15-footer.

"Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an 8 on the card, but I'm a pretty happy, man, " Casey said. 11, 12, 14, and 18, and then kept up his stellar play on the front, birdying holes 1, 2, and 7.

The plan drew an indignant response from McIlroy, who usually is quite good off the tee.

"It feels great. I came in this week with no expectations really at all", said the 22-year-old.

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World number two McIlroy meanwhile - who earlier in the week had advised players unable to hit the fairways to "pack their bags" - was left at five-over-par after a second round 71.

Fast forward to Thursday, and it sounded as if McIlroy had made a decision to try again.

McIlroy, who hit just five fairways to tie for last in the 156-man field in that category, said: "I don't think I hit a fairway from the 10th and you can not play this golf course if you are not in position off the tee. I guess it's rare you get through a U.S. Open or any major without some kind of a hiccup". He made the turn at 6-under 30, just one off the U.S. Open record of 29 for nine holes.

"I was teeing off and I looked up and saw it on fire, and I felt sick to my stomach", Jamie Lovemark said.

"There's nothing I can hide behind; I just have to go out there and get it done". "I have a tee time on Saturday, so it's just, you learn along the way to never really give up".

Right on cue, Golf Digest magazine's The Loop website offered a tour of the Erin Hills concessions that tens of thousands of people will be chowing down on all weekend - and styled it as "a dietary ordeal".

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But Na had little trouble in the first round, shooting a 4-under 68.

Asked about this phenomenon, he said earnestly, "Did I have five birdies in a row?" "If you read my post, it says I love the design. I think I have a little bit of an advantage", he added. And fairways are generous.

"I couldn't possibly shoot any higher than I did", Johnson said. I felt bad for the people inside.

"But I just tried to show what it is".

Na said he got some support from some of his colleagues. They're made from "young" cheddar that hadn't been aged, and they're the flawless "balance" to the four or five beers it takes to get lubricated for the big game.

Fully aware that Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka were in the second wave of players dispatched to undergo the examination, Casey though had at least played his way back into the championship after a triple that threatened to undo all his good work.

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