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The wrong kind of US Open history

17 June 2017

On Friday, with Erin Hills beginning to firm up following early week rainstorms, the USGA made a decision to tuck some of the pins into tight spots after a fairly uncharacteristic U.S. Open opening round. Fowler shot a 73 and was still very much in the hunt at a second straight major.

But if he can sharpen his ball-striking, his 9:43 a.m. tee time on Saturday gives him a chance to make up ground well before the final pairing goes off at 2:29 p.m. Under those circumstances, the course will be more hard to play than it was during the first morning of the tournament.

ERIN, Wis. (AP) - Paul Casey discovered how little it takes to make a big number in the U.S. Open.

"We're in a good spot", said Fowler, 28, who is part of a different sort of leaderboard at this week's U.S. Open: Of the top 18 players on the board, not a single one, including Fowler, has ever won a major.

"Tomorrow will be a very cool experience", Fleetwood said. "But I'd rather be remembered for something that's done on Sunday".

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"My best friend has caddied for me for six or seven years", said Champ. He still went out in even-par 36 and was one shot behind Rickie Fowler, who plays in the afternoon. He bogeyed the 11, 12 and 13 holes and missed an easy birdie putt on the par five 14.

Of those on five-under-par, and just two off the lead, Brooks Koepka looks menacing but I'm not sure he represents value at [14.0] but I'm ruing not taking the [44.0] available yesterday afternoon about Tommy Fleetwood.

Johnson was the +750 favorite coming into the U.S. Open, according to OddsShark, while Jason Day was fairly close behind at +1400. Jason Day made two triple bogeys and closed with a birdie to avoid the indignity of shooting 80.

"It's been the best preparation going into a major", Day said. "We get to go home today because Daddy played poorly". It didn't matter at that point because I was so far from the cut line, but at least I know it's in there, it's just a matter of getting it out of me and getting myself in the right frame of mind. He shot 75 and missed the cut.

A rib injury restricted McIlroy to just six tournaments before the US Open, but he plans to play in next week's Travelers Championship and then the Irish Open, Scottish Open and Open Championship in successive weeks in July. He was the second betting choice at +1200 as the tournament got underway.

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"You can not play this golf course if you're not in position off the tee, and I wasn't in position", McIlroy said. "And I wasn't in position". Given they're on the same score, I'm a little surprised to see him trading at a bigger price than Lee Westwood and at the same price as Bernd Wiesberger.

With about two hours left in the second round, the cut was looking to be 1-over par, which would tie a US Open record. 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.

That does not appear to be an issue this time around, as Els fired a two-under 70 despite closing with back-to-back bogeys.

"With some incredible golf the next couple of days, you can make up a significant amount a strokes", he said.

There was slightly more wind on Friday than Thursday, but on the whole, Mother Nature has given players soft, scorable conditions.

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