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I couldn't have shot any higher - Johnson after missing US Open cut

17 June 2017

But any bad taste in his mouth shouldn't last long because it's been an impressive week for the 29-year-old Valspar Championship victor from Abbotsford, B.C. In Thursday's first round, he tied a U.S. Open record by making six consecutive birdies en route to a four-under 68 and a share of seventh place.

But years from now, that's not what Steve Stricker will remember from playing the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, where officials used him as an unofficial adviser in its early years.

"Show up for the last six holes, anyway", McIlroy said.

World number one and defending champion Dustin Johnson is among the late starters and will have to improve on Thursday's three-over effort if he hopes to take his title defence into the weekend.

NOTES: Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and Chez Reavie each posted a 7-under 65, which represented the day's lowest scores a day after Fowler posted the same score. Unless you hit the ball really close, or drop a long putt, you're not making birdie. Spieth had to scramble all day to slip under the cut line by one shot.

Erin Hills also played like a beast. He missed the 15-footer.

The 2014 runner-up is just one-shot behind alongside Jamie Lovemark and JB Holmes.

McIlroy played in the same group with Day, who had a 7-over 79 on Thursday and followed with a 75 to finish at 10 over. It was 1 over at Medinah in 1990.

Fowler's seven birdies were from no more than 12 feet, including three in a row around the turn. Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood, playing together, were tied for fourth at 6 under.

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"Definitely not U.S. Open-like", Marc Leishman said.

Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt told the United States Golf Association he appeared to die of natural causes. No other information was provided.

With the injuries he's sustained over the past few years, there's a good chance this the final U.S. Open of Els' career.

The Englishman won the Masters previous year for his only PGA Tour victory.

It sounds as if Erin Hills is becoming more challenging with each passing minute.

Another warm, dry day is drying out the course, and the players are noticing a difference.

"It sets up really well for me, especially if I'm driving it like I did today", he said. "I think you've got a lot of great players on top of that leaderboard and you've got some guys that hit it forward, some guys that putt it great, some guys that do everything pretty good". When it was clear he had nothing going in the second round, he was simply trying to stay out of the way.

Friday wasn't almost as favorable for the world's three-top ranked players, none of whom will move onto the weekend.

Koepka, Harman and Fleetwood all shot matching 2-under 70s to join Casey at 7-under. Schauffele, 23, started the day with four pars before birdieing the fifth, pulling him even with the first-round leader. This one he'd rather forget. "So it's just nice to see it come along at the right time".

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"Guess what?" he said to his 4-year-old son.

Triple-bogeys have a way of sinking a round, but somehow that wasn't the situation for Paul Casey on Friday at the U.S. Open.

Casey then reignited his charge birding his eighth hole and ended the run with a "3" at his 12th.

But the Englishman now has a share of the lead at the U.S. Open.

But Casey rebounded with five straight birdies at Nos. He tapped in for par.

Fowler tees off his second round in the afternoon.

OK, this is his first U.S. Open. "[There was] a tiny fraction more wind, some of the tees were farther back". His round would have been better had it not been for two bogeys in his closing holes. He is 3 under for the tournament.

The last thing the USGA wants is to trick up the golf course, because the U.S. Open has had too many bumps (conditions at Chambers Bay, the rules mess at Oakmont) to risk anything but a smooth week. Two shots might separate the top 12 players - with just eight shots spread across the entire field - but the leaderboard is devoid of high-profile players and marquee names. But that wasn't the problem. He hammered a chip from just short of the par-5 14th that led to another three-putt bogey. His second shot drifted off the fairway, third shot was over the green in the fescue.

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