Disappointing opening rounds for many of the biggest names in the sport were neutralized by an unforgiving Shinnecock Hills on the first day of the U.S. Open, allowing them a glimmer of hope to play the weekend if they were able to string together a solid second-round score.
Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, all four ranked inside the top-8 in the official world golf ranking were within two shots of the cutline entering Friday’s second round. Tiger Woods, who shot an opening-round 78, and Phil Mickelson, who shot a Thursday 77, were also in the mix to play the weekend with a good Friday score.
The US Open is the 1st worldwide event where Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy all missed the cut. pic.twitter.com/gvG7HDDufz
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 16, 2018
For Rahm, McIlroy, Day and Woods, however, they put themselves behind the 8-ball early in Friday’s proceedings and were never able to rally. Mickelson put together a 1-under par 69 to make the cut, which fell at 8-over par, by two strokes. The most brutal cut was saved for another member of Mickelson’s group, Spieth.
An even-par outgoing nine left Spieth at 8-over par and sitting squarely on the number. A bogey-double bogey start to his back nine spelled trouble for the 2015 champion, but he rallied with birdies on holes 13, 14, 15 and 16 to reach 7-over par heading to the 17th tee.
Haunted by putting woes for most of the season, Spieth three-putted the 17th green from inside 30 feet. Still in position to play the weekend, Spieth was unable to get up-and-down for par on the 36th hole, missing a 10-footer for par to move him outside the number.
Despite some serious star power packing up their belongings on Friday, the top of the leaderboard has more than made up for it with World No. 1 Dustin Johnson leading the way. Chasers Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter and Rickie Fowler will try to catch up to DJ, ensuring an exciting weekend at Shinnecock Hills.