Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Contrasting emotions for McIlroy and Lowry at US Open


With soft winds gently flowing above Erin Hills on Friday, and the fairways and greens still a tad soft after storms earlier in the week, the toughest test in golf is looking more and more like the former birdie-fest that was the Greater Milwaukee Open. Sergio Garcia, of Spain, hits a drive on the 12th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Friday, June 16, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. On the ninth hole, he responded with two bogeys in three holes with a birdie to stop the bleeding, then rattled off four more birdies on the back nine. The Northern Irishman then won the Open Championship and US PGA in 2014, meaning he needs only to win the Masters to become the sixth player to complete a career grand slam.

This might have been more than anyone was expecting. The 44 players who broke par in the opening round set a U.S. Open record that had stood since there were 39 subpar rounds at Medinah in 1990. None has ever won a major, and neither have the next 14 players behind them. Scottie Scheffler, who just finished his junior year at Texas, had a 69 and amateur Cameron Champ had a 70 in his U.S. Open debut. The cut line never really moved on Friday, finishing where it started at 1-over. Jason Day's been a disaster at 7-over, Dustin Johnson's chances of repeating are fading at 3-over.

"I think the next thing is contend at big events with the best players in the world, and that would be majors, WGCs, and thankfully I'm off to a good start this week".

Rahm's expectations were understandably sky-high with his meteoric rise this year, but a little dose of reality can't hurt in the long run.

"Yeah, it's a good spot to be in", he said.

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However, he was still well outside the top 100 at five over, with only the top 60 and ties making the weekend.

McIlroy at least improved his position in round two, nearly holing his tee shot at his final hole - the par-three ninth - as he completed a 71 with four late birdies. You can still make birdies out there. They were joined by Harman and Fleetwood, who each had a 70.

He would add one more birdie, at the eighth, for a four-under 68, three back of pacesetter Rickie Fowler.

However, after dropping another shot on the 15th, Casey regained his composure superbly to birdie the 17th and 18th, the latter being the second longest hole in major history at 676 yards.

The four-way tie was the most after two rounds in a U.S. Open since Winged Foot in 1974, back when the names were more familiar for a major - Raymond Floyd, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Hale Irwin, who went on to win his first major.

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He earned the nickname "Captain America" at the Ryder Cup last fall, taking down the best Europe had to offer in leading the United States to its first Ryder Cup victory in eight years.

The live 2017 U.S. Open leaderboard , with tee times and pairings, scores and results from Round 2 at Erin Hills.

So much for Erin Hills being a pushover. "Every time I try to keep it to myself". The USGA is providing complimentary bottled water the rest of the week.

Fowler's warmup for the U.S. Open didn't got to plan, missing the cut last weekend at St. Jude Classic.

Fowler was a combined 25 over par for his previous four rounds in the US Open, shooting 81 and 73 to miss the cut at Chambers Bay and 76 and 75 to make another early exit at Oakmont.

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"Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an 8 on the card, but I'm a pretty happy man", Casey said. "I couldn't possibly shoot any higher than I did. They told me it hit the flag and stopped short". The problem however was that it only lasted two holes.

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