SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – One day after Shinnecock Hills overwhelmed the best golfers in the world, the storied William Flynn design laid down for the second round of the U.S. Open.
While World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who leads at 4 under after 36 holes, and a few others passed the first half of the U.S. Golf Association’s examination, many others in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking were headed home from the Hamptons (scores).
No. 4 Jordan Spieth, No. 5 Jon Rahm, No. 6 Rory McIlroy, No. 8 Jason Day and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods missed the cut, which stood at 8-over 148.
For Woods, his 2-over 72 in the second round looked markedly better than his 8-over 78 a day earlier. Even with two consecutive birdies to end his round Friday, he missed the cut by two strokes.
At 42, Woods had hoped that his game was good enough to win again after he returned this year from back-fusion surgery. His putter never fell in line, and Woods leaves Shinnecock Hills wondering what he can do now.
“I'd like to roll it better than I've been,” said Woods, whose 79 career PGA Tour victories include three U.S. Open titles. “I'm hitting it just fine. I just have not made any putts, and then, importantly, I haven't made those key ones to keep the momentum going, or if I have any positive momentum, I miss a putt and derail it. I just haven't made those key putts in the last few events.”
Spieth extends a disappointing season in which the three-time major champion has finished no better than third. Spieth, 24, the 2015 U.S. Open winner, missed his second career cut in seven Open starts.
Spieth was in position to play on the weekend after four consecutive birdies, from Nos. 13 through 16, but he made bogeys on the final two holes – including a three-putt from 40 feet on the fringe at No. 18 – to drop beyond the cut line.
McIlroy, Day and Rahm needed to do something special on Friday, but none could find the key to a friendlier Shinnecock.
McIlroy finished at 10 over but showed some signs of life on the back nine, where he made four birdies to shoot 4-under 31. But he was so far back when he started the run that it was more for show.
Day (12 over) and Rahm (15 over) ended a week with frustration.
“Today I hit 17 out of 18 greens,” McIlroy said, I did a lot of good stuff. Obviously, the conditions were conducive for that. Yesterday, I just wish I could have maybe just had one day to prepare for something like that. I feel like it would have been a different story.”
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Adam Scott and a handful of other major champions exit the U.S. Open after only 2 rounds.
Other notable players to miss the cut were former major champions Lucas Glover (9 over), Graeme McDowell (9 over), Bubba Watson (11 over), Charl Schwartzel (12 over), Danny Willett (12 over), Adam Scott (13 over), Sergio Garcia (14 over), Ernie Els (17 over) and Martin Kaymer (18 over).
Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas listed Dustin Johnson, the 9-1 favorite at the beginning of the week, as a 2-3 overwhelming pick to wrap up his second major championship. England’s Justin Rose was an 8-1 choice, followed by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and American Rickie Fowler, both at 12-1.
Alex Miceli is the founder and publisher of Morning Read. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @AlexMiceli