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Four tied for lead at U.S. Open, but world’s top three miss cut

By in Press Enterprise on June 17, 2017

By The Associated Press

ERIN, Wis. — The biggest surprise at this U.S. Open was not who was leading, but who was leaving.

Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day — the top three players in the world, all of them professing expansive Erin Hills to be perfect for their games — spent Friday cleaning out their lockers after missing the cut.

Left behind was the biggest 36-hole logjam in 43 years at the U.S. Open.

Paul Casey chopped his way to a triple bogey, only to respond with five straight birdies that carried him to a 1-under 71 and make him the first to post at 7-under 137. He set the target early under warm sunshine, and even as the wind tapered in the afternoon, no one could catch him.

Brooks Koepka had the lead until he turned a birdie chance into a bogey on the par-5 first hole after making the turn. He didn’t make a birdie the rest of the way and had to settle for a 70. They were joined by Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood of England, who each had a 70.

Right behind was a trio of players that included Rickie Fowler, who went 28 holes before making his first bogey and then went three holes without making a par. Fowler shot a 73 and was still very much in the hunt at a second straight major.

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.

The last six majors have been won by first-timers, and that cycle has a good chance to continue. The top 18 players on the leaderboard going into the weekend have combined for […]    

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