(Corrects stat in sixth highlight from five-over to five-under)
ERIN, Wisconsin, June 16 (Reuters) - The second round of the 117th U.S. Open began on Friday. Following are the highlights from the second major championship of the year at Erin Hills.
The leaderboard keeps changing by the minute. Englishmen Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood and Americans Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman are the clubhouse pacesetters at seven-under 137.
Rickie Fowler and Jamie Lovemark are one shot behind, also finished, with J.B. Holmes also one back with two holes left.
Japanese ace Hideki Matsuyama has carded a 65 to join a large group two behind.
Last year’s U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett withdrew from the U.S. Open with a sore back on Friday as the Englishman’s injury woes continued. Willett, who pulled out before the start of his second round, was heading towards the Erin Hills exit anyway after an opening round 81.
An elderly spectator died at Erin Hills during Friday’s second round, officials said. Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said the deceased was a 94-year old male who appeared to have died of natural causes.
Casey used a run of five birdies in a row on his way to a one-under 71 that tied him with overnight leader Fowler on seven under par and made him the clubhouse leader.
Casey had tied for the lead earlier in the round with a birdie on his second hole before crashing with a triple-bogey at the par-five 14th.
South Korean Kim Si-woo bogeyed the par-three ninth hole to slip back to five under par as he completed a round of two-under-par 70. The 21-year-old Kim is hoping to claim his first major after winning the coveted Players Championship this season.
PGA Tour rookie Xander Schauffele slipped from a share of the lead when he bogeyed the short par-three ninth hole and double-bogeyed the par-three 13th. The 23-year-old Californian, whose mother is Taiwanese and father is German and French, had a pair of birdies on the day and shot 73 for a five-under total.
After heavy rains early in the week softened the massive Erin Hills layout for record-setting low scores in the opening round, a dry day was in the forecast for the second round, which could speed up fairways and greens at the links-styled layout.
Ups/downs early in second round at Erin Hills
Willett withdraws due to back injury
Day done, McIlroy also likely to miss cut
Fowler on point as big guns fail to fire
Defending champ Johnson off-target
‘Call me Phil!’ Mickelson stand-in cards 72
Blimp at U.S. Open golf tourney crashes
Officials expect smooth rulings at U.S. Open (Compiled by Larry Fine, editing by Gene Cherry and Ed Osmond)