ERIN, Wisconsin, June 17 (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 championship is up for grabs with only eight strokes separating the 68 players who have made the halfway cut.
Englishmen Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood and Americans Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman lead on seven-under 137, one stroke ahead of Americans Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes and Jamie Lovemark.
Dustin Johnson’s title defence is over after he missed the cut by three strokes, shooting 73 for a four-over 148 total. He went out in style at the par-five 18th, however, flying his fairway wood second shot almost 300 yards in the air, the ball landing on the green before trickling over the back.
With Rory McIlroy and Jason Day also bowing out early, it is the first time since the world rankings were created in 1986 that the top three have missed the cut at the U.S. Open.
Crowded leaderboard, but top three miss the cut
Casey overcomes triple-bogey to tie for lead
Long-driving Champ lets loost at Erin Hills
Garcia hoping Erin Hill gets harder, faster
Ups/downs early in second round at Erin Hills
Willett withdraws due to back injury
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
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan surges within two strokes of the lead with a seven-under 65, equal to the lowest round of the day. American Chez Reavie also shoots 65 to trail by three.
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.
Compiled by Andrew Both and Larry Fine; Editing by Gene Cherry and Ed Osmond/Peter Rutherford