Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Dustin Johnson leads after 2nd round; Tiger Woods fails to make cut

Dustin Johnson leads after 2nd round; Tiger Woods fails to make cut

On a course that can cause problems in any weather, where triple bogeys or worse have been recorded on all but six holes, perhaps the most daunting prospect going into the weekend is Dustin Johnson with a four-shot lead.

But he would add two more birdies, including a 45-foot putt at the par-three seventh that took its time getting to the hole then teetered into a massive roar from the crowd. He was three shots over the cut line with six holes to play when he ran off four straight birdies to get inside the number - only to three-putt for bogey on the 17th, stub a chip from the collar of a bunker on the 18th and miss the par putt for a 71.

But as he stood at the lectern Friday afternoon, hand on his hip, acknowledging that he had fallen far short of his goal, it was clear one thing about him had not changed at all.

Johnson was at 4-under 136 as he goes after his second U.S. Open in three years.

The prospects of Tiger Woods winning another major after rounds of 78 and 72 proved the former world number one remains far from his prime following spinal fusion surgery past year. Jordan Spieth joined him with a bogey-bogey finish to miss the cut by one shot.

Looking for a round in the 60s to keep him alive for the weekend, Woods settled for a two-over-par 72. As Johnson established himself as the man to beat on Thursday, the rest of the world's top-10 ranked players combined to shoot 52-over par. "That could happen to DJ", Rose said. "Around here, it seems like when I do get out of position, I'm just trying to do everything I can to get it back into position, not try to push it, and just give myself a decent look ... something on the green where I can have a look at par".

He trailed leader Dustin Johnson by five shots because Fleetwood opened with a 75, and first-round co-leader Johnson almost matched Fleetwood's 66 with a 67. "At one point, it was the middle of the round, it was just keep going and try and survive whilst the rain is there and the wind picked up", said Fleetwood.

Nothing, of course, is guaranteed in golf, something that's especially true at the U.S. Open.

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He still thinks he can win another major before he's done.

"You have to be on", he said.

Woods couldn't even fake it for the first 34 holes in Southampton, and despite birdies on the last two holes, he needed a lot of help to avoid the cut for the fifth time in his last eight majors. The two played alongside five-time major victor Phil Mickelson, whose latest bid for a US Open title that would give him a career Grand Slam was dealt a body blow as he posted a first-round 77. "Our whole careers are pretty much measured [on] if we can win four times a year".

Tiger Woods would have settled for par on the opening hole in either round.

Brooks Koepka's chances of becoming the first player to successfully defend the US Open title since 1989 after a second round of 66 lifted him into a tie for fourth place. I couldn't chase down the leaders right away.

"I know Dustin's going well, so I might be a few shots out of full contention", Fleetwood said. Unfortunately, I went the other way. He came in Friday with an even-par 70, not almost enough.

After strong winds whipped across Shinnecock on Thursday, sending even well-struck shots over greens or wide into deep rough, misty rain greeted the morning starters yesterday, developing into harder showers as the morning wore on.

Next up for Woods after a week off is the PGA Tour's Quicken Loans National that he hosts in suburban Washington, before heading to Scotland for the British Open at Carnoustie.

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