Rory in crisis here. He almost reverses the momentum in spectacular style when his bunker shot at 5 is heading towards the cup but it catches a piece of the hole and stays out. And, of course, he then misses the one back. Five shots gone in just four holes; McIlroy quickly needs to get off this snake and find a neutral square.
Thanks Gregg. There’s an awful long way to go today but given how tough Winged Foot is playing, does anyone seriously believe that Bryson DeChambeau won’t be leading on his own tonight? For the record, some bookies make that a 1/7 shot. Yep, you read that right.
8pm BST leaderboard
-3 DeChambeau (F), English (6*), Reed (6*), Thomas (5*)
-2 Cabrera Bello (F), Todd (6*)
Reed can’t rescue par on the 15th, so it’s all change at the top. De Chambeau, safely in the clubhouse, joins the leaders on -3. I’m going to hang back to Dave now to guide you through the rest of the evening. Enjoy!
Patrick Reed is out on his own as leader on -4. Justin Thomas has followed his bogey at the 13th with another dropped shot at 14. Mind you, Reed may soon join Thomas on -3 after duffing his third from the sunken rough at the edge of the 15th barely on to the edge of the green.
Only one player out on the course at the moment is under par on the day: Harris English. He’s recovered from a bogey on 14 with a solid par on the 15th. Remember, only two players – Bubba Watson and Bryson DeChambeau – have shot under-par rounds today. Will anybody else play well enough to join their cosy club?
Oh Rory! That birdie on the 1st seems so long ago – and he’s only on the 4th! The rough takes a tight hold of his club as he tries to find the green with his third, sucking all the life out of his stroke and landing the ball well short of the green. His fourth gives him a 15-footer to make bogey but the ball rolls past the cup. It’s a 6 for Rory. He’s back to evens after bogey-bogey-double. Take a deep breath. Time to reset.
Is it unravelling for Rory? Having walloped his second shot on the 4th into the juicy rough to the left just shy of the bunker, it just might be. Is the pace of play affecting him? It’s soooooo slow. They are on course for a seven-hour round at the moment. Up ahead of McIlroy, Thomas has dropped his first shot. He’s made four at the par-3 13th. Reed, who found the rough on 14, holds his nerve to save par. So he’s tied for the lead with Thomas on -4.
Harris English has had a lively morning. Having birdied the 12th and 13th, Winged Foot bites back on the par-4 14th. English hits the false front with his approach and watches his ball speed backwards. A fine third gives him a decent chance of par but he missed by inches and scores 5.
McIlroy splashes out of the bunker to within 15ft. Can he avoid a second consecutive bogey? It’s a clutch putt that could have a major bearing on whether he can gain some momentum on day two. No, no he can’t. It’s a difficult trickler that stays left. He’s back to -2. If you’re wondering how the leader, Thomas, is getting on, he’s made par on his first three holes. Faldo would be proud.
Having briefly joined Thomas at the top on -5, Patrick Reed has bogeyed the 13th to slip back down to -4. A quick look at Twitter tells me that most people are delighted with this. He’s not the most popular golfer is he?
If McIlroy was hoping to bounce back with a birdie at the 3rd having bogeyed the 2nd, he’ll have to do something special. He’s found a nasty bunker to the right of the green with his tee shot. He will do well to make par.
JT Poston has just added a little colour to the US Open with a delightful backwards dink on to the green at the 15th to avoid hitting a tree. It’s not going to brighten his mood, mind. He makes another bogey. He’s dropped five shots on his opening seven holes. He slides back to +6.
McIlroy has followed his birdie on the 1st with a bogey on the 2nd. He drove way right. So far in fact that he was almost on the 3rd tee box. He scrambles gamely and gets on the green in 3 but leaves himself a 40-footer. He almost saves par, too. Leaving himself a tap-in from mere inches. He’s back to -3.
7pm BST leaderboard
-5 Thomas (2*), Reed (2*)
-4 McIlroy (1), English (4*)
-3 DeChambeau (F)
*Started on 10th
What a start Harris English has made to his second round. He’s followed his birdie on the 12th with another on 13 and joins Rory on -4. He sinks a 10-footer. He’s in the groove, all right. It’s really odd watching some fine shots plop into the holes without a roar. But perhaps that’s a price worth paying not to hear “Get in the hole!”
Of course, the players going out now still have to traverse the fearsome 16th, 17th and 18th, where shots can be dropped like marbles from a torn carrier bag. Lee Westwood finished double-bogey, bogey, bogey on those holes today to drop back to +3 having looked to be in contention earlier in the morning.
I have THREE birdies to report! And a change at the top of the leaderboard! Rory McIlroy nailed a 10-footer on the 1st to move to -4, Harris English made 4 on the par-5 12th to jump up to -3, and Patrick Reed followed par on the 10th with a birdie on the 11th to join Thomas at the top of the leaderboard on -5. Take that Winged Foot!
Oh Phil! Mickelson overcooks a par putt on the 9th (his 18th) to finish on a bogey. That means he goes home with a second round 74 to add to his first-round 79. He slopes off with +13 in total. Ouch.
Rory McIlroy has started round two where he left off on round one. He finds the fairway on the 1st with a beefy drive, before clipping a lovely approach on to the green to give himself an early birdie chance. On the 10th, Tiger saves par with a brilliant up and down and Thomas makes par after a timid birdie-putt meant he had to sink somewhat of a knee-trembler.
The leader, Justin Thomas (-5), strolls out on to the 10th to get his second round under way. Thwack! He’s safely on the green with his tee shot. Then it’s Tiger Woods’s turn to have another crack at Winged Foot. He starts on +3. One swing and a ping later, Tiger has shot through the green. It’s not the best start. Meanwhile, a beaming DeChambeau has said his aim over the last two days is to “continue hitting greens”. He seems delighted to have got round in 68 in such windy conditions.
Bryson DeChambeau has been a one-man circus today. He’s only gone and eagled the ninth (his 18th) to finish with a magnificent round of 68 to finish as the clubhouse leader on -3. His card is a parade of colour. That’s entertainment.
The 17th and 18th have bitten Xander Schauffele on his way in. He bogeyed both to finish on 72. Nobody is safe out there. He’s back to evens.
Butch Harmon has just been giving his thoughts on day two. He’s of the opinion that the leading score will come down to around -2 by the end of the day. “There’s no place like Winged Foot,” he beams, delighted that it is playing tougher after a soft opening day. Good luck Justin Thomas!
Hello. It’s Gregg here. I’ll keep things ticking over while Dave plugs himself in so he is suitably juiced up to bring you updates through till the end of day two. We have some of the big guns going out soon, with Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at 1.27pm/6.27pm (ET/BST) and Patrick Reed, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth at 1.16pm/6.16pm.
A quick glance at the leaderboard shows that Oosthuizen has slipped off it and back down to -1 after bogeying 16 and 17. DeChambeau is keeping him company there. He’ll soon wind up his round on the formidable 9th (his 18th), where he will hope to escape unscathed. There are a whopping 66 players on +3, hanging around like lost golf balls, hoping something will happen that gets them back in play.
And with the news that Jon Rahm has rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at 7 to get back to +1 (T19), I’ll hand back to Gregg for a couple of hours.
6pm BST leaderboard
-5 Thomas (-)
-4 Reed (-)
-3 McIlroy (-)
-2 Cabrera Bello (F)
-2 Schauffele (16)
-2 Kokrak (1)
-2 Todd (-)
-2 English (-)
It’s been a tough old day for Jon Rahm after four bogeys and just a single birdie over his first 15 holes. That’s dropped him to +2 and currently seven back but, who knows, the lead could be -3 at close of play. And if Rahm could birdie the par-5 9th, his closing hole, the Spaniard would be well within striking distance.
Louis Oosthuizen looked as if he could set the new mark of 3-under but he’ll be happy to stay in the red now after successive bogeys at 16 and 17, both caused by missed fairways.
Bubba Watson posts the first under-par round of the day but he walks off not a happy camper after completing a 69 with a double bogey at 18 after false front trouble with his first putt. The sting in the tail leaves him +1 for the tournament and tied 19th.
As DJ stutters, Bryson DeChambeau makes par at 7. Two holes to go before he can head off and devour 14 raw steaks.
The wind looks to have died a little but that doesn’t help Dustin Johnson at the short par-3 7th. He comes up way short with his tee-shot after seeming to take too much turf and his rollercoaster putt up the false front surges way past the hole when it emerges into view on the top tier. It leaves him 15 feet for par but his putt has no conviction and pulls up short. A badly played hole, a bogey and DJ is back to +2.
It’s all getting a bit much for Matthew Wolff and that’s seven bogeys on his scorecard today and four in five on his second nine. From threatening the lead, he’s slumped to tied 19th (+1).
Bryson DeChambeau’s positive intent is rewarded at 6 (his 15th) as his huge drive leads to a birdie. His risky strategy is certainly being reflected in his scorecard: not for him the Faldo-esque full set of 18 pars; he’s made five birdies, five bogeys and five pars. Now -1 and tied for 10th.
Rafa Cabrera Bello sets the new clubhouse target of 2-under after a fantastic finish. The Spaniard was +1 with three to play and could easily have slipped back into the pack. But he birdied 6 and 7 before holing a six-footer at 9 to pick up three shots in his final four holes. He’s rescued a 70 from nowhere and will now be in one of the final groups on Saturday.
A projected cut line has appeared on the official scoreboard. Computer says +6 gets you in but +7 or more and you’re heading home.
Those currently at +7 or worse:
+7 Gary Woodland (15)
+7 Paul Casey (14)
+8 Shane Lowry (15)
+11 Phil Mickelson (14)
Tommy Fleetwood (16) and Matt Fitzpatrick (17) are hanging on in there at +6.
This should be good TV as Bryson DeChambeau attempts to drive the short par-4 15th. A mighty lash and his ball pulls up just short of the green. Golden birdie chance there. Tony Finau attempts the same but pulls his drive left and finds a rather surprising-placed creek running to the left of the putting surface. Dustin Johnson attempts to show there’s more than one way to skin a cat and opts for the lay up, wedge option. And it could well pay off as he leaves a great look at birdie.
Under par count: 12. That’s down from 21 at start of play. Pieters is the clubhouse leader on even par but both Bubba Watson and Rafa Cabrera Bello are 1-under after 17 so could set the new mark. As for the cut, it’s hovering around +4/+5 but will probably go higher this afternoon.
Thomas Pieters, looking not as miffed as you’d think having dropped six shots in his final nine holes, says this of day two at Winged Foot: “It’s definitely twice as tough as yesterday with the wind.” Seems a fair assessment.
As Pieters will testify, once those bogeys start racking up, it’s hard to reverse the momentum. However, Rafa Cabrera Bello is proving it can be done as he’s followed bogeys at 3 and 5 with birdies at 6 and 7 to move back to -1 with two to play.
5pm BST leaderboard
-5 Thomas (-)
-4 Reed (-)
-3 Oosthuizen (14)
-3 Schauffele (13)
-3 McIlroy (-)
It’s another Thomas Pieters bogey I’m afraid and this one at 18 drops him back to even par. How things changed for the Belgian today. At one point he was cruising along and a shot clear of the field at 6-under. But if Winged Foot’s front nine doesn’t get you, the even harder back nine can be a card wrecker and Pieters came home in 41 after six bogeys and three pars. It all added up to a 74 and he’s gone from solo first to tied 14th. Time to restock.
And a final stat: just five players in the morning wave are under par for the day – Xander Schauffele, Bubba Watson, Daniel Berger, Dustin Johnson and Keegan Bradley. Respect to those quintet of Americans, three major winners among them.
Matthew Wolff has taken to majors like a duck to water. Again, impress your friends time with this:
Wolf is the first player in men’s golf history to begin his championship career with five consecutive rounds in the 60s.
He’s having to scrap today (four birdies against two birdies after 10 holes) but Wolff is right in the hunt at -2.
Louis Oosthuizen caresses in a 20-footer for birdie at 13 and climbs up to tied third.
Two random Oosthuizen stats to light up most dinner parties:
1) He’s never won an event on American soil
2) After a 67 yesterday, the South African surpassed Jack Nicklaus for the most rounds of 67 or lower in US Open history (8)
A smile and a cheery wave to the imaginary crowds from Bryson DeChambeau. The 224-yard par-3 3rd isn’t a birdie hole but the former US Amateur champ turns it into one by draining his 25-footer. For the third time today he follows a bogey with a birdie and this latest red number puts him back to -1 for the tournament and looking dangerous in T11th.
The PGA Tour website actually has a ‘Bounce Back’ stat which measures the percent of time a player is over par on a hole and then under par on the following hole. The top seven in the just-completed 2020 season are: Will Gordon, Gary Woodland, Dustin Johnson, Aaron Wise, Grayson Murray, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Rose. Note the three US Open champs in that list, showcasing how temperament is a vital weapon when trying to win this most attritional major.