Chris Carlson/Associated Press
In a busy second round at the 2017 U.S. Open, Paul Casey, Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka finished in a four-way tie for the lead at seven under par.
Harman, Fleetwood and Koepka have posted scores of 67-70 in each of the first two rounds. Casey is the odd-man out of that group with a 71 on Friday, but the end result still has him in excellent position heading into the weekend.
Here’s the full leaderboard heading into Saturday at Erin Hills:
Despite the lack of marquee names atop the leaderboard, this is hardly an unknown group of contenders battling it out for the U.S. Open title.
ESPN.com’s Jason Sobel noted how well Koepka has been doing on the PGA Tour’s major stage for the last three years:
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelESPN
Brooks Koepka in his last 12 major starts: 4th 67th 16th 15th 33rd 18th 10th 5th 21st 13th 4th 11th Been building toward a first victory.
Koepka hasn’t finished inside the top 15 at a PGA Tour event since April. The Florida native looked fantastic starting on the back nine in the second round:
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
[email protected]’s opening nine: 7/7 FIR 8/9 GIR 🐦🐦🐦🐦 0 Bogeys T1 https://t.co/H7UfylKx6e
After making the turn, Koepka made two mistakes that cost him with bogeys on No. 1 and 6. Those were the only hiccups he had, and he finds himself poised to make noise on moving day.
Casey seemed poised for a disastrous second round after opening with a 66 on Thursday. He started on the back nine and was four over par after six holes thanks in large part to a triple-bogey eight on No. 14.
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard did note No. 14 wasn’t just problematic for Casey:
Rex Hoggard @RexHoggardGC
Seems the US Open has arrived. Paul Casey has hit 5 shots @ the par-5 14th & still hasn’t reached the green & not a single GIR in the group.
Casey flipped a switch almost immediately after those first six holes to salvage a solid performance. His turnaround came on the eighth hole when he proceeded to go on a run of five straight birdies that brought his score back under par for the day.
After dazzling with a 65 on Thursday, Rickie Fowler finds himself tied for fifth entering the weekend thanks to a 73.
Fowler was breezing along in his second round, making the turn with two birdies that dropped his score to nine under par, including this 51-foot birdie putt on No. 7:
The 11th hole is when trouble set in for Fowler. He hit three straight bogeys that dropped his score to six under par. The 28-year-old, who is still in search of his first major title, was able to correct himself and par the rest of the course.
Hideki Matsuyama and Chez Reavie climbed back into contention by shooting 65, tied for the lowest score of the day. Both players started the day over par after Matsuyama opened with a 74 and Reavie had a 75.
ESPN Stats & Info noted the first two days at this year’s U.S. Open nearly tied a mark that took 116 years to reach:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Entering Thursday there were 4 rounds of 7-under or better in U.S. Open history. There have been 3 this week (Fowler, Reavie, Matsuyama).
Matsuyama was a wizard on the front nine with six birdies. Reavie did most of his damage on the back nine, where he hit five of his eight birdies.
Jordan Spieth is still lying in the weeds at even par after shooting a 71 in the second round. He hasn’t broken 70 in a round at the U.S. Open since the final round in 2015 when he won the tournament.
Among the notable players to miss the cut, Rory McIlroy was able to salvage something from his brief appearance at the U.S. Open. He shot a respectable one-under 71 on Friday, though it wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the disastrous 78 in the first round.
This was nearly a carbon copy of McIlroy’s showing at last year’s tournament. The 2011 U.S. Open champion missed the cut at that event with two rounds of 77-71, and this marks the third time in the last six years he won’t be around for the weekend at the second major.
McIlroy did fare better than Jason Day, who is heading home after shooting 10 over par for the two rounds. The 29-year-old had not missed the cut at the U.S. Open in six previous appearances, finishing in the top 10 five times during that span.
ESPN Stats & Info added more salt into the wound Day experienced during his trip to Wisconsin for this year’s U.S. Open:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Jason Day shot a 154, his worst 36-hole score in a major in his career. Will be his 1st missed cut at a major since 2012 PGA Championship https://t.co/3hfOAu327v
Dustin Johnson will not repeat as U.S. Open champion. He followed his 75 on Thursday with a 73 for a 36-hole score of four over par. This comes two weeks after he missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament.
The 2016 U.S. Open winner was in position to play the weekend when his score was two under par for the round after 12 holes. Three bogeys in the next five holes dropped him back over par for the day and sealed his fate.
With a crowded leaderboard and a lot of golf yet to be played, the U.S. Open won’t miss McIlroy, Day and Johnson.
None of the four players tied for the lead has ever won a major tournament. Fowler is also in search of his first major title.