U.S. Open 2017: The winners & losers from Friday at Erin Hills
After marveling at Rickie Fowler's 65 and all those other low scores on Thursday at the 2017 U.S. Open, what happened on Friday? We saw TWO 65s. But it wasn't easy for everyone at Erin Hills, and to wrap up all the action, here's our latest edition of birdies and bogeys:
Birdie -- World No. 4: After watching Rickie Fowler's first-round 65 up close, Matsuyama matched his playing partner on Friday, redirecting all that "best player without a major" talk back in the Japanese star's direction. The only negative for Hideki was he missed a 10-footer on the final hole that would have put him eight under and tied the U.S. Open single-round scoring record in relation to par, matching a certain 63 by a certain NBC broadcaster at Oakmont in 1973.
Bogey -- World Nos. 1-3: For the first time since the Official World Golf Ranking was created in 1986, the top three players in it will all miss the cut in the same major. Yep, Dustin Johnson (+4), Rory McIlroy (+5) and Jason Day (+10!) are all heading home for the weekend. Or maybe they're sticking around for a local cheese festival. Regardless, they're not playing Erin Hills.
Birdie -- Brooks Koepka: Remember when people used to say Tiger Woods was built like a linebacker? Well, Brooks Koepka is actually built like a linebacker. And in Green Bay Packers land, the burly Brooks has put himself in position to win his first major this weekend. After shooting a 70 on Friday, Koepka shares the lead with Brian Harman and a pair of Brits, Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood.
Bogey -- Rickie Fowler: Yes, conditions were tougher Friday afternoon, but Fowler also had a front-row seat for Hideki Matsuyama's near-historic performance. Even with a one-over-par 73, he remains in great shape to win a first major, and his strong start also gave us one of the funnier moments of the day when actor Andy Buckley (David Wallace from "The Office") took credit for Fowler's great driving:
He's even wearing a Dunder Miflin shirt despite that show going off the air more than four years ago! Talk about staying in character.
Birdie -- Chez Reavie: Chez Reavie shot 65 at the U.S. Open. We don't know much else to say because, based on how many times Chez was shown on TV, Fox seemed as surprised as anyone this happened.
Bogey -- Jon Rahm: The young Spaniard was one of many big names sent packing early, but he threw the biggest temper tantrum.
Did anyone pick up that wedge?
Birdie -- Cameron Champ: Where has this guy been hiding all my life? He's awesome. Oh, he turned 22 on Thursday and he's still in college? That explains it. But the rising senior at Texas A&M has a spectacular name, absolutely crushes the ball (he leads the field with a 339-yard driving distance average) and is five under through two rounds. Oh yeah, he also said this after his round: "I'm kinda long." Um, yeah.
Bogey -- Danny Willett: A month after withdrawing with a back injury during his second round at the Players, Willett did the same ahead of his second round at Erin Hills. This, following a first-round 81 for the man who has struggled mightily since winning the 2016 Masters. At least, he's on point with his emoji game: