US Open: Erin Hills proves tame and tough

US Open: Erin Hills proves tame and tough”

Woods, who recently underwent his fourth back surgery, has not played a PGA Tour event since January at Torrey Pines, the site of the last of his 14 major wins in 2008.

Fowler won the Honda Classic in March, and the 2015 PLAYERS Championship.

But while Casey was relieved after his gutsy fightback, two of the world's top three players - McIlroy and Day - were left contemplating a missed cut.

Matsuyama vaulted into contention at the U.S. Open with a 7-under 65 on Friday, moving to 5 under and a tie for eighth - just two shots back of the four-way tie atop the crowded leaderboard.

And then, Fowler took a second straight bogey at No. 12 to fall one shot behind Brooks Koepka.

"It was nice. You don't get many rounds at the U.S. Open that are stress-free", said Fowler, who hit 12 of 14 fairways in regulation and 15 of 18 greens. Winds will be a bit lighter on Friday, so scoring opportunities should still present themselves, if he can take advantage.

Another Englishman, Tommy Fleetwood, was three off the lead at six under after nine holes of his second round, with Xander Schauffele, amateur Cameron Champ, Kim Si-woo, Brian Harman and JB Holmes one further back.

Casey carded an eagle and six birdies for a six-under-par 66 while Schauffele, the 23-year-old world number 352 also carded a 66.

And Casey was joined at the end of play by compatriot Tommy Fleetwood, and United States duo Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman on seven under par.

Patrick Reed returned to form by shooting a four-under 68. He went from pouring putts into the center of the cup to burning the edges, and his 39 on the back nine cost him the lead, though not his chances of breaking through for that first major. Those dozens of players under par.

To 7 under he goes.

"It's not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an eight on the card", Casey said. The problem however was that it only lasted two holes. Just look at the hole location sheet for the day's play on Friday; nearly all of them are hidden away near the edge of greens. "But I hit it good enough to shoot a good score".

World number five Jordan Spieth, the 2015 US Open victor at then rookie host Chambers Bay, shot 73 while defending champion Dustin Johnson carded a 75.

Day, the world number three, shot a 3-over-par 75 on day two to be 10-over and he will be joined by the likes of McIlroy in watching the remainder of tournament from the sidelines.

"Just timing was a little bit off, and that was it", McIlroy said. "I just didn't putt very good". But then he three-putted from long range on the 13th and the 14th, and lost all hope when he missed the green on the 17th while going after the flag. I feel like the golf game is there. It might sting a little more for McIlroy (+5) and Day (+10), who played in the same group and said after their round that they were consoling each other along the way.

Don't expect the red numbers to keep dominating the white scoreboards here.

Only a birdie at the last hole prevented the 29-year-old Day from equalling his worst score in golf's four big dances - a second-round 80 at the 2012 US PGA Championship.

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