Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Super save (for bogey) keeps Fleetwood smiling at US Open

Holywood's McIlroy finished four under for the final six holes, which helped the four-time major victor post a one-under-par 71 in Wisconsin, but the damage was done in the first round as McIlroy hit six over to effectively end his chances at the second major of the year.

Brooks Koepka, Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey were all at 7-under par through Friday's second round. 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.

But his stay was short-lived, giving the stroke right back with a bogey at the next hole followed by a triple bogey at par-five 14th.

"I just played bad golf, man", Day said.

"It was a good display - all my own fault - but a good display of what can happen if you get out of position on this golf course, which is what I did on 14", Casey said. "Even just trying to take my medicine was very, very hard". It's a good eight in the end.

Elsewhere, playing partners Fleetwood and Harman again matched each other by following up Thursday's 67 with a two-under 70 to reach the half-way stage atop the leaderboard.

And why not? So far at this year's U.S. Open, we've seen a blimp crash near Erin Hills, an E-coli scare, and a 94-year-old spectator die at the course.

"If we get rain tomorrow and it gets wet and it plays soft, this place is going to get soft and you're going to have to be aggressive and you have to make a ton of birdies", Snedeker said. But you never really know until you put a card in your hand and you're under the gun little bit. "There were a couple of loose swings out there, but when you shoot 65, you can take those". Rickie Fowler accomplished the feat in the first round, and Hideki Matsuyama and Chez Reavie hit the number Thursday. 18 and 1 presenting strong scoring opportunities, McIlroy played that crucial two-hole stretch at one over following a bogey on the first.

That was three shots behind Fowler and fellow American Xander Schauffele, the 23-year-old having birdied the fifth to claim a share of the lead on his major championship debut. So I really could have been through there with just one bogey.

"But early on today when I hit off my game, I putted well and that sure helped me out". Big hitters Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day were expected to thrive on the wide open fairways of Erin Hills, hosting Wisconsin's first US Open. McIlroy expressed fondness for Erin Hills despite heading home early. "I guess it's rare you get through a U.S. Open or any major without some kind of hiccup".

"I know it's cliche, but the last thing you need to be doing is thinking ahead, especially on this golf course".

McIlroy has played in only seven tournaments this season and was coming off a layoff resulting from a nagging rib injury.

"It's pretty frustrating", said Day, still smiling after missing the cut at the American championship.

"The majors have a different feel and sound to the roars and to hear the crowd go insane when I holed that putt on 18 was really cool", said Thomas, whose back-to-back wins in Hawaii in January included an opening 59 in the Sony Open.

Canadian Adam Hadwin is tied for 24th at two-under par after double bogeying the 17th hole on Friday for a two-over 74. I feel like I'm playing good. The ball hit just short of the green and popped forward and rolled 8 feet 1 inch past the hole.

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