US Open leaderboard crowded at the top

Co-leaders Paul Casey (71), Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka (all 70) are at seven-under.It was the second straight year McIlroy missed the cut at the U.S. Open. At 6-under 138, he trails four players by a shot as he readies for 36 more holes at Erin Hills.Count former Taylor County and University of Kentucky star J.B. Holmes among those in the mix. And then he came up short of the 17th green and dropped one more shot that sent him home early to spend time with his newborn son. Friday’s round included five birdies and two bogeys.An 11-year-old golf course shaped from Wisconsin pastureland was sure to bring something different to the U.S. Open. “I just didn’t get it in the hole fast enough”. “Yesterday (Thursday), I just hit some shots close and made some putts”. “I really haven’t been hitting the ball well as of late. But you don’t really know until you put a card in your hand and you’re under the gun a little bit”, said McIlroy, who said goodbye at 5 over. You can make a bogey kind of anywhere …Fowler started on the back nine and sank birdies on Nos. The world number 14 found himself in trouble when he flew his approach out of rough over the green into the deep fescue at the par-five 14th, and needed five more strokes to get in the cup.Jason Day, the world number three, will also have the weekend off after a 75 left the Australian at 10 over through two rounds.”You’d definitely take it, said Fleetwood, whose previous best finish at the US Open is tied for 27th”. But, despite the considerable length of the course, the game’s other big hitters aren’t up front with him.”It’s one of the hardest tests of golf we get through the year”, Fowler said. “So you’ve got to be very patient and stay in the moment”, he said. Some of it nearly takes the bombers out of it.It’s a nice comeback for Casey after he triple bogeyed the par-5 14th and shot 38 on the back nine.After Sergio Garcia finally won his first major title this year at The Masters, the “best player yet to win a Major” label quickly attached itself to Fowler.Erin Hills was drenched by almost an inch of rain overnight, but many of those out early on Saturday still found scoring to be hard.”It always does that”, he said. “Still 7 (under par)”.But the Englishman now has a share of the lead at the U.S. Open.Look no further than Rory McIlroy, the No. 2 player in the world, who didn’t hit a fairway after the 10th hole, shot 42 on the back nine and posted a 78, his worst score in 27 rounds at the U.S. Open.Schauffele had a chance to tie Fowler for the lead until his 12-foot birdie putt on the par-three ninth slid by on the right.Some of the world’s top-ranked players and pre-tournament favourites will miss the cut. “I couldn’t possibly shoot any higher than I did”. “I think at this point in time I just need to play”.Joining them with a weekend off – British Open champion Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose and Adam Scott.Most freakish about Thursday was that as many amateurs broke par as top 10 players in the world – two apiece.