The wrong kind of US Open history

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18 June, 2017

Big hitters Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day were expected to thrive on the wide open fairways of Erin Hills.

"I really haven't been hitting the ball well as of late", Matsuyama said.

Pardon the gallows humor.

Also missing the weekend were No. 2 Rory McIlroy and No. 3 Jason Day, who played together for the first two rounds to disastrous results.

McIlroy, the reigning FedExCup champ, fared slightly better.

McIlroy has birdied three of his last four holes. "I've never played in [one of the final pairings of] a U.S. Open, so tomorrow will be a very cool experience".

Only eight shots separate the leaders from the players who made the cut on the number.

The top three players in the world have never missed the cut in the same major dating to when the world ranking began in 1986.

The last time Day missed a cut in a major was the 2012 PGA Championship, ending a run of 17, which was the longest active streak.

He missed a five-footer for birdie on his first and then squandered another chance on 11, where he missed a 12-footer.

"I prefer a golf course where we can make some birdies, for sure", Casey added after a record-setting first round that featured 44 scores under par, shattering the previous record 39.

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"I think with everything so large, your target is larger and your misses get even more extreme".

This is Harman's 20th start of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season. He feels healthy now, but he came in rusty - and it showed in his opening round. His second shot drifted off the fairway, third shot was over the green in the fescue. Players noticed firmer greens that were allowing putts to race past the hole.

"Gave myself a lot more looks", McIlroy said.

"It was a good display, all my own fault, of what can happen if you get out of position on this golf course, which is what I did on 14", Casey said.

"We're in a good spot", Fowler said, referring to his status in the first-person plural after shooting 1-over 73.

After Thursday's round, McIlroy and his coach Michael Bannon discussed his swing issues.

"It was just a really fun round", said Casey, who said he was far from flawless and made errors. Jordan Spieth was even par through 12 holes and going nowhere. "If we can't hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home". "I just struggled on the greens". "There are a lot of really good players out here that haven't won a major". It doesn't need to be too much of a change for this golf course to play pretty hard.

Lowry had a poor front nine, which featured four bogeys and a birdie. It's just a matter of getting competitive rounds under my belt. "(On Thursday), I just hit some shots close and made some putts. "But then again, you sit there and it's the U.S. Open". "When I first played in the GMO's, that was the hardest thing". Heading into Friday, there were murmurs around Erin Hills that enough was enough.

"You don't get many rounds at the U.S. Open that are stress-free", Fowler said. I think it's easy to lose track. "The execution was not there".

The last six majors have crowned first-time champions and that trend looks poised to continue at Erin Hills where you have to look way down the leaderboard to 19th before finding a major victor in U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia of Spain.


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