Did you stay calm like we told you to last night? Whether you did or didn’t, you have to admit that the second round at Winged Foot delivered some classic U.S. Open feels.
It was cooler and more blustery at Winged Foot Golf Club on Friday, and the scores reflected as much. Our leader is Patrick Reed, who was one of just four players to shoot 70 or better in both of the first two rounds. He sits at -4, one shot ahead of Bryson DeChambeau and two in front of Rafa Cabrera Bello, Justin Thomas, and Harris English. U.S. Open Leaderboard
Despite drawing the more difficult early-late tee times, Patrick Reed ground out two great scores. He hit only 36% of his fairways, but then again, everyone is missing fairways at narrow Winged Foot. In fact, just three of the top 10 players are hitting more than half of their fairways. In addition, Reed has hit just 50% of greens in regulation. But he’s getting up-and-down like a maniac, as he tends to do, and making the most of his birdie opportunities. Assuming Winged Foot continues to firm up, Reed will need to either tighten up tee to green or continue his short-game brilliance to lift the trophy on Sunday.
After much consternation from fans about low scores on Thursday, Winged Foot fought back on Friday. The wind switched directions, blew more briskly, and dried out the greens. Add in a few more difficult pins, and voilà! Scoring average rises from 72.6 to 75.2—which is the largest jump between first- and second-round scores in U.S. Open history (h/t Justin Ray).
While we weren’t in any meetings and certainly didn’t cut the holes ourselves, today felt like it played out how the USGA and the Winged Foot maintenance staff planned. Scores were low on Thursday, but the putting surfaces had the right amount of moisture in them to dry out just right for Friday’s round. In the morning, the greens had some give, but by the afternoon they were crispy and nearly perfect. Given the lack of rain in the forecast, the setup crew can now control how firm the course will be this weekend.
Some player quotes on the conditions:
Xander Schauffele: “I felt like I played my ass off yesterday and I barely shot under par, and today really felt like a U.S. Open, I can tell you that.”
Jason Kokrak: “With it gusting out there, it was difficult on every shot. You had to really pay attention. Any mental mistakes is pretty much going to be a bogey.”
Brendon Todd: “It firmed up, and the wind—I really think the wind is what made it much more difficult. The north wind out here, I think it makes about nine of the holes play really, really challenging.”
It may have been somewhat jarring to see 21 rounds in the 60s on Thursday, but it appears that the course is under control. Get ready for an exciting weekend.
Other U.S. Open tidbits
Bryson DeChambeau will play alongside Patrick Reed in the final group on Saturday. The Thicc Boi tied the low round of the day with a 68, highlighted by an eagle on the 9th hole, his final hole of the day. Playing downwind, Bryson hit a pitching wedge into the 560-yard par 5 to grab the clubhouse lead. He’ll be in the final group of a major championship for the first time in his career on Saturday.
Following his brilliant opening round of 65, Justin Thomas struggled on Friday. The 18-hole leader settled for 73, which wasn’t all that bad considering his woes off the tee. Primarily a fader of the ball, Thomas struggled to find a consistent shape on Friday. Still, he’s only two shots off the pace—very much in this golf tournament.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have never both missed a cut when playing in the same U.S. Open… until now. Neither player brought his “A” game—or even his “C” game—to Winged Foot, and both missed the cut by a wide margin. It appears that there will be no storybook ending to Phil’s U.S. Open career.
If you read one piece of longform golf journalism this weekend, make it this one. At the 2019 U.S. Open, when asked to tell a funny story about himself, Charles Howell III made a poor choice. See how that night ended up changing Howell III’s life for the better. Full Article from Michael Williams
Stormy conditions forced the European Tour to delay the Open de Portugal until Saturday. Few players finished more than nine holes on Friday, and many have yet to tee off for their second rounds. Leaderboard
Cydney Clanton leads at the LPGA’s Portland Classic following her round of 66, but the field has not yet finished the first round. Play was suspended on Friday due to dangerous conditions. Leaderboard
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Shotgun Start: Reactions to Shovel Boy and Thicc Boi leading at U.S. Open midpoint
Winged Foot punched back on Friday at the U.S. Open and Andy and Brendan react to the setup and our leaderboard at the 36-hole mark. They marvel at Pat Reed’s game and how he duct tapes together a fantastic score even when it doesn’t look great. They marvel at Bryson DeChambeau’s strategy, albeit slow, working so far. And they lament all the attendant nonsense that comes with both but can’t wait to watch them tee it up together in the final pairing on Saturday. Andy also discusses how the setup on Friday was a natural progression in the championship, not some reaction to the wailing about it being too easy on Thursday. He also says Saturday will be the real test and indicator for the USGA and their approach to setting up this venue. They also address the alleged Winged Foot vs. USGA tension on how the course was playing early in the championship. Finally, they go through some of their biggest surprises and biggest disappointments, addressing those who missed the cut and the drag it can be watching Tiger trudge his way to an MC. Naturally, they wrap with some discussion on Jason Kokrak and the Wyndham Rewards. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Scores went up and temperatures went down at Winged Foot on Friday. If you’re starting to feel a little chill in the air, slip into one of our Fried Egg crewneck sweaters from B. Draddy! You can thank us later. Get yours today!