Golf's top three players miss cut at US Open

Among those trying to chase him down is Paul Casey of England, who was one shot behind.

Casey's opening 66 had left him a shot off the pace and he swiftly joined Fowler in the lead with a birdie from close range on the 11th, his second hole of the day, only to bogey the next and run up a triple-bogey on the 14th.

"It's not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an eight on the card, but I'm a pretty happy man".

Matsuyama birdied six of his first eight holes.

McIlroy meanwhile - who earlier in the week had advised players unable to hit the fairways to "pack their bags" - was left at five over par after a second-round 71. Because of that you can go out and play some great golf but you have a bunch of guys out there that can play some good golf as well. "Even just trying to take my medicine is very, very hard. It's a good eightin the end".

Seven under led after round one and seven under leads after round two, with the weather expected at the weekend, seven under would probably win the tournament.

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The U.S. Open is the best event in golf because it's a brawl between the players and the course. "But as we all know, this game's all about putting", Johnson said. "Mistakes got exaggerated a little bit more. There were a couple of loose swings out there, but when you shoot 65, you can take those". His round followed another big move from Patrick Reed on the back of a 65, and by the end of the day, almost a dozen players would shoot 68 or better to make a move up the leaderboard.

In all, eight of the world's top 12 will the absent from the shootout for the title, including each of the top three for the first time since the world rankings were introduced in 1986. Three more birdies on his inward nine took him to seven under and a piece of US Open history. "I'd really have to ponder". So that kind of takes the advantage away from the bombers.

Big, bold, open and long, Erin Hills appeared to be set up for big boppers like Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, but they ended up at five over and 10 over, respectively. Johnson (+4) can't be too upset to be travelling home to California to see his newborn baby.

Brooks Koepka started on No. 10 and made four birdies on his front nine to get to 9 under, moving into a tie with Fowler for the top spot.

Johnson, who won at Oakmont a year ago and added another five victories in the past 11 months, played the closing six holes at Erin Hills in 3-over par to miss the 36-hole cut by three strokes. I think it's easy to lose track.

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

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"It's going to be a really cool day for someone tomorrow", Fowler said.

"It means I have a lot better chance to win the tournament than I did when the day started", said Thomas after becoming the 29th player to shoot 63 in a major championship.

Tied with Fowler at six-under par are Jamie Lovemark and J.B. Holmes.

The Southport-born Fleetwood had five birdies in his round and just two bogeys. "It was a good round for me". "Part of that is just age, and part I'll give credit to caddy Johnny McLaren, credit to my wife and my little boy".

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.

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