TIE AT THE TOP AFTER ROUND 2 AT THE OPEN

  

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to the US Open at Erin Hills, and on Facebook, linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. With the US Open trophy at Gino’s East in Rosemont.

REPORTING FROM ERIN HILLS, site of the 2017 US Open, and the 117th playing of our nations national championship.

There is a log jam at the top of the leader board at 7 under par. So much for everyone being 13 under by the end of Round 2.

Instead the leaders are no further under par after Round 2, than Rickie Fowler was after Round 1.

At 7 under par we have Paul Casey, former John Deere Classic Champion Brian Harman, Brooks Koepka, and Tommy Fleetwood. Fowler is 1 shot back along with Jamie Lovemark. The round of the day went to Chez Reavie who matched Fowlers opening round score of 65.

For all of the Wisconsin fans the good news was that Steve Stricker and Jordan Niebrugge, the home town boys each made the cut on the number at +1 (145). So they are both at Erin Hills for the weekend, bad news is that a pairing of the two players that would have had a huge following, did not happen when the USGA put them one group apart. Niebrugge at 9:10 and Stricker in the next group at 9:21. Had they been paired together it would have been a good pairing for both players who are looking to breakout and post a low number.

There are five past US Open winners in the field for the weekend and they include, Webb Simpson from 2012 at the Olympic Club, Martin Kaymer from 2014 at Pinehurst, Jordan Spieth from 2015 at Chambers Bay, Jim Furyk at Olympia Fields in 2003, and Ernie Els with championships at Oakmont and Congressional.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson ended up +4 missing the cut by three shots, he had the cut made on the number with six holes to play, but three bogeys down the stretch cost him the weekend. 2013 champion Justin Rose missed the cut by 1 shot. But even bigger surprises were Jason Day at +10 and Rory McIlroy who carded a -1 (71) in round two came up four shots short. In his post round press conference Day said McIlroy locked in and was hitting everything flush the last six holes, but by then it was too late. When Johnson’s title defense crashed in the early evening on Friday, it marked the end of world players #1-2-3, who be Friday night trunk slammers at the US Open.

OPEN NEWS..The USGA sadly reported a fan died on property during the round. A 94 year old man, a resident of Wauwatosa a suburb of Milwaukee passed out in the grandstand of the 6th hole. He was given immediate medical attention and taken to a nearby ambulance where he was pronounced dead. It was deceased first day on site at the open.

2016 Masters Champion Danny Willett who has struggled with his game for sometime, posted an 80 in round 1, and then today turned in a WD shortly before his afternoon tee time. Willett said he was suffering from a back injury, which if that’s the case might explain his poor play of late.

IF Brian Harman wins the US Open, he would be the first left-handed champion of the US Open. The US Open is the only major that has never had a left handed champion.

The yardage for Round 2 was 7,839, a little longer than Round 1, in fact the Par 5 18th hole was pushed back all the way to the 676 yard maximum.

FIRST ROUND 3 tee-time is 8:26 Am Tyler Light and Webb Simpson. For more information on the US Open see USGA.com or USOPEN.com.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.