Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

'One of those days' as McIlroy finds trouble in Erin Hills rough

The blimp was scene earlier in the day capturing footage of the tournament Ross Kinnaird Getty Images The blimp was scene earlier in the day capturing footage of the tournament
Noah Ferguson | 17 June, 2017, 10:09

McIlroy won the US Open with a record 16-under-par total in 2011 and claimed his second major title in the US PGA the following year.

"I've played a lot of golf with him and have seen him at his best". And I can hit those shots. I couldn't possibly shoot any higher than I did. He finally dropped a shot with a strong chip and a missed par putt on No. 4, and then got it trouble in the thick stuff on the next hole.

Fellow Australians Wade Ormsby (six-over after a second 75) and Nick Flanagan (10-over after a 79) also went home early, joining Johnson (four-over after a 73) and four-time major victor McIlroy (five-over after a 71).

According to numbers compiled by CBSSports.com, Day is one of only 4 players who made the cut in the tournament from 2012 to 2016. Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood, playing together, were tied for fourth at 6 under.

World number two 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.

Starting from the 10th tee, Fowler showed why he was among the pre-tournament favorites, returning a polished bogey-free effort that matched the lowest first round score in relation to par at a U.S. Open.

"When you're trying to aim at a target usually at a normal golf course, with normal width fairways, there's some pressure in hitting the fairway". We were anxious about putting driver into that bunker. I feel like the golf game is there.

"You're going to have to be aggressive", Snedeker said, "and you have to make a ton of birdies". "Open where I've had that much enjoyment". "I think I have a little bit of an advantage", he added.

Not even the sight of a burning blimp crashing to the ground in an open field just a half-mile (800 meters) from the course could distract the world number nine, who failed to make the cut at his previous two U.S. Opens but finished runner-up in 2014.

Major champions Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Charl Schwartzel and Jason Dufner also missed. He opened Thursday with a 9-over 81.

Day never had a chance, following his career-worst 79 in a U.S. Open with a 75.

Hideki Matsuyama had a solid showing at the Masters in April. "And I've been very light on competitive rounds this year, and it's just a matter of getting into a good round of golf now". He punched the third back into the fairway but needed two more to get on the green and two to get down for his second seven.

McIlroy's performance might not be that surprising given that he's played only six PGA Tour events this year and missed most of the last month with a rib injury. When I get down he kind of tells me a joke or something dumb. Rain that was supposed to fall on Thursday came overnight instead, and the batch forecasted for Friday is now expected for Saturday.

McIlroy has a hectic schedule again.

The U.S. Open was only his sixth start this year.

That's eight of the next 10 weeks after just seven starts in 2017.

"You won't get a better day for scoring", Johnson said wistfully during the long walk to sign his card.

"It's pretty frustrating", said Day, still smiling after missing the cut at the American championship.

"I love the way the greens are rolling, and there was a ton of footage putts, made a bunch of 20-footers", Snedeker said. "I enjoyed the walk, the golf course is lovely but I just didn't execute". Casey eagled the Par-5, 608-yard first hole and tallied six birdies.

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