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Dustin Johnson Pulls Away heading into the Weekend at Shinnecock

17 June, 2018, 03:02 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Phil Mickelson hits out of a bunker during a practice round for the U.S. Open Golf Championship Wednesday

Johnson, Ian Poulter, Scott Piercy and Russell Henley were the only players under par.

Johnson is attempting to become the first player to win the US Open the week after a PGA Tour conquest, and after a strong start, the pre-tournament favourite would appear to have every chance.

He opened with a triple bogey seven at the first hole and would make two double bogeys - including a four-putt at 13 - before he was done. "Every time you come into a US Open you know it's going to be tough and I felt like my game was all there".

Playing in a chilly, misting rain Friday morning, Woods put his tee shot in flawless position - middle of the fairway, 157 yards out. Hoffman put himself under par for the tournament when he rolled in a long bomb at the par-five 16th for the last of his three birdies. Compatriot Tim Wilkinson, at six-over after the first round, had a solid two-over 72 on Saturday (NZ time) to make the cut on the number at eight-over. How tough? Here are just a few of the players who have missed the cut: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm, Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer, Si Woo Kim, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell.

Another Englishman Tommy Fleetwood shot the low round of the week - a 66 - to also finish on one over with former Open champion Henrik Stenson and defending US Open champion Brooks Koepka.

Golf's most grueling test is one that Woods has aced three times before, and it's a challenge he relishes.

"Shoot something in the 60s tomorrow, and I'll be just fine", Woods said. You don't know what's going to turn. Even with wider fairways, Shinnecock Hills resembled a U.S. Open course from past years. Shinnecock is a highly technical course, with changes of direction, side slopes and hard angles, and the conditions over the past two days have made it even more so.

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No matter the weather, Shinnecock can punish anyone in a NY minute. He hit more grass than ball. He advanced his third shot into more rough. His path to a 78 began bogey-triple bogey.

Hill held a lead briefly Thursday after his eagle on the par-5 No. 5 hole.

Johnson had the good fortune in the first round of an on-course TV reporter finding his ball in the deep fescue on one hole. He could play around a temperamental driver and endure a streaky putter, cleaning up whatever mistakes he made along the way. He made bogey on his last hole for a 72.

"I didn't putt well", said Tiger. "It's going to take me probably 2 1/2 to 3 rounds to do it", he said. Johnson hit 8-iron that went a little deep to the back of the green with a front pin, and all he cared about was the right speed. "I know I've got a lot of golf to play but I do feel good about my game". "It just shows then I was 6 over through 15 yesterday, three holes still left to play". "I think I'm in a great spot going into the weekend", said Rose. "Anything within three shots of the lead on the back Sunday, anything can happen". "Or it might not".

It's too soon for Johnson to consider the possibilities.

"It's a U.S. Open, so disaster's always around the corner", Koepka said. Stenson played with him in the final round at Shanghai past year when Johnson lost a six-shot lead in the final round.

Johnson is coming off a six-shot victory at the St. Jude Classic, and no U.S. Open champion has ever won the week before on the PGA Tour.



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