Notable and Quotable: Round 2 of the U.S. Open
June 16, 2017 Erin, Wis. By Joey Flyntz
Brian Harman is one of four players tied for the lead at the midway point of the 117th U.S. Open. (USGA/Michael Cohen)

With Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Brian Harman and Brooks Koepka knotted at 7-under-par 137, it marks the first time since 1974 that there is a four-way tie for the lead after 36 holes. The four co-leaders 43 years ago at Winged Foot Golf Club are all U.S. Open champions: Arnold Palmer (1960), Gary Player (1965), Raymond Floyd (1986) and Hale Irwin, who won that 1974 Open and added two more titles in 1979 and 1990.

Casey made six birdies, but also shot 5 over from holes 12-15, including a triple bogey on the par-5 14th. The last U.S. Open champion with a triple bogey on his card is Tiger Woods in 2000 at Pebble Beach.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, the top three players in the Official World Golf Ranking, all missed the cut. It is the first time since the OWGR was introduced in 1986 that the top three players in the world all missed the cut.

After Rickie Fowler tied the first-round U.S. Open scoring record in relation to par on Thursday at 7-under 65, Chez Reavie and Hideki Matsuyama posted 65s on Friday. It is the first time that three players recorded 7-under rounds in the same U.S. Open.

Two amateurs made the cut: Cameron Champ, a rising senior at Texas A&M University, posted 5-under 139, and 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Scottie Scheffler, a rising senior at the University of Texas, shot 1-under 143. It is the 10th straight year at least one amateur made the cut.

Haotong Li shot even-par 144 to become the first player from the People’s Republic of China to make the cut.

Brandt Snedeker (5-under 139), on what to expect on the weekend: I have no illusions – 7 under par is going to win this golf tournament. Things are going to toughen up depending on the weather the next couple of days. So it's going to be a dogfight, and be a U.S. Open over the weekend. It's going to be tough, so I'll try to get ready for that.”

Five U.S. Open champions made the cut: Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Jim Furyk (2003), Webb Simpson (2012), Martin Kaymer (2014) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

Five players who advanced through both local and sectional qualifying made the cut: Cameron Champ, Kevin Dougherty, Tyler Light, Jack Maguire and Jordan Niebrugge.

Two players managed to hit all 14 fairways in Round 1 (Alexander Levy and Hideto Tanihara), while five players found safe haven on every driving hole in Round 2: Bill Haas, Yusaku Miyazato, Li, Louis Oosthuizen and Kevin Chappell.

Koepka, Haas and Stewart Cink share the lead in greens in regulation at 83.3 percent (30-for-36).

Sergio Garcia (3-under 141), on his preference for difficult courses: “I’ve always liked when a course plays tougher. Obviously, my game is on when the course is playing tougher. I think I have a little bit of an advantage, but at the same time you have to be more on when it gets like that, because if not, then you’re going to struggle. We’ll see. We can’t control Mother Nature and we’ll see what happens.”

Scottie Scheffler on whether this week helps his aspirations of playing for the USA Walker Cup Team in September: “I’ve been close. Two years ago, I was the first alternate, and then the two years before that, that was the year I won the [U.S.] Junior, and I was [a quarterfinalist] in the Amateur, so it’s not like I feel like I’ve been snubbed, but I felt like I’ve been really close. To take it to the next level to be on that team would be really special.”

Steve Stricker (1-over 145), on whether he feels pressure playing in front of fans in his native Wisconsin: “Yeah, very much so. That’s the challenge of playing at home. You have to try to put all that extra pressure – you’ve got to deflect it somehow. It’s hard to do because you’re hearing it on every hole, every shot and you want to play well.”

Joey Flyntz is an associate writer for the USGA. Email him at jflyntz@usga.org.