The second round of the 2020 US Open on Friday revealed the sinister ways of the winged foot that we all expected to see this week. There were 21 golfers in total who started the day on equal footing, but only six of them finished red as the course setup choked the field throughout the afternoon.
Conditions strengthened as the day went on and results rose steadily with only three rounds of golfers on par after a spurt (by US Open standards) on Thursday. As we close to the move to the present day, it is Patrick Reed – 4th below the overall level after an equal 2-round – who sits at the top of the leaderboard with 36 holes of action.
Reed leads one blow over Bresson Deschamps and two hits Rafa Cabrera Bello, Harris English and Justin Thomas.
CBS Sports was with you all the way on Friday to cover the second round of the US Open. Let’s take a look at the top of the 36-hole leaderboard. Keep reading for the highlights and analysis from Friday.
1. Patrick Reed (-4): Friday setting – with the staples pleated – did not scare Reid. He kept on attacking, attacking with pinball power and rewarding himself with some good throwing. At least 25 shots were tied between the field in the second round, and for the second day in a row, he took field hits around the Greens. “Pins are folded, you have to attack,” Reid told The Golf Channel after his tour. “The Greens, they sped up. Yesterday it was soft and benign. It’s like they set it up to facilitate us, then they were going to show us what it really was like.”
2 – Bresson Deschambo (-3): It was a one-day rollercoaster for DeChambeau, who ended up with five ghosts, five birds, and an eagle. But overall, it was an undeniable net positive result as he pursued the first round 69 with a second round 68. He finished second in the field with hits on the tee and remained in control of his driver, hitting 50% of lanes for the second day in a row. “I felt a lot of things were working fine for me,” he said after the tour. “I drove really well. My iron game was flawless. When I got into trouble, [I] I could not get out of it as it was yesterday, but when I was in the corridor I was able to attack and take advantage, and I finished well today. “
T3. Justin Thomas, Harris English, Rafa Cabrera Bello (-2)Arguably no golfer today had a more dramatic turnaround from the first nine to the nine of JT after he set a US Open first-round record of 65 on Thursday, knocking flat, smashing four of his first eight holes. But Thomas burst in late, starting with a bird at 18th and continuing ahead by shedding a first-position double to play the last eight holes at under 2. None was particularly elite-level golf, but this was the kind of round that would have derailed his chances of competition – and instead scored 3 on 73 to survive another day. In spite of this, English and Cabrera Bello tied for the best round of this trio with an equal finish.
T7. Matthew Wolff, Zander Shavili and three others (English): After hitting two fewer lanes (4 out of 14) and fewer Greens (9 out of 18) from his inaugural run of under 64, Wolff swung hard in the opposite direction with a 4-on-74 in round 2. He hit the ball well and put it down. Alright but he said after the tour that he needs to clean the little things to really score and compete in a meaningful way on the weekend. He should have a chance to do that after only three hits from the lead. On the other hand, Shafili took advantage of conditions before things got treacherous, finishing the second round of 72. He finished the last five holes in 3 more, exhausting some of the momentum he had built throughout the tour.
T12. John Ram and four others (+1): An all-around and impressive outing for Ram once again, defying conditions to arrive at 2 despite five ghost days. He finished Birdie-Birdie-bogey to reach the club with nine equal final scores, and for the second day in a row, he was among the tallest in the field from tees. The combination of his strength, hitting the ball, and green tee control fulfills his strengths on such an arduous path, and he will be one of the non-leaders who keep a close eye on Moving Day.
T22. Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and four others (+3): McIlroy worked on everything in the first round from tee to green, finishing first on his tee shot and inside the top 25 points in that category with the racket. And while he finished first on the kicks earned from the tee on Friday, the bat and the short match did not work for him the same way on Friday. The Convertible Pars had been constantly turning to ghosts, and easy hits for him on a regular day were tough in the second round. He’s not quite out of it, but he needs to find the happy medium between Thursday and Friday – and do it consistently – to win his second US Open. In the meantime, Johnson saved his best (so far) stunt for Friday, and ended up scoring 70 rebounds. He was a racket and was tall and confident in tees, which made him potentially win three of his matches in his last four events.
T73. Gary Woodland (+8): The injured US Open champion followed his opening tour of 74 with 74 again on Friday, missing the cut. He explained after the tour that he suffers from a tear in his left thigh and is scheduled to see a specialist on Monday, because “he cannot cope with the pain.”
T90 Tiger Woods (+10) | T119 Phil Mickelson (+13): Sometimes great stories are not presented, so what can we say? In Hanin’s return to Winged Foot for the older goalkeeper in the game, Woods and Mickelson both missed the cut, and it was the first time the two had missed a match at the same US Open after 20 previous events they had played together. Woods has gone under 2 in his last three matches but is still in 7th place in the day, while Mickelson – with the second round 74 – was unable to conquer the 79th round from Thursday.