Dustin Johnson leads, Australians struggling at US Open at Shinnecock Hills

Tanya Simon
June 17, 2018

"Have you seen the way I've been swinging?", said Woods, who hit 79 percent of his fairways in the second round. At the tiltawhirl par-3 seventh hole, with its famed "redan" green, Johnson stroked a winding 45-footer, and as it approached the hole he pointed at it, directing it to turn toward the hole.

"I didn't putt well today". Add them all up, and Mickelson walked away with a 10 on the par 4.

Woods had a goal of shooting 67 or 68 in the second round and working gradually back into the tournament, and that did not look particularly unrealistic after he birdied his first hole, the par-four 10th.

The two friends were revelling being the Englishmen in NY as Poulter moved to within a shot of Johnson with two holes to go, with world No 3 Rose just three off the pace.

"Our rules committee unanimously decided that this situation is specifically and explicitly covered under Rule 14-5", explained John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championships & governance for the USGA.

The former world number one is playing a full schedule this year after a 2017 spinal fusion fixed a debilitating back problem that largely curtailed his schedule in the previous four seasons.

All three Canadians in the field missed the cut. "For most of the day, I just didn't putt well". Johnson has done that: He has shown a long game and short game, walloped big drives, holed out from bunkers and run in long putts.

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His irritation was undoubtedly borne out of his struggles prior to that point of his round and while it's something that all golfers have been tempted to do while their ball zaps past the hole, the majority resist the temptation.

"Unfortunately, it's just what I've done the last few events", he said. He wound up taking a nine on the hole, pushing him to nine over for the day and 15 over for the tournament.

Australia's contingent at Shinnecock Hills was whittled down to just Leishman and Aaron Baddeley, with seven Australians missing the cut at the year's second major. He found the next shot on his own because he advanced it only 6 feet. He tees off with Johnson and Justin Thomas, who shot 74, at 8:02 a.m. on Friday.

The 2018 U.S. Open is well underway.

If Johnson's lead holds up through the end of play Friday - which seems likely, given his cushion and the hard conditions - then there's one stat that should give him some added confidence, too. There was a couple of holes yesterday and a couple today that I wish I could get back but that's the way it is.

Tough going: Just five players shot par or better on a day where the par-70 Shinnecock played to an average of 76.47. So if I can putt like I did at the beginning of the year we've got something. All through the practice rounds the players were honing their skills on trademark US Open glass-quick greens. "I feel like I'm playing really well".

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