Fowler runs into trouble on No. 8 at US Open

Fowler runs into trouble on No. 8 at US Open

Johnson insisted he was happy with his long game at Erin Hills, but he could not back up his ball striking with his putting as he failed to build on a positive start to his second round. "It's just concentrate on each day".

But for the first time since the rankings were introduced in 1986, none of the world's top three made the cut as defending champion Dustin Johnson joined Rory McIlroy and Jason Day in making an early exit.

It's the most players tied after 36 holes of the US since 1974 at Winged Foot, only the names from 43 years ago resonate more than today - Raymond Floyd, Hale Irwin, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer. "For me, it felt like (the course) played tougher today".

"We talked about it after the Masters, and we talked about it this week".

With Johnson, McIlroy and Day all missing from the weekend action, all eyes will be on a clustered leaderboard which is dominated by players who have never won a major.

England's Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood shared the lead on seven under par alongside American duo Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman, the first four-way tie after 36 holes since 1974.

Behind the leading quartet, a logjam grouped eight players within two shots of the lead.

One stroke back are a trio of Americans in J.B. Holmes, Jamie Lovemark and first-round leader Fowler.

South Korea's Kim Si-Woo and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama were among five players on five under, which also included amateur Cameron Champ.

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Indeed, he's still firmly in contention, but the pressure is slightly off after that round. I don't know what else it was.

Casey laid up in the rough, took two chops to get out of more rough behind the 14th green, and staggered away with a triple-bogey 8 that might have ruined his day at Erin Hills.

"It feels good", said the 39-year-old, who has recorded three consecutive top-six finishes in the Masters but whose sole top-10 finish in 13 US Open appearances came at Oakmont a decade ago.

Amazingly it could have been even better if not for bogeys on the fourth and 10th, as well as a missed eagle putt from six feet on the 15th after he had driven the green on the 288-yard par four. "Yeah, it was a bit of a roller coaster".

After pars at three and four, he birdied three of the next five to get to 9-under for the tournament to take a brief lead before bogeying the 10th. Playing alongside Chez Reavie, Hoffman started his day at 4-under, three back of the lead, but got hot quickly with birdie at the first and another at the second. But I'll play a lot, I just won't practice too much.

"I hit the ball better than I did yesterday, I drove it very well and hit a lot of good iron shots, I just didn't make any putts", said the world No 1, who's four over score was three too many to make the weekend.

Despite a flurry of late birdies it was not enough to turnaround an erratic round littered with errors and missed opportunities. Former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson shot a 71, though he was still seven shots behind.

"I didn't think it was the putter, it was the guy on the end of it", he said. "But I'm looking forward to getting the job done".

"I did the work, looked at the golf course, made sure that I could actually play and visualize the golf course".

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