Four Sit Atop a Crowded Leaderboard at U.S. Open

AP Photo

ERIN, Wis.—Benign conditions at Erin Hills made for a scoring fest and a crowded leaderboard that guarantees an exciting weekend at the U.S. Open.

With little wind, no rain, and greens that Fox Sports analyst Paul Azinger called the best he’s ever seen, the world’s best golfers tore up the course leading to the lowest cut line in U.S. Open history at +1. The bunched leaderboard consists of four players tied at the top: Englishman Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood, and Americans Brian Harman and Brooks Koepka.

Rickie Fowler failed to capitalize on the great conditions, shooting a 73 that kept him on the first page of the leaderboard but left him in a three-way tie for second place with Jamie Lovemark and JB Holmes. Fowler seemed unconcerned with missing an opportunity to run away from the field.

“It will be just fine,” said Fowler, who plays in the third-to-last group on Saturday. “We’re in a good spot. Looking forward to the next two days.”

The course wasn’t easy for the top-three ranked players in the world as Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day head home after missing the cut. This is the first time in major championship history that the top-three ranked players have failed to make the cut. DJ looked very disappointed as he was hoping to defend his title while Day and McIlroy seemed more resigned to their fate. McIlroy chalked his poor play up to rust and lack of competitive rounds.

There is a palpable excitement around the grounds at Erin Hills due to the packed leaderboard that portends a thrilling weekend and the fact that the course has shown well—challenging yet fair. The forecast calls for rain and stiffening winds over the weekend. Expect the course to exact revenge.


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