Masters champion Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed tied for lead in U.S. Open
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) — Masters champion Jordan Spieth will be in the final group on the weekend at the U.S. Open.
Trying to become the first player to win the first two legs of the Grand Slam since Tiger Woods, Spieth navigated Chambers Bay on Friday to a 3-under 67. He is 5 under for the championship, tied with Patrick Reed and a shot ahead of Brandon Grace and Dustin Johnson.
Johnson was the first-round co-leader and had it to 7 under at one point, but he made bogey on three of his last five holes to shoot 71. Grace shot 67.
Johnson said the big difference between his first and second rounds was his putting. “When I got into trouble,” he said, “I hit good shots and got myself out. Just didn’t hole the putts.”
Patrick Reed is in contention at the U.S. Open after making three birdies on the front nine Friday in his second round.
Reed, who was at 5 under and tied for the lead with Jordan Spieth, is one of the more colorful figures on the PGA Tour. The four-time winner is endearing at times, but he also has rubbed people the wrong way.
At least year’s Ryder Cup, he gave the Scottish crowd the “shush” sign during a match with Henrik Stenson. Later, he was caught on live TV using a homophobic slur.
He was kicked off his college team at Georgia, but exacted some revenge of sorts when he transferred to Augusta State. He helped the school win two national championships, the second of them coming in 2011 against — you guessed it, the Bulldogs.
Phil Mickelson isn’t counting himself out of the U.S. Open just yet.
After following an opening 1-under 69 with a round of 74 on Friday, the six-time runner-up was nine shots back of leader Patrick Reed. But that also means Mickelson will go out early on Saturday, when conditions are ripe for scoring, well before the leaders.
Trying to complete the career Grand Slam, Mickelson anticipated needing a round in the mid-60s on Saturday to climb into contention.
He struggled on the greens Friday, and said after his round: “It’s a U.S. Open. It happens. Everyone has to go through a tough spell. I got through mine — well, hopefully my only one, but that’s unlikely.”
Some big names struggled toward the finish on Day 2 of the U.S. Open.
First-round co-leader Dustin Johnson got to 7 under for a while, but bogeys at Nos. 14, 17 and 18 dropped him two shots behind leader Patrick Reed.
Playing in the same group, Adam Scott also had a bogey at the par-3 17th.
Rory McIlroy would have taken a bogey there. Playing in the next group, McIlroy hit his approach shot over the green. His putt from the fairway swale rolled nearly off the front, then his next putt coasted 8 feet past. He missed that for a double bogey.
McIlroy had been 1 under on the day and climbing into contention.
And so much for the feel-good story of Ryan Moore, a Puyallup native, coming home and contending for his first major. He will be a spectator for the weekend.
Moore shot a 74 on Friday and finished his two days at 9 over. He made bogey on four of the first five holes to start his second nine.
The back half of Moore’s round was a problem both days. In the first round on Thursday, Moore made a pair of double bogeys during his back nine.
“I’m disappointed with how I played,” Moore said. “I would be lying if I said I felt great coming into this week. I tried getting out there, getting a lot of time on the golf course, getting comfortable with it. This course does not set up all that well for me.”
The U.S. Open’s new TV deal boosted its viewership for the first round.
The 11 hours of live coverage on Fox Sports 1 and Fox on Thursday averaged 2 million viewers. That’s the most since the 2002 tournament at Bethpage.
The last time the Open was on the West Coast, which allows for part of the round to be played in prime time in much of the country, Thursday’s coverage averaged 1.8 million viewers between ESPN and NBC.
Jason Day’s agent has released a statement regarding Day’s collapse at the end of his round on Friday.
“Jason is being treated on site at Chambers Bay, after feeling dizzy near the end of his round,” Day’s agent Bud Martin said. “We will provide more information later today after getting through the medical evaluation process. Jason wants to express his appreciation for all the good wishes from so many fans and friends.”
Day fell while walking to his last hole of the second round. The three-time PGA Tour winner has been dealing with symptoms of vertigo for a while.
Day was walking toward his ball in the bunker of the par-3 ninth hole when he fell to his left, his head hitting hard. The crowd gasped as the Australian lay motionless.
He was tended to by medical staff for several minutes before getting up a bit shakily. He chose to continue his round, splashing out of the bunker before two-putting for bogey.