US Open: Dustin Johnson moves four clear at Shinnecock Hills

Scott Gregory

Scott Gregory. Pic GettyMore

Dustin Johnson reacts after making a putt for birdie on the fourth green during the second round of the U.S. Open. Eighteen players were within six strokes and everyone was feeling edgy.

"But I'm playing well enough to shoot that (low) number, given the conditions", Mickelson said, "and I just have to putt a little better".

"It's just a moment of madness", said Andrew "Beef" Johnston, who played with Mickelson and couldn't stifle a laugh. He could summon no more damning description. Live coverage continues on Friday from 1pm on Sky Sports US Open. "I don't think you need me to tell you he's not pleased, but I'm sure he's closer than the score shows".

"Our whole careers are pretty much measured as if you can win four times a year", Woods said. "So I don't know that you can be too happy and too excited about 10 over par". Saturday brought the hottest weather of the week along with steady zephyrs.

This was a feature of the game that the 42-year-old lamented. They shot matching 66s in relatively benign conditions to reach three over for the week. Given the difficulty of a course like Shinnecock Hills, a well-rounded player like Johnson has a better chance than most to compete.

The five-time major champion, celebrating his 48th birthday, said he quickly decided the two-stroke penalty would be better than allowing the ball to roll of the green. He went out in 6-over 41 before steadying on the back nine. So does Rose, who overcame an eight-shot deficit against Johnson in the final round in Shanghai last fall at the HSBC Champions, or even Stenson, who played with Johnson in that final round.

After missing the cut at the US Open in 2015, Woods missed the next two editions as he recovered from multiple back surgeries.

After shooting four-over with two bogeys and one double-bogey on the front nine, McIlroy played excellent golf on the back nine Friday with four birdies to go four-under. However, with a bogey on 17 he needed par on 18 to make the cut. "Every day out here is going to be hard". Phil Mickelson gave us a moment that will be talked about for years when he made a decision to putt a moving ball on the 13th green rather than let it roll down a slope. Fowler had three double bogeys and a triple bogey on his woeful afternoon.

He teed off with Tim Wilkinson of New Zealand at 9:07 a.m. "The course changed and played a lot differently this afternoon". Goosen was once struck by lightning and played that Open as if he didn't have any pulse at all.

"I wanted to get to the next hole and I didn't see that happening at that time without the two shots (for the penalty)", he said. "I just finally did". And I feel for the USGA because I don't think this was their intent.

The world No 1 bogeyed the sixth to hand Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose a share of the advantage, with a three-putt at the seventh and missed 10-footer to save par at the next seeing him go two off the pace. Rose said. "I enjoy the battle". "Around here, it seems like when I do get out of position, I'm just trying to do everything I can to get it back into position, not try to push it, and just give myself a decent look. something on the green where I can have a look at par".

Sunday should not be a similar bloodbath, given that following the third round USGA CEO Mike Davis admitted him and his people had "screwed up" the setup. With wind that was stronger than expected, and a few pin positions that turned the U.S. Open into carnival golf, it was easy to see why. It will be fascinating to watch which player can handle being pushed to the breaking point - physically, emotionally, spiritually.

"It's a different kind of enjoyment, right?"

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