Dustin Johnson improved upon his first round and stretched his lead in the U.S. Open by shooting 3-under-par 67 on Friday at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y.
Johnson, who won last week in the St. Jude Classic to move to No. 1 in the world, pushed his advantage to three shots before most of the afternoon golfers began play. He’s at 4-under at the tournament’s midway mark.
Tommy Fleetwood made a big move, seeming to benefit from a morning tee time by shooting 66 to move to 1-over for the tournament. He finished on the front side with birdies on three of his last five holes.
It wasn’t so good for Tiger Woods, who hasn’t made a U.S. Open cut since 2013. After his second-round 72 put him at 10-over for the tournament, he’s not projected to make the cut. If that’s the case, the period without a major reaches a decade.
Johnson began on the back nine Friday and went 2-under on those nine holes, then encountered trouble with a bogey on No. 1. Birdies on Nos. 4 and 7 helped him stretch the lead.
“I was comfortable because I’ve got a lot of confidence in my game right now,” Johnson told Fox Sports after his round. “But every shot out there today was difficult, from starting on No. 10 to all the way through.”
“The weather kind of let up for us there on the last five or six holes, but I felt like the conditions were tough. Especially early in the round, the ball was going nowhere, so the course was playing long and again today it was really hard to get the ball to go the right number to give yourself a good look at birdies.”
Johnson said he planned to hit the driving range for a while before watching the rest of the round on television.
Henrik Stenson shot 70 to remain in contention at 1-over and tied with Fleetwood among those to finish in the early afternoon.
First-round co-leader Russell Henley shot 73 to slip down the leaderboard. He finished with bogeys on two of his last three holes as he was among the earlier finishers in the round. He also had three birdies in the round, but a triple-bogey on No. 3 did him in.
Scott Piercy and Ian Poulter, who were among those in a four-way first-place tie at 1-under after the first round, had afternoon tee times Friday.
Gary Woodland posted an under-par score in the second round with a 69, but that only brought him to 8-over for the tournament.
Wet grounds seemed to help scores at least early in the day.
–Field Level Media