Fairways And Roughs Title

Casey rebounds from triple bogey at U.S. Open

By PGA Tour News
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ERIN, Wis. – News and notes from Friday’s second round of the U.S. Open, with four players – Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka, Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood – sharing the one-shot lead at 7 under. Click here for more from Erin Hills. FOUR LEADERS, SIMILAR MINDSET Of the four co-leaders entering the weekend at Erin Hills, only one has prior experience in leading after any round of a major. Paul Casey has done it twice – he was the co-leader after the first round of the 2004 Open Championship and the first round of the 2010 U.S. Open. Given that the last time was seven years ago and that neither opportunity proved particularly fruitful, it’s doubtful there will be much spillover effect. But hey, every little bit helps. “There will probably be more nerves, more excitement,” said Casey, who will play with Brian Harman in the final twosome. “There is a lot of golf to be played here. … You’ve got to be very patient and stay in the moment. I know it’s cliché, but the last thing you need to be doing is thinking ahead, especially on this golf course.” The other three hope to take the same approach. Koepka, in fact, said he doesn’t care where he stands on the leaderboard. “It’s not Sunday afternoon,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter. You’re not going to win it today. Just keep plugging along and try to do the best you can.” Fleetwood will be Koepka’s playing partner in the next-to-last twosome. “Tomorrow will be a very cool experience,” the Englishman said. “It’s still Saturday; 36 holes is a very long time in a U.S. Open. Anything can happen.” As for Harman – well, history is not on his side. No left-hander has ever won the U.S. Open. On the flip side, maybe the southpaws are due. “I have no expectations,” he said. “I have no idea how the weekend is going to go, no one does. For me, if I can just stay where I am, just keep doing what I'm doing, I'll have a chance.” FOWLER’S NOW A CHASER Rickie Fowler struggled on his back nine Friday but still finds himself within one shot of the lead. Fowler’s 1-over 73 included a back-nine 39 after he made three consecutive bogeys on Nos. 11-13. He missed the fairway on the 11th hole, then three-putted the next two holes. He was the first-round leader after shooting 65, and raced out with a 2-under 34 on his front nine Friday to take the lead. Fowler hasn’t finished in the top 10 at a major since 2014, the season he finished in the top five in all four Grand Slam events. Although he didn’t separate himself from the pack Friday, he’s still in great shape. “I'm playing the weekend,” Fowler said. “I have a tee time on Saturday, so it just kind of you learn along the way to never really give up. You never know what one shot's going to count for.” – Sean Martin THE 65S KEEP COMING Hideki Matsuyama and Chez Reavie both matched the low score of the tournament, 7-under 65, and had the opportunity to go even lower. Matsuyama fired 6-under 30 on the front nine, while Reavie was 7 under after 11 holes. The low rounds – Rickie Fowler shot 65 on Thursday -- allowed each player to leap from outside the cut line to within contention. Matsuyama is T8 at 5-under 139 (74-65), while Reavie is another stroke back after opening with a 75. Both players attributed better putting to their large improvement over Thursday’s scores. “Yesterday I hit the ball really well, also, but I three-putted,” Reavie said. “I knew I could shoot a few under par and make the cut. You don't think you're going to shoot 7-under par at the U.S. Open.” Reavie ranks 66th in the FedExCup after finishing fourth in last week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic. Matsuyama, who ranks third in the FedExCup, is seeking his first top-10 since his win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He did finish T11 at the season’s first major, the Masters, in that span. “The biggest difference was I putted very well today,” Matsuyama said. “Shooting a good score today gave me a lot of confidence. I really haven't been hitting the ball well as of late. To shoot a good round like today, I'm certainly looking forward to the weekend.” – Sean Martin BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA Erin Hills looking like a good venue so far, plenty of good scores & plenty of bad ones - always a good sign in my book #usopen — Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) June 16, 2017 Father's Day weekend goals 🏌️👀☺️ pic.twitter.com/fVfAwa4Ha7 — PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 16, 2017 Just ... perfect. 👌https://t.co/zVykOCPblH — PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 16, 2017 Cut looks like it's gonna be at least 2 shots lower at the US Open than it was at Colonial... 😳 — Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) June 16, 2017 CASEY GETS HOT AFTER SNOWMAN Five holes into his round, Paul Casey had just suffered a triple bogey at the par-5 14th. His round, perhaps his entire tournament, was now hanging in the balance. Could he bounce back or would he unravel? His caddie, John McLaren, was unusually quiet. “You all right?” Casey asked. Replied McLaren: “Oh, fine. I’m good. Are you all right?” Replied Casey: “Yeah.” Actually, Casey was more than all right. Although he followed the triple with a bogey on the next hole, Casey was determined not to let one bad hole define his round. He birdied the 17th and 18th holes going into the turn, then kept the hot streak going with three more birdies to start his second nine. The five consecutive birdies – one short of the U.S. Open record -- allowed him to salvage a 1-under 71 that leaves him at 7 under entering the weekend as he chases the first major of his career. “Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an 8 on the card,” Casey said, “but I’m a pretty happy man.” Casey credited his experience – he turned pro in 2000 – with helping to prevent the wheels from coming off. He didn’t panic. He didn’t rush to make up the shots. And he didn’t dwell on his one bad swing. “I was upset with the score I had made,” Casey said, “but it had, in no way, any effect on my attitude or how I was going to then approach the rest of the round or the next shot.” That kind of approach should serve him well this weekend. AMATEUR SHOWDOWN: AGGIE VS. LONGHORN Two amateurs have made the cut. One is from the University of Texas (Scottie Scheffler). The other is from Texas A&M (Cameron Champ). Usually, that’s a Hatfields-and-McCoys type of relationship. But not this week at Erin Hills, even though both players will battle for low amateur honors this weekend. “Me and Scottie are really good friends,” Champ said. “So it will be kind of fun.” The two have known each other since playing together in a junior amateur event in Japan several years ago. “That’s when we became pretty close,” Scheffler said. Champ has the advantage going into the third round. He’s 5 under after his 69 on Friday, while Scheffler is at 1 under following a 74. On Erin Hills’ lengthy layout, Champ has been relying on his prodigious length off the tee. He leads the field in driving distance with a 339.3-yard average (two holes are used to measure distance this week). Champ blasted a 355.1-yard drive on the 17th hole Thursday and a 341.4 yarder on Friday. “In college, I normally am the longest,” Champ said. “Yeah, I guess I've just kind of always been that way. I don't talk about it much. You've still got to make a score. Here if you can hit it long and straight, it's a great advantage. “I took advantage of it the last few days.” Though Scheffler has some ground to make up, he’s not going to spend the final two rounds worrying about how Champ is playing. “Top amateur would be nice, but I'm more focused on how I finish with the entire field,” Scheffler said. “It would certainly be very special to be the low am, but I think that will just come with how I play. I'm not really going to focus on that this weekend.” MORE LIKE A U.S. OPEN COURSE After a U.S. Open-record 44 rounds under par on Thursday, players expected a more difficult set-up for Erin Hills on Friday. That’s what they got -- faster and firmer greens with trickier pin placements. “Definitely a lot more like a U.S. Open today than yesterday,” said Marc Leishman, who shot an even-par 72 after his 68 in the first round. “Guess that didn’t like Rickie shooting 7-under yesterday, so they’ll keep reeling it back closer to par,” added Harris English, who is also at 4 under after shooting a 68 on Friday. “We knew it was coming today,” said William McGirt, who shot a 71 to move to 3 under. “That was no secret.” Wind is one of Erin Hills’ primary defenses, but thus far it has not made a major impact on scoring. If the USGA wants to toughen up the course, it will need to rely on other measures. But please, said McGirt -- don’t go overboard. “I think the greens are going to get faster and the hole locations aren’t going to get easier,” McGirt said. “I think [Thursday] was about as easy as you’re ever going to have it at a U.S. Open. I just hope with the wind direction, they use their head in setting up the tees.”


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