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Tiger Woods says he might have played last US Open after missing cut at Pinehurst

Tiger Woods missed the cut at Pinehurst before he then suggested he may not play in the US Open again – AP/Mike Stewart

See the full leaderboard from Pinehurst

Tiger Woods missed the cut here on Friday and then the 15-time major winner raised fears by declaring that it might be his final US Open.

The 48-year-old’s alarming statement overshadowed a second round in which Pinehurst No 2 once again bared its teeth. Ludvig Aberg, the remarkable young Swede leads by one on five-under, with Rory McIlroy only two behind. But the main talking point as the day came to a climax was Woods.

His 73 for a seven-over total was commendable considering his injury and inaction, but Woods was clearly disheartened with his second missed cut in the major in as many months.

“That was probably the highest score I could have possibly shot today,” he said. “I’ve only got one more tournament this season –  I don’t think even if I win the British Open I don’t think I’ll be in the [PGA Tour] play-offs. Just one more event and then I’ll come back whenever I come back.”

Then he produced the bombshell. When asked if this was his last US Open, Woods replied: “As far as my last Open Championship or US Open Championship, I don’t know what that is. It may or may not be.”

Tiger WoodsTiger Woods

Will Tiger Woods play another US Open after missing the cut at Pinehurst? – Getty Images/Alex Slitz

Woods received a special invite from the US Golf Association, the governing body, to play here in North Carolina and this could be a case of him not taking anything granted for Oakmont in 2025. Yet because of his choice of words there are inevitably concerns that Royal Troon next month might also be his last Open.

In truth, that would make little sense unless he was retiring, as Woods is qualified for the Open for at least the next 12 years. But at St Andrews two years ago, he was in tears when waving goodbye when crossing the Swilcan Bridge on the famous 18th and he later acknowledged that he could not be sure if would ever play another Open at the Old Course.

Woods has always railed against the prospect of becoming a ceremonial golfer and still turning up when he believed he could not win, and recently he has talked about the Catch 22 situation in which he is stuck. With his battered body, and in particular the damaged right leg which he so almost lost in a car crash three years ago, he cannot play competitively too often. But he knows he needs to do exactly that if he is to have a chance of contending again.

The irony is that he looked physically fitter here than perhaps at any time since he relaunched his career. But he was not keen to wax lyrical about any positives. “My ball-striking was good enough to be in contention and I’m not,” Woods said. “It is frustrating because I’m not here to have a chance to win on the weekend.”

Next stop Ayrshire where the long-term questions are sure to rain down.

It was a jolting ending to a torrid Friday, which saw world No 1 Scottie Scheffler scrape inside the cut mark. McIlroy dug deep to remain in touch and while playing partner Scheffler was also in full shovel mode, the American’s perspiring efforts only created a hole in which his US Open hopes are all but buried.

After a two-over 72, McIlroy was bemoaning a bogey on his last hole (the ninth) but at least he was still in what he called “a great position going into the weekend”.  That is infinitely more than can be said for Scheffler after his 74 left him stranded on five-over.

Rory McIlroyRory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy shot a two-over 72 on Friday but is only two back of the lead – Getty Images/Andrew Redington

On a baked-out layout, the world No 1 is aware that playing a game of catch-up is at best unfeasible, even if you are the best player in the game.

Not only was his golf unScottie-like, so, too, was his demeanour. Normally so cool and composed, the 27-year-old threw his putter in the air and did not even bother to try to catch it after his birdie putt went awry on the 15th (his sixth).

Two holes later and his caddie, Ted Scott, hardly helped his employer’s temperament with his blunt comment after Scheffler’s hard pull on the par-three 17th. “Maybe the worst golf shot I’ve ever seen you hit,” Scott said. The bagman has earned at least $2 million this season, so there is gratitude for you. In fairness, it was a shocking sight.

Granted, everyone knew that no reputation is safe on Pinehurst No 2 and its beastly greens. But nobody expected this. This was Scheffler’s first major round as a professional without a birdie – and this was his 66th major round as a pro – and regardless of the conditions this was contrary to everything the game has witnessed during a run coming in here that features five wins already in 2024, including the Masters and last weekend’s Memorial.

Scottie SchefflerScottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler just made the cut after another round in which he struggled – it was his first major round without carding a birdie – Getty Images/Andrew Redington

McIlroy did well to retain his composure in all this mayhem. “Overall, I felt like I did a pretty good job at keeping some of the mistakes off the scorecard,” McIlroy said. “I wish I had converted a couple more of the chances, because I hit the ball pretty well.”

Aberg will take some overhauling. This is but his third major and only this month is he completing his first year in the paid-ranks. Yet as Luke Donald, the Europe captain, said when picking him for last year’s Ryder Cup, “Ludvig is a generational talent”. This 69 was merely further evidence of the 24-year-old’s ball-striking brilliance and he could well go better than his runner-up placing at The Masters on his major bow.

Ludvig AbergLudvig Aberg

Ludvig Aberg leads by one at the halfway point after another nerveless round that belied the fact it’s only his third major – Getty Images/Alex Slitz

Like McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau’s natural instinct is pure aggression, but he, too, is somehow managing to suppress this macho streak. His 69 took him to four-under and into a tie for second – alongside countryman Patrick Cantlay (71) and Belgian Thomas Detry (67) – and after coming runner-up at the US PGA four weeks ago and seventh at the Masters the previous month, The Mad Scientist goes into the final two rounds once more in giddying contention at a major. DeChambeau is “confident and ready for what will be a hell of a test. “If the wind picks up, it’s going to be diabolical,” DeChambeau added

Francesco Molinari will not care. The Italian is just delighted and stunned still to be here. Coming to his last hole (the ninth), the 2018 Open champion was two outside the cutline and seemingly assured of his sixth missed cut in succession at the majors. But on the 195-yarder, Molinari hit a seven-iron that amazingly found the cup. His resulting 72 meant he made it by a shot.

“Standing on the tee, I just told myself to put a good swing on it and see what happens,” the 41-year-old said. “But the chances are incredibly small, so I don’t know what to say.”

Table of Contents

Woods misses cut as McIlroy and DeChambeau lurk within striking distance of leader Aberg – as it happened

12:42 AM BST

One of these likely lads to win?

12:35 AM BST

Pavon finishes bogey-bogey

To drop back to three-over. And here’s the top of the leaderboard as it looks heading into the third round.

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Five-under: Aberg

Four-under: DeChambeau
Four-under: Detry
Four-under: Cantlay

Three-under: McIlroy
Three-under: Finau
Three-under: Pavon

Two-under: Matsuyama

12:26 AM BST

This is why Aberg is leading

12:23 AM BST

Aberg again has the sole lead

That’s thanks to a bogey from Pavon at the eighth (his 17th).

12:17 AM BST

Here’s exactly what Tiger said

Here’s what Tiger Woods said (from James Corrigan at Pinehurst)

“As far as my last Open Championship or US Open Championship, I don’t know what that is. It may or may not be.”

So pretty non-committal either way…but neither does it sound great if you’re a Tiger fan and want to see him tee it up at majors for a few more years…

12:15 AM BST

Big names not to make the cut

Hovland (+6)
Homa (+6)
Tiger (+7)
Fowler (+8)
Zalatoris (+8)
DJ (+9)
Justin Thomas (+11)
Mickelson (+15)

12:11 AM BST

An interesting possible twoball tomorrow

Who wouldn’t like to see Rory and Cantlay play alongside each other…(It’s fair to say they’re not best buddies…).

12:05 AM BST

Scheffler makes it to the weekend

It’s been confirmed that five-over will be the cut line so the world No.1 can breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Scottie SchefflerScottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler is on five-over and so will (just) make it to the weekend – Getty Images/Andrew Reddington

12:01 AM BST

Have we seen the last of Tiger Woods at a US Open?

Sky Sports are reporting that the American, after the round, said that he’s unlikely to play in his national championship again…perhaps it’s frustration at the missed cut, but we’ll try and get some confirmation/clarity on that rumour.

11:58 PM BST

Aberg finishes with a one-under 69

The Swede is five-under for the tournament, sharing the lead with Pavon, who’s still out on the fairways.

He looked so serene during that round, he’s only gone at a canter so far and, despite still being wet behind the ears, it’s hard to see him not contesting come Sunday evening. He’s so impressive. Remember, this is only his third major, and he only turned pro about a year ago. So young, so good, so slightly very annoying…

Ludvig AbergLudvig Aberg

Ludvig Aberg looks unflustered as he co-leads the US Open – Getty Images/Andrew Redington

11:53 PM BST

Cantlay cards a one-over 71

That leaves him on four-under for the first two rounds, not what he would have wanted, but, as with Rory’s two-over 72, far from hideous, and, also as with Rory, still very much in contention.

11:37 PM BST

Ace for Francesco Molinari at the ninth!

There are ways to make the cut and then there’s this.

The 2018 Open winner stood on the ninth tee box (his 18th hole of the round) on seven-over, two off the cut line, so doubtless thinking about what flight he can get this evening.

That was until he struck his tee shot at the 194-yard par three. It landed left and about 25 foot short of the hole before meandering towards it and ultimately dropping in.

That moves him from seven-over (outside the cut line) to five-over (inside the cut line) and he’ll be at Pinehurst for the weekend. Wow…surely he has to buy those in the 19th more than just a round after that…?

11:32 PM BST

Tiger ends on seven-over

And he won’t make it to the weekend. His short game let him down this week and dropped shots at 12 and 16 on the back nine ultimately cost him dear.

Tiger WoodsTiger Woods

Tiger Woods battled all day but will not play this weekend – AP/Mike Stewart

11:28 PM BST

Aberg back to five-under

A bogey are the par-four 16th comes about after his approach flies into the back bunker. From there he has a devilish up-and-down which he cannot make.

Meanwhile, Pavon has a putt to move to six-under and the sole lead but his attempt drifts right and he stays at five-under to share the lead with the Swede.

11:21 PM BST

Tiger’s drive at 18 finds the native area

His approach is short of the green, as he hit it sand flew up into his face…

11:19 PM BST

Bogey for Cantlay at 16

That drops him back to four-under and has come about due to a wayward drive (into the native area on the left), a wayward approach (from 160 yards out to the native area on the left), his chip left him 13 foot for par and he was unable to find the bottom of the cup.

11:14 PM BST

Things are going the away of Aberg

The Swede just about drains a 12-footer for par at the par-three 15th to stay at six-under, still the sole leader.

11:11 PM BST

Tiger pars 17

After a cute, delicate bunker shot leaves him a tap-in putt.

He now needs Lady Luck to come into play, a hole-out approach at the last to get him to five-over.

11:06 PM BST

Tiger’s tee shot finds the bunker…

…at the par-three 17th. It’s not going to happen for him, is it?

11:01 PM BST

Tiger falls to seven-over…

…and with two holes to go you think his race to make the weekend is run.

The 12-foot putt for par drifting right. His putter has let him down this week, which will annoy him as the short game is the one part of his game that his battered body allows him to practise…

He now needs two birdies from the last two holes, with the projected cut line still five over.

10:57 PM BST

Tiger takes the putter and…

…he gets the uphill shot through the fringe all wrong. As soon as it left the clubface it was going short and right. He now has a 12-footer for a must-make par…

10:56 PM BST

Tiger isn’t having a run of luck

His drive at 16 finds the left rough, but from 201 yards he plays what looks to be a find approach. But, as with so many approaches this week, it’s only once the ball finds the green can you really say whether it’s a good shot or not. This one lands shy of the pin but takes the slope long and left. He’ll have a tricky up-and-down now to stay at six-over when what he really needs to do his get to five-over.

10:53 PM BST

Aberg nearly gets to seven-under

His 18-foot birdie putt looked to be going in then, over the last foot or so, seemingly went over sandpaper and it comes to a halt one revolution short. Still, he’s six-under and he has the sole lead.

10:41 PM BST

Oh dear…

…That was a hard watch (in a sporting sense only…in the big scheme of things it was nothing…). Tiger hits a good putt that looks for all the world as though it’s going to drop, but such is life, it horseshoes and stays above ground. That’s got to hurt. He stays at six-over one off the cut line of five-over.

He has three holes with which to try and find a birdie…

10:35 PM BST

Tiger’s tee shot at the par-three 15th…

…is (just) good…He fires it at the pin, it lands pin-high and cuts right. The ball has a think about rolling into the bunker but stays on the green and he’ll have a makeable uphill putt for birdie…

10:32 PM BST

Another birdie chance goes begging for Tiger

He doesn’t look a happy chappy as he walks off the 14th green and it’s not overly hard to see why. His 163-yard approach at the par four left him with a 20-footer that, as with the last hole, flirts with dropping, but stays visible. He has four holes to find a birdie and get back to five-over, which is the current projected cut line.

Tiger WoodsTiger Woods

Tiger Woods is battling to make it to the weekend – Getty Images/Sean M Haffey

10:26 PM BST

I said Aberg had a two-shot lead

But it’s back to one as Cantlay has birded 13 thanks to a 19-foot putt. The par-four is the easiest hole on the course so if you are going to get back a shot…The American is back to five-under.

10:23 PM BST

Aberg back with a two-shot lead

The Swede has been serene on this devilishly tough course for the past two days and he’s birdied the 12th to get back to six-under. He had 126 yards with his approach, he fired it to 21 feet and drained the putt from there. It looks as though he’ll be hard to stop if he continues this form.

Ludvig AbergLudvig Aberg

Super Swede Aberg is setting the pace at Pinehurst No.2 – AP/Matt York

10:19 PM BST

Tony Finau makes a move

The likeable American has just birdied the 12th, his third of the day to move to four-under. He’d be a popular winner were he to end up with the trophy come Sunday evening.

10:18 PM BST

Tiger gives himself a good look at birdie on the 13th

A fine drive is followed up with an approach from 138 to nine feet. Can he make it? No he cannot as the ball flirts with dropping but it stays above ground and he stays at six-over.*

*Cut mark is still projected to be five-over. 

10:10 PM BST

Cantlay falls back to four-under

That’s after a bogey at the 12th. His approach found the native area and a tuft of foliage meant he wasn’t able to get a clean contact on the ball. As a result he cannot get up-and-down and Aberg once again has the sole lead.

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10:04 PM BST

Triple for Koepka

And it’s come, partly, due to three putts from three feet. Ouch…He’s now back to four-over and in danger of missing the weekend.

10:01 PM BST

Tiger falls back to six-over

And the pain on his face (from failing to make the shot rather than any back or body pain, thankfully…) is clear to see. He was the only player in his threeball to find the fairway but from there it all went wrong. He would only have had about an eight-iron into the green but the approach finds the left slope, he misjudges his chip and is unable to drain the resulting 11-foot putt.

He’s now at six-over with the projected cut line at five-over…

Tiger WoodsTiger Woods

Tiger needs a birdie or two coming home… – Getty Images/Jared C Tilton

09:47 PM BST

Aberg now sharing the lead with Cantlay

Having found fairway after fairway has found the rough his past two holes finds the fairway at the tough 11th.

As I type that Cantlay birdies the same hole (in the group ahead).

The American 180-yards to the pin with his approach, and stiffed it to five feet, from there he made no mistake to move back to five-under and once again share the lead with the Swede.

09:40 PM BST

Tiger drains a par putt

At the par-four 11th, it was a knee-knocker but the American made sure the ball found the bottom of the cup to stay at five-over*.

*Reminder that the cut line is currently at five-over…

09:37 PM BST

Double for Garcia

The Spaniard had been going along nicely but in one-fell swoop he’s at one-over. That’s down to a wayward tee-shot that finds the native area on the left. His second then finds the native area on the right and his third comes short of the green. He takes three shots from there and falls back into the over-par numbers.

Sergio GarciaSergio Garcia

The LIV golfer is wearing a nifty outfit, if nothing else… – Shutterstock /CJ Gunther

09:24 PM BST

Five-under is still the leading score

Twenty four hours after it was the leading score…the thing is that conditions (in terms of weather etc) are perfect. Who knows what the scores will have been had the wind decided to make an appearance.

09:22 PM BST

Tiger is very much flirting with the cut line

He’s on five-over, a dropped shot at the ninth meant he fell to five-over and a five at the par-five 10th will doubtless annoy him. Can he stay for the weekend? Let’s hope so.

Tiger WoodsTiger Woods

Tiger Woods is battling to make the cut – Getty Images/Jared C Tilton

09:18 PM BST

Fitzpatrick birdies the 10th

And it’s just what he needs as it moves him to four-over, flirting with the cut line, which which is currently five-over, but anything like that – a 45-foot putt – will certainly help his bid to stay for the weekend.

09:10 PM BST

The eighth hurt Cantlay and it’s hurt Aberg

Though not to the same extent. The Swede walks off with a bogey, compared to Cantlay’s double.

His drive went left into the rough (his first fairway missed this tournament?) his approach was short of the green and he was unable to get up-and-down from there meaning he drops to five-over. He still is in the sole lead, though by just the one shot now.

09:05 PM BST

Brooks Koepka

Birdies the 18th (his ninth) and he’s level par for the round and level for the tournament. Still very much part of the conversation.

09:01 PM BST

Leaderboard as it stands

Six-under: Aberg (7)

Four-under: Cantlay (8)
Four-under: DeChambeau (69)
Four-under: Pavon (6)
Four-under: Detry (67)

Three-under: McIlroy (72)

08:57 PM BST

That all means that Aberg…

…is leader by two! He had a decent look for birdie at the seventh but had to settle for a par, not that he’ll mind having seen that Cantlay has fallen back two shots.

08:54 PM BST

Nightmare for Cantlay on the eighth

He hit his approach pin-high but that’s not what you want on this green and it rolled off the back. His third was a chip that went over the other side of the green, his fourth was a chip that rolled back towards him, his fifth was a chip that left him a 12-footer…can he walk off with just a double? Yes, he can, which, considering his head must have been scrambled is no bad result…he’s back to four-over.

How much will that scar him?

08:43 PM BST

Shot of the day?

Will be shocked if there’s one better for the rest of the round. Theegala shot a seven-over 77 yesterday BUT has three birdies in his opening six holes today (the last of which is the short-game masterpiece below) and is back to four-over.

08:40 PM BST

Serene from Aberg

Success will depend a lot on the approach shots this week, but this will also certainly help…

08:37 PM BST

Sky aren’t showing much golf at the moment

A lot of overhead shot of the course, which looks picturesque but wouldn’t mind seeing a few more shots. The last we saw of Tiger was a decent lag putt on the devilish par-four eighth. A look at the leaderboard (on the US Open website) tells me he holed the putt and so the Big Beast stays at four-over…can he stay for the weekend?

08:30 PM BST

Par for Aberg at the par-three sixth

His tee shot left a tricky 41-footer for birdie, he lag putts well and makes sure of the par. Still on six-under with a joint share of the lead, with Cantlay who walks off the seventh with a par.

08:21 PM BST

Aberg was solo leader…

…for all of about three minutes. That’s because he’s been joined by Patrick Cantlay who has just birdied the sixth. The American, who it’s hard to get excited by, hit his tee shot at the par-three to 21 feet and drained the birdie putt. It looks as though he’ll be in the mix well into the weekend.

Patrick CantlayPatrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay is looking good at Pinehurst No.2 – Getty Images/Alex Slitz

08:18 PM BST

Aberg is solo leader

It’s thanks to his second birdie of the day and it’s come at the fifth. The Swede’s approach to the 596-yard par five went long and over the back. That left him a tricky up-and-down (are there any easy up-and-downs at Pinehurst No.2?!) but the young gun fired the chip to within 11 feet and he drained the birdie putt. This is only his third major but he already looks like a veteran. He’s moves to six-under.

Ludvig AbergLudvig Aberg

Making it look easy: Ludvig Aberg – Getty Images/Alex Slitz

08:06 PM BST

Perfect start from Pavon

Anyone who thinks Pavon will fall away may well have to rethink their prediction. The Frenchman has birdied his opening two holes and is now at five-under. Tasty. A course set-up such as this can sometimes throw up an unlikely winner, is Pavon a possible victor? The second birdie came courtesy of a 30-footer than never looked like finishing up anywhere other than the bottom of the cup.

08:01 PM BST

Detry is trending in the right direction in majors

Think that’s the phrase beloved by golfers who tend to have a vernacular all of their own…

07:50 PM BST

Aberg scrambles for par

The young Swede gets himself into all sorts of trouble at the par-four fourth. But as predicted, he managed to stay bogey-free and remain tied at the top with Patrick Cantlay.

07:46 PM BST

Detry signs off round of 67

Thomas Detry concludes a fine round on Pinehurst’s ninth – he sadly can’t sink his putt for the birdie.

He ends the round with a three-under 67.

07:40 PM BST

Rose drops a shot

After a promising start, Justin Rose is unable to save par on the second after making a birdie from a similar distance on the opening hole.

07:36 PM BST

Latest leaderboard

  • Patrick Cantllay -5

  • Ludvig Aberg -5

  • Matthieu Pavon -4

  • Bryson DeChambeau -4

  • Thomas Detry -4

  • Rory McIlroy -3

07:32 PM BST

Birdie for Woods

What a sublime shot from Tiger Woods! He punches his approach into the fourth green from 230 yards and has a birdie putt from around 16 feet.

Wood has judged this well and it’s going to drop – of course in it goes! What a nice start for the three-time US Open winner.

07:17 PM BST

Ludvig Aberg makes his move

The young Swede has looked in sublime form so far on his US Open debut.

From around 30 feet, he holes out an excellent birdie putt on the par-four second to move five-under par and take the lead alongside American Patrick Cantlay.

07:06 PM BST

World No 1 thinks he will miss the cut

Scottie Scheffler speaking on his chances:

I don’t think five-over is going to get me into the weekend. But I’m proud of how I fought today.

I gave myself a good chance. Really yesterday I felt like I did a great job. Today I just couldn’t get the putts to fall.

This golf course can be unpredictable at times, and maybe it got the better of me the last couple days. I’ll sit down and think about where we’re going the last few days and figure it out.

Scottie Scheffler –Scottie Scheffler –

Scottie Scheffler is in danger of missing his first cut since July 2022 – Getty Images/Andrew Redington

07:03 PM BST

Par for Woods at the second

As we reported earlier, Tiger Woods finds himself in the wasteland off the second tee. So, the three-time US Open champion is forced just to play to safety with his second.

His chipped third leaves him with a fair bit of work to do – but his putt from around 15 feet rolls in for a vital save.

06:59 PM BST

McIlroy speaking after his round

On the conditions at Pinehurst today:

I feel the golf course plays a little more difficult, even though we were off in the morning.

Some of the hole locations were definitely a little tougher. Sort of had to have your wits about you. I putted it off one green there on 17.

On his game in the second round:

Hit the ball pretty well. I think only missed one fairway. So I had plenty of opportunities. Wasn’t quite as good with the putter today. Still overall in a great position going into the weekend.

06:54 PM BST

Disappointing end for Lowry

Irishman ends the day by bogeying his last after finding the greenside bunker at the ninth. Sadly, it means he drops back to five-over for the week where he joins World No 1 Scottie Scheffler.

Lowry will face an anxious wait to see if his score is good enough to see him stay for the weekend.

Shane LowryShane Lowry

Shane Lowry watches his tee shot on the ninth hole – AP/George Walker

06:44 PM BST

Thomas Detry falls back to five-under

Found sand to the left of the par three sixth, and once again he shares the lead with Cantlay.

Tiger Woods is up against it on the second after finding the wasteland right, and faces a 12-foot putt to avoid dropping a shot.

06:34 PM BST

Another player who has sneaked up the leaderboard

Hideki Matsuyama is on four-under after successive 68s. Going quietly about his business.

Hideki Matsuyama lines up a putt on the 13th holeHideki Matsuyama lines up a putt on the 13th hole

Hideki Matsuyama lines up a putt on the 13th hole

06:29 PM BST

The overnight leader is under way

Patrick Cantlay sends a long iron down the right side of the first fairway.

Up at the green, Woods should be about to make a par four after a tidy chip from right of the green.

06:19 PM BST

Tiger Woods is under way

He finds the middle of the first fairway with an iron for position. At four-over for the tournament, he can probably only afford a 71 at most if he is to make the cut.

06:16 PM BST

Birdie to finish for DeChambeau

For the second successive day, DeChambeau finishes with a birdie to reach the clubhouse at four-under for the tournament. Speaking the Sky after his round, the American says he wants to engage with the fans and is targeting some “solid, boring golf” this weekend. A new outlook after a few years of trying to bludgeon courses to death.

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Bryson DeChambeau celebrates after a birdie on the ninth hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golfBryson DeChambeau celebrates after a birdie on the ninth hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates after a birdie on the ninth hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf

06:12 PM BST

New tournament leader: Thomas Detry birdies the fifth to reach six-under

The Belgian is on course for a 65 if he can par his last four holes, which might just be even better than Cantlay and McIlroy’s equivalent score yesterday given the firmer conditions.

06:01 PM BST

Some of the late starters

Off the first tee:

18:14: Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng), Tiger Woods, Will Zalatoris
18:25: Patrick Cantlay, Russell Henley, Matt Kuchar
18:36: Ludvig Aberg (Swe), Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson
18:47: Justin Rose (Eng), Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland

Off the 10th tee:

18:14: Sergio Garcia (Spa), Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn), Francesco Molinari (Ita)
18:25: Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas
18:36: Rickie Fowler, Adam Hadwin (Can), Phil Mickelson
18:47: Nicolai Hojgaard (Den), Min-Woo Lee (Aus), Sahith Theegala
18:58: Sungjae Im (Kor), Si-Woo Kim (Kor), Matthieu Pavon (Fra)

05:59 PM BST

It is a bogey to finish for McIlroy…

McIlroy is still in a very strong position in this championship at three-under, two behind the leaders who have to navigate this tough examination this afternoon.

His driving was outstanding once again, but he was not as sharp with his scoring clubs today.

Alongside McIlroy, Scheffler parred the ninth to finish on five-over for the tournament, four-over for his second round.

Scheffler is currently outside the cutline, but there is a fair chance he sneaks in given how difficult Pinehurst is playing.

05:54 PM BST

Decent effort from the bunker from McIlroy

Despite the plugged lie, the one thing in his favour was plenty of green to work with. The ball always comes out running with no spin out of a fried egg like that. McIlroy will have a putt from below the hole from about 10 feet to save his par.

Over at the 18th, Tyrrell Hatton has just finished up his second round: one-over for the day but one-under for the championship.

05:47 PM BST

McIlroy plugged in the front bunker on the ninth

After McIlroy and Scheffler made easy pars on the eighth, the Northern Irishman has found trouble on his final hole of the day, the par three ninth. The hand was off the club as soon as he struck his tee shot, it looked like he got stuck underneath it. Sky-high ball flight that plummets into the face of the front bunker. Odds-against to get up and down from there.

05:37 PM BST

Up at the eighth…

McIlroy and Scheffler are cautious with their approach shots, but that is the correct approach to such a dangerous pin surrounded by run-offs on all sides. DeChambeau has a birdie putt coming up at the 17 from almost the spot McIlroy de-greened from earlier,

05:25 PM BST

Pars for Scheffler and McIlroy at the seventh

Just two holes remaining in their second rounds: the stiff par four eighth and the trick par three ninth with an awkward green that sits across the player.

On the eighth, McIlroy has just crushed yet another drive down into the ideal position.

05:18 PM BST

Detry picks up two birdies in three holes

Birdies on the first and third having started on the 10th given the Belgian a share of the lead with Cantlay at five-under.

Up ahead at the seventh, McIlroy has safely found the heart of another green. An outside birdied chance upcoming, likewise Scheffler on the same hole.

05:07 PM BST

Scheffler settles things down with a par on the sixth

He remains outside the current cutline at five-over with three holes of this second hole remaining. Given how this course will continue to bake out this afternoon, that could prove enough. But it would certainly leave Scheffler with an anxious wait. McIlroy also made par with a neat and tidy chip and putt. He remains four-under.

05:02 PM BST

Could this run come to an end today?

04:57 PM BST

Scheffler now in real danger

If Scottie Scheffler misses the cut it will be even more stunning, in my eyes, than if Rory McIlroy goes on to win. It’s been a crazy morning at Pinehurst No 2.

04:51 PM BST

Scheffler in danger around the cut line now

It is carnage around the fifth green. Scheffler tried to bump one up the slope but did not give it enough speed, and the ball ran back this feet in the waste area. His fourth ran through the other side of the green and he took three to get down from there. Scheffler now five-over, which is on the projected cut-line.

Xander Schauffele suffered the same fate – a double bogey after being stymied in the run-off area.

McIlroy played his chip shot conservatively to make sure he made it up the slope, and he held his nerve to two-putt for one of the best par fives he will make.

04:42 PM BST

Problems for the top group on the fifth

All three players got a little greedy with their approach shots – McIlroy and Scheffler’s second and Schauffele’s third – and saw their ball tumble down the steep slope to the left and into the waste area. McIlroy’s long iron was well struck but he needed to play out to the right. Turned it over too much.

04:38 PM BST

DeChambeau finds another birdie!

He has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand as he rolls in the putt for a three on the 13th. Consecutive birdies and DeChambeau is now four-under, level with Aberg and McIlroy and one behind Cantlay.

Over at the fifth, McIlroy is in ideal position on the par five.

04:30 PM BST

Scheffler nowhere near his best

Even if Scheffler drops a few more coming in he should still make the cut. At the moment he’s on the brink on three-over, but this challenge will not be getting easier and five-over should be fine. Not what he expected, however.

Scottie Scheffler of the US watches his ball from the 13th tee during the second roundScottie Scheffler of the US watches his ball from the 13th tee during the second round

Scottie Scheffler of the US watches his ball from the 13th tee during the second round

04:29 PM BST

A long old wait for the headline group on the par five fifth

The treacherous conditions and the number of players deploying aim-point techniques on the greens is leading to a slow pace of play. Schauffele loses his drive right, but McIlroy splits the fairway. A good chance for McIlroy to reach the green or greenside in two and find the birdie he needs to grab a share of the lead.

04:24 PM BST

DeChambeau with a birdie on the 12th!

It has been a topsy-turvy day for DeChambeau but he is running off another birdies to stay on the first page of the leaderboard. The latest of them gets the 2020 champion back to three-under par.

04:20 PM BST

Awful luck for Hatton on the 13th

He almost slam-dunked his wedge shot from 76 yards, but the ball struck the pin and ripped back off the false front and into a greenside bunker. Hatton does well to keep his cool after such a rotten moment of ill-fortune.

04:10 PM BST

Hatton moving back in the right direction again

After a three-putt par on the 10th and a dropped shot on the 11th, Hatton has just birdied the 12th to move back to three-under.

Scottie Scheffler looks shorn of all confidence with a putter…another short birdie putt slides past at the fourth and he stays at three-over for the tournament. McIlroy with another par to stay at four-under.

03:53 PM BST

McIlroy opens his birdie account

Another well played hole, but this time he converts the birdie chance on the short par four third. McIlroy moves back to four-under, which could be well be a score that leads overnight.

03:43 PM BST

See if you can make sense of Bryson DeChambeau’s club names

Bryson DeChambeau's club namesBryson DeChambeau's club names

Bryson DeChambeau’s club names

03:39 PM BST

McIlroy suffering from a cold putter

Yet another booming drive from McIlroy down the difficult second, leaving himself just a wedge on the 503-yard par four. Left it under the hole and 15 feet away, but the birdie try was always on the low side. McIlroy remains at three-under for the tournament, two-over for the day.

Alongside McIlroy, Schauffele maintains his forward momentum by rolling in another birdie. He is four-under for his last nine holes and two-under for the tournament.

03:32 PM BST

Hole in one!

The Austrian Sepp Straka has holed his tee shot at the par three ninth to move back to two-over. That gives him some breathing space with the cut expected to fall around five-over.

03:28 PM BST

Tyrrell Hatton has an eagle putt upcoming on the 10th

Two fine shots into the heart of the green on the par five and the Englishman will have a putt from 20 feet or so to join Cantlay at five-under. Hatton proving those who doubted his temperament wrong (so far).

Tyrrell Hatton of England plays his shot from the third tee during the second roundTyrrell Hatton of England plays his shot from the third tee during the second round

Tyrrell Hatton of England plays his shot from the third tee during the second round

03:23 PM BST

Rory McIlroy spurns another birdie chance

A delicious wedge into the first, his 10th, but he left his 10-foot birdie putt down the hill in the jaws. All it needed was hitting. Frustration for Scheffler too, who wastes a birdie chance and stays at three-over.

03:10 PM BST

Thomas Detry with an early move

After starting on the 10th, the Belgian has made three birdies in his first four holes and has leapt to four-under, tied second with Aberg. Tyrrell Hatton is also sticking in there impressively at three-under.

Back at the 18th, McIlroy makes a par to reach the turn in two-over 37. He left two or three shots out there. Alongside McIlroy, Schauffele birdies the 18th to turn in one-under for the championship. Scheffler struggling at three-over for the tournament as the headline group reach the turn.

Thomas Detry of Belgium plays his shot from the 13th tee during the second round of the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst ResortThomas Detry of Belgium plays his shot from the 13th tee during the second round of the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort

Thomas Detry during his second round at Pinehurst – Getty Images/Sean M. Haffey

03:02 PM BST

Scheffler struggling at three-over and has just missed the 18th green

Just been out there and these greens have quickened considerably since yesterday. Scheffler looks bemused – and so now does playing partner McIlroy. Unless Pinehurst gets some cloud cover, the putting surfaces could be hellish this afternoon.

Scottie Scheffler of the United States reacts on the 15th green during the second roundScottie Scheffler of the United States reacts on the 15th green during the second round

Scottie Scheffler of the United States reacts on the 15th green during the second round

02:57 PM BST

Tommy Fleetwood toiling in one of Pinehurst’s run-off areas

But after his first attempt rolls back to his feet, his second is a peach and Fleetwood escapes with bogey on the eighth. Fleetwood is two-over for the championship.

02:51 PM BST

McIlroy with a sensational escape on the 17th

His tee shot was a solid one, turning high from right to left on the par three, but it came to rest on the top level well above the hole. Putting downhill and downgrain, his birdie putt had too much pace and ran off down the false front and some 10 or 15 yards off the green.

McIlroy is staring a third bogey of the day in the face, but steps up and jars the chip for a par! Lesser likes would have got nervous and taken a putter, McIlroy was rewarded for the bold choice. That will feel like a birdie.

02:38 PM BST

DeChambeau birdie!

After a sky-high tee shot, DeChambeau holes a lengthy birdie putt across the green at the par three sixth. Back to where he started the day at three-under, two behind Cantlay.

02:37 PM BST

McIlroy cleans up well for par

The Northern Irishman remains at three-under, still well positioned despite the frustrations of this front nine. Scheffler left his birdie putt across the 16th green well short.

02:32 PM BST

Tow more solid strikes from McIlroy

Just runs through to the back edge of the par four 16th after another towering drive was sent down the fairway with a high draw. McIlroy is still swinging well but has not got much out of his round so far.

02:20 PM BST

Scheffler looking very frustrated

He throws his putter into the air after dropping a shot on the par three 15th. The tee shot was short and the chip was clumsy.

McIlroy’s chip was a little short of pace and leaves him with a nasty left-to-righter for par…and it was too firm.

Two bogeys in the first six holes for McIlroy, back to three-under.

02:16 PM BST

A short game test coming up for McIlroy

His tee shot on the par three 15th comes up shy and rolls back down the false front. Will need all of his touch and skill to save par from there.

Over at the par five fifth, Max Homa has just made a scarcely believable course management error. Tried to hit a fairway wood out of the wire grass and could not get it off the ground.

02:07 PM BST

Still no birdie for McIlroy

This time McIlroy did get his wedge within birdie range, but the putt slips by. Same story for Scottie Scheffler who pushed his effort badly. McIlroy stays at four-under, Scheffler at one-over. Schauffele makes consecutive birdies to return to level par.

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, waits to play on the 10th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournamentRory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, waits to play on the 10th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, waits to play on the 10th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament

02:02 PM BST

It’s another sparkling drive from McIlroy

He has total control with the big stick in his hands, but is yet to convert some great positions into birdies so far. He has had a wedge or shorter into every hole so far, without a birdie. Scheffler and Schauffele are in tight on the 14th, and McIlroy’s flick with a sand wedge is also good. Took the spin off, so it ran on around 12 feet past. A chance for the first birdie of the day.

01:56 PM BST

Schauffele bounces back

01:53 PM BST

Pars for Scheffler and McIlroy on the 13th

Scheffler had to work hard and hole an eight-footer to stay at one-over, but he was up to the task after that poor tee shot. McIlroy with another par after failing to get a wedge shot close enough once again.

01:48 PM BST

Tommy Fleetwood curses his luck on the fourth

A bogey after striking the pin with his third shot. Fleetwood falls back to one-over. The harder things get this weekend, the better for Fleetwood.

01:41 PM BST

Jordan Spieth is out there Spiething

01:40 PM BST

Terrible shot from Scheffler

He misses the fairway with an iron at the short par four 13th, shoveling his tee shot out to the right. “What are you doing?!” exclaims Scheffler as the ball is mid-flight. No such problems for McIlroy, who finds the fairway with an iron.

01:36 PM BST

No birdie for Scheffler…

Three pars out of the gate for the World No 1 this morning, and he stays at one-over par. McIlroy got the pace right on his birdie try and completely misread it, allowing too much break off the right. McIlroy remains at four-under.

01:32 PM BST

McIlroy finds fairway and green on the 12th

McIlroy with another piercing drive that is lower than his usual flight, chasing down the 12th fairway. After missing his last wedge shot left, he hands this one out to the right. Pretty average but an outside birdie chance. Better from Scheffler, who is inside McIlroy with a good birdie chance upcoming.

01:29 PM BST

Nice start from Cameron Young

01:19 PM BST

A sloppy bogey for McIlroy

Missed the green with a wedge from 151 yards, and this time his short game could not save him. Falls back to four-under, meaning Cantlay has the sole lead. After a par on a par five, McIlroy needs to be wary of not chasing a score. Consecutive bogeys to start for Schauffele, another par for Scheffler.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays an approach shot from the 12th fairway during the second round of the 124th U.S. OpenRory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays an approach shot from the 12th fairway during the second round of the 124th U.S. Open

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays an approach shot from the 12th fairway during the second round of the 124th U.S. Open

01:10 PM BST

That looks a good break for McIlroy

After a superb drive, that was one of the poorest short-iron shots we have seen from McIlroy this week. Pulled left, but his ball came to rest between two bunkers. Should be able to get up and down from there. Over at the second, Hatton holes a gutsy par putt to stem the bleeding.

12:56 PM BST

No birdie for McIlroy

His chip was not his neatest, with one hand coming off the club after impact, and his birdie try from almost 15 feet ran by the left edge. Same story for Scheffler, who also settles for par on the par five 10th. Schauffele made bogey, all caused by that loose second shot.

12:48 PM BST

Tyrrell Hatton starts with a three-putt bogey

This will test him mentally. His birdie putt from above the hole ran about six feet past and his return effort slipped by the right edge. Hatton back to one-under and is chuntering to himself as he walks to the second tee.

12:45 PM BST

Solid second shots from McIlroy and Scheffler

The green on the par five 10th was not quite in range in two, but they will both have pitches from the mouth of the putting surface. Schauffele was longest off the tee, but he has fanned his second well right into the pine straw.

12:43 PM BST

The fine margins of Pinehurst No 2

Things have just improved for Mark Hubbard though, who has holed a snaking putt for birdie across the third green.

12:43 PM BST

Bryson DeChambeau teeing off on the first…

Just a long iron for position on this 400-yard opener. No troubles for DeChambeau, as he finds the fairway and lays back short of the bunkers. Alongside DeChambeau is Viktor Hovland, who endured a torrid first round of 78 yesterday. Hovland also finds the fairway.

12:37 PM BST

McIlroy off and running at a humid Pinehurst

Another sultry day here in North Carolina and the good news is that the threat of thunderstorms looks to have dissipated. Obviously a big day for McIlroy, as he has struggled to back up big rounds.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland warms up on the range during the second roundRory McIlroy of Northern Ireland warms up on the range during the second round

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland warms up on the range during the second round

12:34 PM BST

The opening tee shots on the 10th…

McIlroy pulls driver and his opening tee shot is a sound one, fired down the right side of the fairway. Alongside him, Schauffele’s drive is a peach and Scheffler looks more like his old self as he finds the cut and prepared. Scheffler missed too many fairways yesterday, so that drive will give him a lift.

12:22 PM BST

Around 10 minutes until the headline group tee off

That is when the television coverage starts. Scheffler did not look in rhythm right from his first tee shot yesterday, let’s see if things have improved. Scheffler, McIlroy and Schauffele are starting on the 10th, which is one of Pinehurst’s two par fives. A presentable birdie chance and there are not many of those.

12:17 PM BST

I spoke too soon on Jason Day…these are his shoes

A detail of the shoes of Jason Day of Australia as he warms up on the range during the second round of the 124th U.S. OpenA detail of the shoes of Jason Day of Australia as he warms up on the range during the second round of the 124th U.S. Open

A detail of the shoes of Jason Day of Australia as he warms up on the range during the second round of the 124th U.S. Open

11:57 AM BST

The second rounds are under way

11:54 AM BST

Dawn has broken in North Carolina

Jason Day going through his warm-up on the range. His outfit looks rather reserved by the standards of his 2024 collection.

Jason Day of Australia warms up on the range during the second roundJason Day of Australia warms up on the range during the second round

Jason Day of Australia warms up on the range during the second round

11:52 AM BST

Round two pin positions

11:39 AM BST

Some of the early starters

Off the first tee:

12:18: Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Robert MacIntyre (Sco), Nick Taylor (Can)
12:29: Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Tom Hoge
12:40: Bryson DeChambeau, Max Homa, Viktor Hovland (Nor)

Off the 10th tee:

12:18: Jason Day (Aus), Harris English, Joo-Hyung Kim (Kor)
12:29: Rory McIlroy (NI), Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler
12:40: Wyndham Clark, Nick Dunlap, Brian Harman
12:51: Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Jackson Suber, Jordan Spieth
13:02: Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer (Ger), Shane Lowry (Ire)

11:37 AM BST

Can Rory McIlroy back up one good round with another?

Rory McIlroy produced one of his most serene major championship performances in many a year with a bogey-free five-under par opening round to tie the US Open lead at Pinehurst.

McIlroy barely missed a shot from tee to green, with his distance control on those previously bothersome approach shots much improved. He looked confident on the greens, and when he was out of position some sharp short game work got him out of trouble.

The Northern Irishman has the chance to cement his position at the top of the leaderboard as he chases a first major since 2014, with the benefit of fresh morning greens. Only 15 players broke par yesterday, but the scores posted by McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay and Ludvig Aberg showed progress can be made. Pinehurst’s hog’s back greens are treacherous, but rolled smoothly throughout the day and there is plenty of room off the tee.

Also in contention, fresh off his thrilling run at the US PGA Championship at Valhalla, is Bryson DeChambeau. The American is turning into an unlikely fan’s favourites, and his first-round 67 featured plenty of thrills and spills.

The best English performance on Thursday came from Tyrrell Hatton with a two-under 68. It would be quite something if the combustible Hatton made his major breakthrough at a US Open, which is famed as a test of patience. Tommy Fleetwood looks better suited to the test, and is well-positioned at level-par.

Scottie Scheffler was strangely ragged from tee to green, but is still within striking distance at one over-par, playing alongside McIlroy and World No 2 Xander Schauffele, who is level-par.

Tiger Woods is likely to face a battle to make the cut after a four-over 74, while it was a first round to forget for the likes of Shane Lowry, Viktor Hovland and Justin Thomas.

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