Crowded US Open leaderboard but world top three miss cut

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On top of that, he faced a 8:37 a.m. start time for Saturday's third round in the U.S. Open.

Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day - the top three players in the world, all of them professing expansive Erin Hills to be flawless for their games - spent the day cleaning out their lockers after missing the cut.

"Even though it's very disappointing to not be here on the weekend, I think these last two rounds will serve me well going into the summer", added the 28-year-old, who has added the Scottish Open to his schedule in between the Irish Open and Open Championship. "Every time you have a hard golf course, they'll jump out at the beginning, and Rickie (Fowler) had that great run yesterday, and he's seeing 7 (under par)".

Now, after 36 holes, Fowler is one stroke back from a crowded leaderboard that includes Brooks Koepka, Brian Harman, Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood at 7-under.

The talented Englishman shot a second round of 71 to leave him on seven under for the competition.

Zach Johnson was also four under for the day through 16 holes, lifting him to three under overall, while Jack Maguire proved that fortunes can change in a hurry when he drained an eagle putt from off the green on the par-five first. His completely unraveled on the par five 14 with a triple bogey.

"Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an 8 on the card, but I'm a pretty happy man", Casey told the tournament's website.

Holywood's McIlroy finished four under for the final six holes, which helped the four-time major victor post a one-under-par 71 in Wisconsin, but the damage was done in the first round as McIlroy hit six over to effectively end his chances at the second major of the year. And why not? So far at this year's U.S. Open, we've seen a blimp crash near Erin Hills, an E-coli scare, and a 94-year-old spectator die at the course.

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"I had been swinging it well and it felt really, really good a couple holes later to be picking the ball out of the hole for a birdie". He loved Erin Hills, a course with wide fairways between the knee-high fescue that he figured would allow him to attack.

McIlroy missed the cut for a second consecutive U.S. Open. I feel like the golf game is there, I feel like I'm playing good. Also, Fowler has never won one.

However, while the world's top three are making other plans for the weekend after missing the cut, college amateur Cameron Champ is proving that massive tee shots can still help get the job done on the long, links-style layout. I guess I've just kind of always been that way. This game's all about putting, so it's pretty simple, I just didn't get it in the hole fast enough.

He recovered to drain a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-three 13th, but thereafter was unable to build any momentum over the remainder of the opening nine holes.

"We're in a good spot", Fowler said.

"It doesn't matter how long, how whatever the course is", Thomas said about the longest course in major championship history.

Rickie Fowler looked to move clear at the top of the US Open leaderboard on Friday as rivals Rory McIlroy and Jason Day headed for the exit.

"I started to let it go a little bit on the back nine and showed what I can do".