Morikawa and Dahmen share the top spot in the rankings after the 2nd round of the US Open

The storms dodged Brookline and the stars began to emerge Friday at the US Open.

Collin Morikawa showed signs of stepping out of the pedestrian game at the right time, matching the Championship’s low score with a 4-under 66 for a 36-hole lead share with Joel Dahmen and a shot at a third straight win a Major.

He had plenty of company at the Country Club, a prominent player.

Defending champion Jon Rahm played with Morikawa and did his best to keep pace with an eagle and a series of big putts that looked just as valuable. Rahm had a 67 and was one stroke behind in a group that included Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy, fresh off a victory at the Canadian Open, has never been more entertaining.

He was two holes into his round when an errant approach landed in waist-high fescue. He took a hack. And then another. Third down finally found the green and he putted 25 feet to save a double bogey. McIlroy hit his stride on the back nine with three birdies on his final four holes for a 69.

Not to be overlooked was Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, who contributed from a thick rough short of the par-5 14th green for an eagle that brought the Texan back into the mix with a 67. He was two strokes away. behind.

« It’s the US Open. No one pushed it this far and ran away, » Morikawa said. « The last few days are a huge boost for me heading into this weekend, and hopefully we can sort of make a separation somehow. »

After a stellar first round in which he finished first, Canadian Adam Hadwin struggled with a second round of 2 of 66.

The Abbotsford, BC native currently sits No. 13 with two more rounds remaining.

WATCH | Canada’s Hadwin struggles in 2nd round at US Open:

Canada’s Hadwin struggles in second round at US Open

Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, BC, went 2-of-66 for his second round at the US Open and is now 2 under heading into Saturday.

« Ideal for the game of golf »

Morikawa, Rahm and Scheffler have combined to win four of the last nine major tournaments. And then there’s McIlroy, who has four majors all to himself, but none since 2014.

« I think it’s great for the game of golf to have the top ranked players and the best players up there, especially in the tournament where really the best player ends up winning, » Rahm said.

The idea of ​​the US Open is to identify the best players. Some of them require major championship introductions on weekends.

Start with Dahmen, the cancer survivor and everyone else who will never be accused of taking himself too seriously, even if he takes his game seriously. He considered withdrawing from the 36-hole qualifier twice last week, before it started and after the first round.

But he held on and with a 68 on Friday, he is playing in the last group of a major tournament for the first time. He joined Morikawa at under 135.

The group one shot behind includes Hayden Buckley, who actually studied in Missouri because he never thought playing golf for a living was going to work. He wasn’t at the US Open before he birdied 20 feet in the playoff for the final spot in his qualifier 11 days ago.

He was fading, like so many others, with three bogeys during a five-hole streak around the bend when he got back on track. Birdies on the last two holes gave him another 68.

Also at 136, Aaron Wise, with a PGA Tour win and nothing better than a tie for 17th in his previous nine majors; and Beau Hossler, who played weekends at the Olympic Club as a teenage amateur in 2012 but hasn’t been heard from in the majors since then.

They were examples that the US Open being open to all does not end with qualifying for the right to play the toughest test in golf.

Mickelson misses the cut

The weekend won’t include Phil Mickelson, that’s hardly a surprise. He took a four-month hiatus over his incendiary remarks about the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed league he was promoting, ended up joining LIV Golf and returned to competition last week with bad luck. results.

The US Open was a slightly stronger test and Mickelson was exposed, especially on the greens, with rounds 78-73 to miss the cut. His next stop is Oregon in two weeks for another LIV Golf event, 54 holes and no cuts.

Signs warned of the potential for bad weather as the wind began to shake the trees in the late morning. The clouds dispersed and the wind died down in the late afternoon, allowing for better scores and a few fewer errors.

McIlroy never panicked after his double bogey. He took advantage of birdie chances on the driveable par-4 fifth and the short par-5 eighth. And he finished strong to be well in the game, his main objective for the weekend.

Adding to McIlroy’s anticipation was seeing so many familiar names at the top.

« You want to compete against the best to try and get the best out of yourself, » McIlroy said. « And see Collin and Jon and Scottie and Sam [Burns] up there and whoever else, that’s what major championship golf is all about. That’s competition.

« And that’s at the heart of this game. I’m excited to be in this mix going into the weekend. »

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