Fowler leads US Open

McIlroy, Day try to make up ground, make cut at US Open

He loved Erin Hills, a course with wide fairways between the knee-high fescue that he figured would allow him to attack.

BUSY BADGER: No break for Steve Stricker after the U.S. Open.

Hideki Matsuyama vaulted into contention with a 7-under 65, moving to 5 under and a tie for eighth.

After Matsuyama and Reavie, the next best round of the day was Bill Haas' 68.

But Casey rebounded with five straight birdies at Nos.

There's a four-way tie for the lead at the U.S. Open. I think it's going to produce a really good victor at the end of the week.

Rickie Fowler was playing so cleanly at Erin Hills that the record appeared to be in jeopardy. Three players - Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka - were in the clubhouse on five under, two back from Fowler.

"It doesn't need to be too much of a change for this golf course to play pretty hard", he said.

The 44 subpar rounds broke the first-round mark of 39 at Medinah in 1990. It's there that the mistake was made: Hadwin tried to play too flawless of a third shot up toward the raised putting surface. He was T-5 or better in all four majors in 2014, but he hasn't had a top-10 since. Fowler started on No. 1 made the turn at 2 under after a pair of birdies.

But Paul Dunne (73 for 148), Graeme McDowell (73 for 149) and McIlroy (71 for 149) all missed out. "Maybe a reachable par 4, should be firmer and faster, barring any rain", he said. No other information was provided.

Marc Leishman has maintained his position high on the leaderboard midway through the second round at the US Open.

The Englishman won the Masters a year ago for his only PGA Tour victory.

"I think when you're trying to aim at a target usually at a normal golf course, with normal-width fairways, there's some pressure into hitting the fairway because it is a lot narrower than we have out here", Day said. You have a different feeling in practice rounds than you do with a scorecard in your hand, and he was adjusting to that competitive feeling again.

He then bogied the 15 hole, hitting it short of the green in two and failing to get the up and down. This one he'd rather forget. So it's nice just to be around and have a chance. But then he three-putted from long range on the 13th and the 14th, and lost all hope when he missed the green on the 17th while going after the flag.

Day and McIlroy are two of the friendliest and classiest players on tour. Fowler tees off in the afternoon.

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But the Englishman now has a share of the lead at the U.S. Open.

Casey remained at the top of the leaderboard despite temporarily falling off Friday morning when he struggled through a stretch that included two bogeys and a triple bogey. He tapped in for par. He's back at 1 under as he finishes his round on the front nine.

Fowler wasted no time in exploiting the conditions after teeing off on the 10th, rattling off four quick birdies to be four under.

A few hours later, the defending U.S. Open also got the hook.

The Wisconsin native is a fan favorite in the first Open in his home state.

The 29-year-old Willett has had recurring back issues during his career.

The one-under-par total was a substantial improvement on Thursday's six-over-par 78, but with the cut projected at one-over-par, it was too little, too late for the popular Northern Irishman.

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"I saw some positives there on the back nine coming in and hopefully I can take them to the Travelers (tournament) next week", he said.

A do-over chip and two putts later, Hadwin's scorecard had its first double bogey of the championship. He is 3 under for the tournament. "So you've got to minimize those mistakes, minimize those bogies".

That's not to say a worthy champion won't be crowned Sunday - but there's plenty of work left to do for golf's upper echelon of players, many of whom missed the cut Friday. But that wasn't the problem. He made an 8, and followed that with a tee shot into the rough to make a bogey.

Given the wayward shots coming from Day's clubs, it was not a hard task.

Rory McIlroy and Jason Day also left Erin Hills earlier than anyone expected.

RIDE 'EM COWBOYS: Jordan Niebrugge wore an orange shirt for the second round at the U.S. Open, switching to a color he usually dons on Sundays. Fowler hung in there, and now he has a big opportunity to capture his national Open.

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