Friday, June 15, 2018

Dustin Johnson goes two clear in US Open outward half

Dustin Johnson turned in 33 to open up a two-shot lead as the Shinnecock Hills course continued to prove the toughest of tests on day two of the US Open.
The American entered the day in a four-way tie for the lead at one under par but birdies on the 11th and 16th moved him clear of fellow overnight leaders Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy.
Englishman Poulter and American Piercy were due out in the afternoon, with Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello and another American in Russell Henley the closest challengers on the course at one over.
Johnson - the 2016 champion - regained the Number One spot in the Official World Golf Ranking on Sunday thanks to a win on the US PGA Tour and is going for back-to-back victories and a second Major Championship triumph on Long Island.
Henley - the fourth of the overnight leaders - got off to a flying start, holing birdie putts of nine and 12 feet on the tenth and 12th to jump out to three under and a two-shot lead.
Johnson cut that gap to one with a tee-shot to nine feet on the 11th and when Henley failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker on the 14th, the lead was tied again.
The rain had been falling lightly and it got heavier as Johnson was playing the par five 16th but that was no distraction for the 33 year old, who played the hole in textbook fashion and holed an eight-footer to hit the front on his own.
He almost holed from a bunker on the 17th and when he found sand again after going over the back of the 18th, he made an excellent up-and-down to stay bogey-free for the day.
Henley then got in huge trouble on the third, going left off the tee and playing out sideways after two failed attempts to get out of the rough stuff, eventually surrendering a triple bogey.
That dropped him to one over alongside Cabrera Bello, who was making a nice move through the field after turning in 32.
The 34 year old put an approach to nine feet on his opener, hit a stunning third into the par five 16th and then left himself just five feet for birdie on the 18th.
A bogey on the second after a poor tee-shot dropped him back over par for the week.
Frenchman Matthieu Pavon and England's Justin Rose were among the afternoon starters at one over, with American Jason Dufner a shot further back out on the course after playing his first eight holes in two over.
Reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood was two under through 11 holes to sit at three over.



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