Dustin Johnson shared the lead with three others after Round 1 at the U.S. Open. The top-ranked player in the world wasn't feeling nearly as generous Friday.
The 2016 champion continued his dominant play on a challenging Shinnecock Hills layout, posting a 3-under 67 to sit four shots clear of the field at 4-under.
While Johnson's ball-striking brilliance is well-documented, it's his short game that's really shone through two days at the famed Long Island course. The 33-year-old leads the field in both strokes gained: putting and strokes gained: around the green, flashing impressive creativity when the situation calls for it.
Johnson's challengers appeared up to the task at times, but when the dust settled, he stood alone as the only man in red figures. Charley Hoffman and Scott Piercy represented the closest competition at even par. While that duo may not blow viewers away in terms of star power, plenty of big names are lurking and could make a charge Saturday.
Defending champion Brooks Koepka blitzed the course in the afternoon with a 4-under 66 to sit tied for fourth at 1-over. Tommy Fleetwood matched Koepka with a 66 of his own to pull alongside the American, with Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, and Ian Poulter also sitting at that number to bring some cachet to the leaderboard.
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A few big names won't be around on the weekend, however, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth.
After triple-bogeying No. 1 en route to an 8-over 78 on Thursday, Woods was once again undone on the opening hole, carding a double-bogey 6 before finishing with a 72. It's the third time Woods has missed the U.S. Open cut in 20 appearances.
McIlroy's U.S. Open ends after two days for the third straight year. The 2011 champion couldn't come back from a shocking 10-over-par 80 in the opening round. Though he improved by 10 shots Friday, firing a round of even par, he didn't pour in enough birdies.
Thanks to four straight birdies on the back nine, Spieth came to the 18th needing only a par to make the cut, but failed to get up-and-down from just off the green. That bogey means the 2015 champion has missed his first cut in a major since the PGA Championship in 2014.
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