Lowry makes cut on the number at US Open as Bland shares lead

Englishman added a 67 to his opening 70 to to finish five under alongside Russell Henley

Shane Lowry reacts after chipping on the second green at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) in San Diego. Photograph: Harry How/Getty

Shane Lowry reacts after chipping on the second green at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) in San Diego. Photograph: Harry How/Getty

 

Shane Lowry hung on to make the cut at the US Open on the number, as Richard Bland was dreaming of major championship glory after claiming a share of the halfway lead in the 121st US Open.

Lowry struggled to get going on Friday at Torrey Pines and, starting on the back nine, went out in 39 shots, which included a double bogey at the 11th, his second hole. The cut loomed for the Irishman, but he parred his last six holes for a round of 74 to squeeze into the weekend’s play.

Playing only his second tournament in America in a 28-year career, Bland added a 67 to his opening 70 to finish five under par alongside American Russell Henley, who three-putted his final hole to drop his only shot of the day.

Last year’s runner-up Matthew Wolff and former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen were a shot off the pace, with pre-tournament favourite Jon Rahm and two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson on three under.

Bland began the week as a 500/1 outsider and 115th in the world, remarkably the same ranking Phil Mickelson held before he became the oldest major champion in history by winning the US PGA, eight days after Bland’s victory in the British Masters.

The 48-year-old, who is the oldest player to lead or share the lead after 36 holes in US Open history, started his second round with birdies on the 10th and 13th before dropping a shot on the 15th after missing the green with his approach.

However, Bland then holed from 18 feet for birdie on the 16th and half the distance on the next to move into a share of the lead.

Bland found trouble off the tee to bogey the 18th but birdied the second, fourth and sixth to lead by two shots before making a bogey on the eighth after his tee shot plugged in a greenside bunker.

“I’m very proud,” Bland said. “To lead a major is always pretty special. I tied the lead in the Open in 2017 for a hole, so it’s nice to have it a bit longer than that.

“I was coming here off a couple of good results, a win and a third in Europe. I’ve been driving the ball well for five, six weeks now, which is the cornerstone if you’re going to put a fight up for a US Open.

“When I saw this place on Monday, it kind of set up to my eye. It’s all there just straight in front of me, and that’s the kind of golf course I like. There’s nothing kind of jumping out and grabbing you or anything like that.”

Four-time major winner McIlroy had been within two of the lead when he birdied the 12th and 13th, only to then drop three shots in a row and, after a birdie on the 18th, three more in four holes from the second.

McIlroy repaired some of the damage with birdies on the sixth and ninth to keep his bid for a first major since 2014 alive.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau had every right to be worried about making the cut after two bogeys in the first three holes of his second round left him four over, only to then birdie the 13th and 16th and hole from 25 feet for eagle on the 18th.

Another birdie on the first took DeChambeau into red figures and although he bogeyed the third and seventh, a birdie on the ninth completed a 69 and left him five behind Bland on level par.

Two-time winner Brooks Koepka and world number two Justin Thomas were also level par, with Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy among those on one over.

Mickelson, who needs to win the US Open to complete the career grand slam, fought back from an opening 75 to card a 69 on Friday and finish two over par alongside world number one Dustin Johnson.

US Open Collated Collated second round scores

(USA unless stated, Par 71):
137 Richard Bland (Eng) 70 67, Russell Henley 67 70
138 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 67 71, Matthew Wolff 70 68
139 Jon Rahm (Spa) 69 70, Bubba Watson 72 67
140 Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 73 67, Xander Schauffele 69 71, Kevin Streelman 71 69
141 Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 71 70, Patrick Rodgers 70 71, Scottie Scheffler 72 69
142 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 72 70, Bryson DeChambeau 73 69, Harris English 72 70, Branden Grace (Rsa) 72 70, Adam Hadwin (Can) 70 72, Brooks Koepka 69 73, Collin Morikawa 75 67, Justin Thomas 73 69
143 Daniel Berger 71 72, Brian Harman 72 71, Charley Hoffman 72 71, Tom Hoge 72 71, Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn) 69 74, Matt Jones (Aus) 72 71, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 70 73, Lee Westwood (Eng) 71 72, Dylan Wu 70 73
144 Rafael Cabrera (Spa) 68 76, Sung Jae Im (Kor) 72 72, Dustin Johnson 71 73, Marc Leishman (Aus) 74 70, Robert MacIntyre (Sco) 71 73, Phil Mickelson 75 69, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 68 76, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 75 69, Chez Reavie 76 68, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 75 69, Kyle Westmoreland 71 73
145 Chris Baker 74 71, Patrick Cantlay 70 75, Stewart Cink 73 72, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 70 75, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 72 73, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 73 72, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 71 74, Lanto Griffin 76 69, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 77 68, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 69 76, J. T. Poston 72 73, Ian Poulter (Eng) 74 71, Patrick Reed 72 73, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 71 74, Adam Scott (Aus) 70 75, Greyson Sigg 71 74, Gary Woodland 74 71
146 Akshay Bhatia 73 73, Paul Casey (Eng) 71 75, Fabian Gomez (Arg) 70 76, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 71 75, Kevin Kisner 73 73, Rick Lamb 71 75, Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 74, Troy Merritt 75 71, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 70 76, Taylor Montgomery 70 76, Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 72 74, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 72 74, Jordan Spieth 77 69, Jimmy Walker 74 72

The following players missed the cut:

147 Marcus Armitage (Eng) 71 76, Sam Burns 73 74, Wyndham Clark 75 72, Thomas Detry (Bel) 71 76, Andrew Kozan 71 76, Taylor Pendrith (Can) 75 72, Cameron Smith (Aus) 72 75, Brendan Steele 73 74, Brendan Steele 73 74, Erik van Rooyen (Rsa) 74 73, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 75 72, Zachary Zaback 75 72
148 Corey Conners (Can) 75 73, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 70 78, Garrick Higgo (Rsa) 76 72, Zach Johnson 75 73, Matt Kuchar 73 75, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 71 77, Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 75 73, Ollie Osborne 76 72, Spencer Ralston 75 73, Johannes Veerman 73 75, Matt Wallace (Eng) 74 74
149 Joe Highsmith 76 73, Max Homa 76 73, Billy Horschel 74 75, Michael Johnson 74 75, Jordan Smith (Eng) 77 72, Zack Sucher 75 74, Sahith Theegala 76 73, Brendon Todd 78 71, Will Zalatoris 75 74
150 Abraham Ancer (Mex) 73 77, Eric Cole 77 73, Tony Finau 74 76, Luis Gagne (Crc) 75 75, Cole Hammer 77 73, Martin Laird (Sco) 74 76, Kevin Na 77 73, Ryan Palmer 76 74, Victor Perez (Fra) 75 75, Robby Shelton 78 72, Hayden Springer 77 73, Cameron Young 72 78
151 Yosuke Asaji (Jpn) 76 75, Paul Barjon (Fra) 73 78, Hayden Buckley 69 82, Cameron Champ 76 75, Pierceson Coody 73 78, Jason Kokrak 73 78, Peter Malnati 75 76, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 72 79, Matt Sharpstene 74 77, Matthew Southgate (Eng) 75 76, Brian Stuard 78 73
152 Brad Kennedy (Aus) 74 78, Matthias Schmid (Ger) 76 76, Davis Shore 76 76, Webb Simpson 79 73, J. J. Spaun 77 75, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 76 76, Justin Suh 78 74
153 Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 80 73, Roy Cootes 76 77, Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn) 77 76, Sung-Hoon Kang (Kor) 75 78, Chan Kim 76 77, Joe Long (Eng) 77 76, Andy Pope 76 77
154 David Coupland (Eng) 74 80
155 Christopher Crawford 76 79, Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Kor) 76 79, Justin Rose (Eng) 78 77, Carson Schaake 76 79
156 Luis Fernando Barco (Per) 77 79, Bo Hoag 78 78, Dylan Meyer 78 78, Tyler Strafaci 78 78
157 Mario Carmona 77 80, John Huh 80 77, Alvaro Ortiz (Mex) 82 75
159 Steve Allan (Aus) 80 79, Wilson Furr 77 82, Jimmy Hervol 79 80

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