Dustin Johnson signed off for a three-under 67 during the second round of the 118th US Open to claim a four shot lead heading in to the weekend.
As Dustin Johnson finished his round at Shinnecock Hills, his first round co-leaders Scott Piercy and Ian Poulter were just gearing up to tee off. Russell Henley, meanwhile, was in already in the clubhouse after some mistakes late on left him with a three-over 73.
At one stage it looked like Ian Poulter would join DJ in the final group on Saturday, as favourable conditions led him to three birdies in the space of four holes to get to within one shot of Johnson's lead. However, a distastrous triple-bogey, bogey finish for the Englishman saw him drop back in to a share of fourth-place on one-over with Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka - the latter two players having carded low-round of the day 66s.
Scott Piercy birdied his final hole of the day to shoot a one-over 71 to finish in a share of second place with Charley Hoffman heading in to the weekend at the US Open, but the American duo still lie four shots behind the World No.1.
And though it may have been a cold, windy and rainy start for the players on Friday morning, but it didn't stop Dustin Johnson carding the second-best round of the morning to move in to a commanding lead as the only player under par at the 118th US Open.
Of the early wave only England's Tommy Fleetwood's 66 was better than the World No.1 on Friday, whose three-under 67 included a huge 45-foot birdie putt on the par-three 7th hole to get to the tournament-leading score of four-under-par.
"Yeah, that was a good one," Johnson said of the putt on 7 after his round.
"I felt like today was another really solid round, played really well. A couple times where I hit a couple of bad iron shots, but every time I felt like I was able to save par, at least give myself a really good look at par. My only bogey I made today on No. 1, I still had a decent look at par, 10-, 12-footer or something for par. I felt like today was really solid in some tough conditions."
And while the liklihood is strong that Johnson will hold the lead going in to the weekend, the 2016 US Open champion is very aware there is still a long way to go until the champion is crowned on Sunday.
"There's still a lot of golf left," he said. "There's still 36 holes left no matter what position I'm in. Going into tomorrow, I'm going to stick to my game plan, stick to trying to play the holes how I have the first couple days and see what happens."
Russell Henley was the first player to push out of the overnight leading group at one-under-par with two birdies in his first three holes, but as he dropped a shot on the fifth Dustin Johnson was quick to pull level with a birdie of his own at his second hole of the day (the par-three 11th).
DJ did well to save pars at both the 13th and 14th holes before adding his second gain of the day at the par-five 16th hole to move to three-under for the tournament.
His only bogey came on the 1st (his 10th hole), but otherwise it was a good day on the greens for the World No.1, who put together a straightforward birdie on the 4th and climbed to four-under-par with his huge 45-foot putt birdie on the tough 'Redan' 7th hole.
Meanwhile, DJ's playing partners Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods had a day of mixed fortunes. JT peppered his card with three birdies and three bogeys to finish at level par for the day and four over in total, while Woods started with a birdie and ended with back-to-back gains yet still could only manage a two-over 72. It means that while Thomas joins DJ at the weekend, Woods has missed the cut in his first US Open appearance since 2015.
And Woods isn't the only high-profile name to be miss the cut. Jordan Spieth went on a four-hole birdie run and looked certain to make the cut, but back-to-back bogeys on his final two holes ensured his championship ended prematurely on +9 (a shot outside the cut line).
Spieth's playing partner Rory McIlroy also misses the weekend, along with Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer, Kevin Kisner, Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm.
Elsewhere, Rickie Fowler is currently in a share of 9th place at 2-over with Russell Henley, while Phil Mickelson sits T35 with nine others on +6.
Three amateurs, including Brooklyn fireman Matt Parziale, made the US Open cut, but the best stat of the day belongs to Steve Stricker, who has now made 28 consecutive cuts in major championships.
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