Tiger’s last U.S. Open? Diabolical conditions | Seen and Heard at Pinehurst

Welcome to GOLF.com’s “Seen & Heard” video series, in which we give you an inside look at golf’s biggest events through the eyes and ears of our onsite crew. On deck this week: the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Let’s go!

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ICYMI: ‘The world’s hardest patience test’ | Seen and Heard at Pinehurst

We have hit the halfway mark at the U.S. Open where some of the game’s best have risen to the top of the leaderboard, while others are going home early.

While all three of them made the cut, much of the drama Friday morning surrounded the U.S. Open’s “Super group” of the top-three players in the world, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler.

All three ran into trouble on the Par-5 5th during Round 2, the easiest hole. Scheffler and Schauffele tried to hit miracle flop shots and failed, leading to double bogeys. McIlroy, from a similar position hit a low running shot and made a nine-footer for par. Our James Colgan called the chip a “most fascinating shot.”

5th hole pinehurst no. 2
U.S. Open super-group implodes on Pinehurst’s easiest hole
By: Sean Zak

“That back left hole location on 5 is pretty treacherous,” said McIlroy, whose 72 left him at three under, two off the lead. “If you miss it left there at all, obviously you saw what Xander and Scottie did. After sealing their two attempts, I was pretty happy with mine just to get it over the other side of the green and get it up-and-down for 5.”

Elsewhere, Josh Berhow was following Tyrell Hatton, who on Thursday, went viral for some of his comments about his mindset in the U.S. Open.

After finsihing the opening two rounds at one under, good for a tie for ninth, Berhow asked Hatton for his take on why the comment went so viral.

“I think everyone knows me well enough by now to know what I’m like on the golf course, that I’m pretty honest,” Hatton said. “I’ll just say it how it is.”

Deep in the “bowels of the Pinehurst clubhouse” Alan Bastable sought out the man who caused quite a stir on social media Thursday: Anthony Montanez . He’s better known resident U.S. Open barber this week and the guy who gave Scheffler his fresh cut before Round 1.

scottie scheffler and us open barber monti at pinehurst
‘We delivered’: Scottie Scheffler’s U.S. Open barber defends viral haircut
By: Alan Bastable

“The funny part about it is, everyone keeps calling it the ‘high and tight,’ which as barbers makes us crack up because it’s only a 3 on the sides,” Montanez said. “It’s nowhere near a ‘high and tight.’ Just the tapered back makes it look like that.”

In case there was any debate, Montanez felt good about the cut.

“We delivered,” he said.

Back in the media center, Sean Zak asked Bryson DeChambeau, who fired a 69 Friday to get within a shot of the lead at four under, how he felt about the fans seemingly rooting for players to struggle at U.S. Opens.

“I just saw when we were on 10, Sepp Straka made a hole-in-one, right? Right behind us,” DeChambeau said. “That was a high, super high, and it was really cool to feed off that energy. Then I see guys ping-ponging it around the greens out here, and it’s like, I don’t want to watch that.

“So for the fans it’s great. It’s super entertaining. I don’t want to be on the wrong side of it, albeit it’s going to happen a few times out here.”

But Friday is also about who won’t be around for the weekend and that includes the biggest name in the field: Tiger Woods.

Woods started Round 2 strong, with a birdie on the 4th to climb two shots inside the cutline, but he stumbled home to a 73 and missed the cut by two shots.

Tiger Woods looks at the ground while standing on a green during the 2024 U.S. Open.
Tiger Woods makes somber admission after U.S. Open missed cut
By: Josh Berhow

Then he admitted he wasn’t sure if this week was his last U.S. Open.

“As far as my last Open Championship or U.S. Open Championship, I don’t know what that is,” the 48-year-old three-time U.S. Open winner said. “It may or may not be.”

But the 36-hole leader this week is Ludvig Aberg. Aberg has looked like anything but a player making his U.S. Open debut this week, but he has played Pinehurst No. 2 before, in a U.S. Amateur. He called it the most challenging course he’s ever played.

And it’s only getting harder as Sean Zak points out, the course is becoming completely baked out from sunshine. Green speeds are running north of 13 on the stimpmeter already.

The weekend at the 2024 U.S. Open is upon us

To catch up on all the GOLF team’s activities at Pinehurst, check out the full Seen & Heard playlist below — and stay tuned for more Seen & Heard throughout the week.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.