5 things you missed from Friday’s second round at the U.S. Open

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler is on a quest to win his first major championship at the 2023 U.S. Open.

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The year’s third major is already at the halfway point, with Rickie Fowler leading the charge by one shot at 10 under par overall.

The golf in L.A. started early in the morning and continued until dusk — nearly 14 hours of action, if you tuned in from start to finish.

That’s a lot to take in for any fan! Over the course of the day, there was no shortage of highlights, and if you need a quick refresher ahead of Round 3, here are five things you missed from Friday’s second round at Los Angeles Country Club.

The course toughened up

On Thursday, Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele took the early lead by firing U.S. Open single-round record scores of eight-under-par 62, leading to a bit of criticism about the course’s difficulty, and speculation that LACC would play differently — i.e, tougher — on Friday. And it did.

Five-under 65 was the best score in the field in Round 2, courtesy of Min Woo Lee. And while Fowler and Schauffele enjoyed a two-shot advantage over their competitors after Thursday’s round, it’s Fowler alone at the top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend, with only a single shot between him and his closest competitor, Wyndham Clark.

Rory is in the mix!

It’s been nearly nine years since Rory McIlroy’s last major victory, the 2014 PGA Championship, which was the fourth of his career. And although he’s posted a number of top 10 finishes in the majors since then (a whopping 18, in fact!), it’s been a while since McIlroy contended in a major from the very start.

But this week could be the one for McIlroy, whose rounds of 65-67 have him in prime position on the leaderboard at eight under overall — only two shots behind Fowler’s lead! — with two rounds left to play.

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What about the other favorites?

The four oddsmakers’ favorites heading into this week were Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy is near the top of the leaderboard at eight under. Scheffler is also in excellent position, at five under. Despite middling rounds of 71-69, Koepka isn’t out of it either, at even par overall. And after posting a round of three over on Friday, Rahm is two over overall. Plenty of golf left to play!

Hecklers are still being annoying

After a heckler made headlines on Thursday for a lengthy tirade that disrupted Phil Mickelson, another impertinent observer shouted out to Rickie Fowler on Friday.

“What are you doing?” the heckler cried, when Fowler left a putt short on the 7th hole. To his credit, Fowler merely shrugged, leading to a burst of laughter from the gallery.

Notables to miss the cut

At the U.S. Open, the top 60 players and ties earn the right to play the weekend.

This year’s cut was two over par, meaning any player who was three over par or worse had to bid an early farewell to LACC. Notables among them: Justin Thomas, Martin Kaymer, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, Max Homa, Corey Connors, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson.

Whew. An incredible two opening days. And two more to go! To that we say, bring it on!

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.