Round 2 of the 2020 U.S. Open on Friday brought out the wicked ways of Winged Foot we all expected to see this week. There were 21 golfers in total who started the day under par, yet only six finished in the red as the course’s setup suffocated the field throughout the afternoon.
The conditions firmed up as the day wore on and the scores steadily rose with only three golfers carding rounds under par after a scoring bonanza (by U.S. Open standards) on Thursday. As we head to moving day, it’s Patrick Reed — at 4 under overall after an even-par Round 2 — who sits atop the leaderboard through 36 holes of action.
Reed leads by one stroke over Bryson DeChambeau and two strokes over Rafa Cabrera Bello, Harris English and Justin Thomas.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way Friday covering Round 2 of the U.S. Open. Let’s take a look at the top of the leaderboard through 36 holes. Keep on reading for highlights and analysis from Friday.
1. Patrick Reed (-4): Friday’s setup — with the pins tucked — didn’t scare Reed off. He stayed on the offensive, aggressively attacked the pins and rewarded himself with some fine putting. His 25 putts tied for the least among the field in Round 2, and for a second consecutive day, he gained strokes on the field around the greens. “Tucked pins, ya gotta attack,” Reed told Golf Channel after his round. “The greens, they got fast. Yesterday was soft, benign. It’s like they set it up to ease us in, then they were going to show us what it was really going to be like.”
2. Bryson DeChambeau (-3): It was a rollercoaster of a day for DeChambeau, who finished with five bogeys, five birdies and an eagle. But overall, it was undeniably a net positive outing as he followed up his first-round 69 with a second-round 68. He finished second in the field in strokes gained off the tee and stayed in control of his driver, hitting 50% of the fairways for a second straight day. “I felt like a lot of things were working well for me,” he said after the round. “I was driving it well. My iron play was impeccable. When I got into trouble, [I] wasn’t able to get out of it as well as yesterday, but when I was in the fairway I was able to attack and take advantage, and finished really well today.”
T3. Justin Thomas, Harris English, Rafa Cabrera Bello (-2): Arguably no golfer today on Friday had a more dramatic about-face from first nine to back nine than J.T. After carding a U.S. Open Round 1 record-low of 65 on Thursday, he came out flat, bogeying four of his first eight holes. But Thomas rallied late, starting with a birdie on No. 18 and continuing onto the front by brushing off a double on No. 1 to play the final eight holes at 2 under. None of it was particularly elite-level golf, but this was the type of round that could’ve derailed his contention chances — and instead he grinded out a 3 over 73 to survive another day. English and Cabrera Bello, though, tied for the best round of this trio with both finishing at even par.
T7. Matthew Wolff, Xander Schauffele and three others (E): After hitting two fewer fairways (4 of 14) and two fewer greens in regulation (9 of 18) than his 4 under 64 opening round, Wolff swung wildly in the opposite direction with a 4-over 74 in Round 2. He struck the ball well and putted just OK but said after the round he needs to clean up little things to really score and compete in a meaningful way on the weekend. He should get a chance to do that just three strokes off the lead. Schauffele, on the other hand, took advantage of the conditions before things got treacherous, carding a second-round 72. He finished his final five holes at 3 over, sapping some momentum he built up throughout the round.
T12. Jon Rahm and four others (+1): Impressive all-around outing for Rahm again, braving the conditions to get in at 2 over despite a five-bogey day. He finished birdie-birdie-bogey to get in the clubhouse with a final nine score of even-par, and for a second straight day, he was among the longest in the field off the tees. The combination of his power, ball striking and control tee to green caters to his strengths at such a grueling course, and he’s going to be one of the non-leaders to watch closely into Moving Day.
T22. Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and four others (+3): McIlroy had everything working in Round 1 from tee to green, finishing first in strokes gained off the tee and inside the top 25 in that category with the putter. And while he again finished first in strokes gained off the tee Friday, the putter and short game just weren’t working for him the same on Friday. Makeable pars he continuously turned to bogeys, and easy putts for him on a normal day were a grind in Round 2. He’s not totally out of this, but he needs to find the happy medium between Thursday and Friday — and do it consistently — to win his second U.S. Open. Johnson, meanwhile, saved his best work (thus far) for Friday, finishing with a bounceback 70. He had the putter working and was long and confident off the tees, setting him up to potentially win his third outing in his last four events.
T73. Gary Woodland (+8): The reigning U.S. Open winner, hobbled with injury, followed up his opening round 74 with another 74 Friday, missing the cut. He explained post-round he has a torn labrum in his left hip and is set to see a specialist on Monday, because he “just can’t get around the pain.”
T90 Tiger Woods (+10) | T119 Phil Mickelson (+13): Sometimes great storylines just don’t pan out, what can we say? In a nostalgic return to Winged Foot for the older guard of the game, both Woods and Mickelson missed the cut, marking the first time ever the two missed it at the same U.S. Open after 20 prior events they played together. Woods went 2 under in his final three but still finished at 7 over on the day, while Mickelson — with a second-round 74 — couldn’t overcome the first-round 79 from Thursday.