Four atop US Open leaderboard

By Mark Gregory
Sports Editor
@Hear_The_Beard
mark@buglenewspapers.com

ERIN, Wis – There are four players atop the leaderboard after two rounds of play at the 117th US Open.

Paul Casey, Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka all share the lead at seven under par.

Rickie Fowler fell back one shot and is tied for second with Jamie Lovemark at minus 6.

Brooks Koepka plays his tee shot on the fifth hole during the second round of the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. on Friday, June 16, 2017. (Copyright USGA/Michael Cohen)

Despite playing the round at one over, Fowler is happy to still be in contention.

“The meaning of the U.S. Open, I mean, we talked about it earlier, it’s one of the hardest tests of golf that we get through the year.  It’s our National Championship, so to be in a good position to go play well this weekend and have a chance to win it, it’s special.  It’s a special weekend.

“ I hate just being in the situation where I’ve been in a good spot and maybe let it get away from me a little bit and let some mistakes compound and turn a round that you kind of fight through it and end up being in a decent spot after the day.  I’ve been in positions where there’s been a couple that have kind of gone the wrong way and you miss the cut.  You look back, and I just grinded it out.”

OUT OF THE WEEKEND

While several players are making a charge to win the first US Open ever played in Wisconsin, the top three players in the world rankings are not among them

Defending champion Dustin Johnson (+4), Rory McIlroy (+5), Jason Day (+10) all missed the cut.

“Even though this is a links golf course, it’s more American links.  I’ve typically struggled in the past with links golf courses,” Day said. “To be honest, I don’t know. I think — yeah, I’d play really good out of the northeast wind, long fairways, heavy rough.  Everyone is grinding.”

YOUNG CHAMP

Amateur Cameron Champ came into the US Open with little expectations, but finds himself tied for eighth in the championship at 5 under par – just two shots off the lead.

“I came in this week with no expectations really at all,” he said after   I just — the only expectation I had was to be low (amateur).  I played well.

“The course sets up very well for me off the tee.  If you hit it off the tee you can score.  Obviously the conditions are a little more firm, but hitting fairways here is key.  If you don’t you can make bogey or double really quick. All around it was a great round.

FATHER LOVE

After the first round, it was setting up to be a great storyline during Sunday’s final round as former major champion and Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III was on the bag for his son, Davis Love IV – or Dru has he is called, which is short for quadruple – the fourth in the lineage.

Dru shot a 75 on Friday and missed the cut by one shot.

He still had a great time in his first major with his dad as his caddie.

“Saturday when we were pulling up I was a little excited and I started grabbing all of the bags.  I grabbed my bag, and I grabbed this and that, and he goes, whoa, whoa, whoa.  This is my job this week,” Dru said. “So I’m used to getting his stuff out of the car and toting it to the locker room and following him around and doing whatever he needs.

“For the first two days it felt weird having him do the things that I’m usually doing for him, you know, handing him a golf ball or cleaning a club.  But he’s caddied for me before.  We’ve won some tournaments together before, and I know what to expect from him, and he knows what to expect from me.  But I definitely think when he’s walking down the range to give me golf balls it takes him about 25 minutes because everyone stops and is talking to him.  Saying oh, it’s the first time we’ve ever seen your legs and this and that.  So it’s definitely been weird for him.

Dru, who is the third Love to play in the US Open, said his dad has passed on a lot of knowledge over the years.

“He has so much advice. He passes a ton of things on from his dad, my grandfather, who also played in the U.S. Open.” Dru said. “I think he respected him so much, his father, and listened to him so much that he passes on the same things that he told my dad.  So you can’t just pick one thing.  He has so much experience, has done so well on the PGA TOUR and in life.  But not things that he tells me but things that I see are more important.

“Coming home from a tournament and missing the cut, he is the exact same dad as he is if you won by 12.  Doesn’t matter. Comes home to his family, and it’s the community, St. Simons, that’s what’s the most important to him.  Golf is secondary.  He’s played 750-plus events and only won 21 of them, so if he based himself off golf, he wouldn’t be very successful.  It’s all about other people. It’s about cousins and nieces and nephews and brothers.  Yeah, he spends more time with his mom when he’s home than anybody else. It’s just trying to learn from the things he does rather than the things he says.”

 

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