DJ posts 67, ups lead to 4 in 118th U.S. Open

Top-ranked Dustin Johnson is seeing a different course at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club than the rest of the field in the 118th United States Open.

DJ, the only player to break 70 in each of the first two rounds, carded a 3-under-par 67 to take a four-stroke lead over Charley Hoffman and Scott Piercy at the halfway point of the year’s second major in Southampton, N.Y.

“I was very comfortable out there because I’m really confident in my game right now,” said Johnson, who won the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont. “But every shot out there is difficult from beginning to end. The course is playing long and extremely difficult, but the weather finally let up a bit the last few holes.

“I chipped and putted really well in the first two rounds, and have to keep it up the next few days to have a chance on Sunday. The greens are tough and you have to keep the ball on the right side of the hole.

“I knew that putt (on No. 7) was going in all the way, if it got to the hole. Any time you can walk away with a 2 on that hole, you’re happy.”

Johnson, whose round was highlighted by that 45-foot birdie putt on the par-3 seventh hole, recorded a 36-hole score of 4-under 136.

Hoffman, from Poway, was 1-under for the tournament until making a bogey on the last hole to cap a 69, while Piercy birdied three of his last six holes for a 71.

“I played pretty solid, hit the majority of the fairways and greens, and made some putts,” said Hoffman, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour who is seeking his first major title. “I’m happy to shoot 69 at Shinnecock. I enjoy the challenge and hope to keep playing well on the weekend.”

Defending champion Brooks Koepka, ranked ninth, and Tommy Fleetwood of England shared the best score of the day at 66 and are five shots back in a tie for fourth with third-ranked Justin Rose of England and Henrik Stenson of Sweden, who both had 70s, and Ian Poulter of England, who shot 72.

Poulter was one stroke behind Johnson with two holes remaining, but needed six strokes to reach the green before sinking a five-foot putt for triple-bogey 7 on the eighth hole and added a bogey at No. 9 to shoot 72.

“I was in a nice position at 3-under with two holes to go and let it slip away,” said Poulter, who has never finished in the top 10 in the U.S. Open. “I hit a poor 7-iron shot, lost my concentration on that bunker shot and racked up a big number on No. 8.

“But I played well for 16 holes and I’m in pretty good position going to Saturday and the weekend.”

Seventh-ranked Rickie Fowler of Murrieta totaled 69 despite two late bogeys and is another stroke down in a tie for ninth with Russell Henley, who had a 73 despite a triple-bogey 7 on the third hole and two bogeys while finishing on the front nine.

Second-ranked Justin Thomas is tied for 14th after a 70, 10th-ranked Hideki Matsuyama also shot 70 and is in a tie for 26th that includes Masters champion Patrick Reed, who had a 72, while Phil Mickelson finished at 69 and is tied for 35th as he tries to complete the Career Grand Slam.

The cut came at 8-over and among those missing were fourth-ranked Jordan Spieth, who finished with two bogeys to miss the weekend by one shot after a 72, three-time U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods (72 to miss by two), sixth-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (70 to also miss by two), eighth-ranked Jason Day of Australia (73 to miss by four), and fifth-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain (77 to miss by seven).

For complete results, visit


Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles