Fowler Leads Clark by One Shot Midway Through in 123rd U.S. Open at LACC

Rickie Fowler understandably didn’t have another 62 in him, but he remained atop the leaderboard.

Fowler, who has struggled the last few seasons, shot 2-under-par 68 and holds a one-stroke lead over Wyndham Clark midway through the 123rd U.S. Open at the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club.

“The course was definitely firmer and more difficult today,” said Fowler who was tied for the first-round lead at 62. “The pins were tucked in some more difficult spots with a lot of slope, and I thought they were slower today, so I tried to make sure I hit my putts hard enough. It definitely was harder.

“It’s great to be playing the way I am after struggling the last three years, but I’ve known all along what I can do on the golf course and I’m doing it again. I struggled a bit at times today, but got things done and that’s what it’s all about out here.

“Overall, it’s been a great two days and I just have to keep it going.”

Fowler, from Murrieta in Southern California, collected the first of his eight birdies on holes one through three, but also had six bogeys in his 68 and recorded a 36-hole score of 10-under-par 130 to tie U.S. Open record.

Clark, who made four birdies and a bogey in his 67, said claiming his first PGA Tour victory last month in the Wells Fargo Championship gave him the confidence that the can compete at this level.

“(Winning) was big, to me, it felt like a major championship,” said Clark, who captured the 2016 Pacific 12 Conference Championship while playing at Oregon. “I just feel now like I can compete with the best players in the world, and I think of myself as one of them. I was building my confidence bit by bit, which is, of course, so vital in this game—or any profession.

“I think there were maybe five or six tees that were put back today, and then not only that, a lot of times they had a back tee, they had a back pin on top of that, So the course was playing pretty long.

“I was great to get the job done under those circumstances.”

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, a four-time major champion, made six birdies on the back nine in a 67 and is two shots behind in a tie for third with sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego, who tied Fowler for the first-round lead at 62 and followed that up with birdies on the last two holes for a 70.

Harris English had five birdies on the back nine in a 66 and is three down in solo fifth, while two-time major champion Dustin Johnson overcame a quadruple-bogey 8 on the second hole with five birdies in a 70 and is one more back in a tie for sixth with Min Woo Lee of South Korea, whose 65 that included six birdies and a lone bogey was the low score of the round.

Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler had two late birdies for a 68 and is five strokes behind in a tie for ninth with Sam Bennett, who had three birdies and a bogey in his 68, while ninth-ranked Cameron Smith of Australia, the 2022 Open champion, made five birdies in a 67 and is six shots back in solo 10th.

Fifth-ranked Viktor Hovland is tied for 19th after a 70, reigning PGA champion Brooks Koepka had two late birdies for a 69 and is tied for 30th, eighth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick, the defending champion, made a hole in one from 115 yards on the 15th hole in his 70 and is tied for 39th.

Second-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, the reigning Masters champion, made four bogeys on the back nine in a 73 but made the cut on the number in a tie for 49th that includes fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, who posted a second straight 71.

Tenth-ranked Jordan Spieth made three bogeys down the stretch to finish at 72-71—143 to miss the cut by one stroke, while seventh-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal finished at 68-76—144 to miss the weekend by four.

For complete results and third-round tee times, visit

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