Johnson leads the way with Stenson hovering
Dustin Johnson was virtually error-free as he opened up a four-shot lead at the halfway stage of the US Open but 2016 Champion Golfer of the Year Henrik Stenson is one of a number of players keeping the pressure on the American.
The current world number one bogeyed just one hole all-day, recording a 67 to finish four under par at Shinnecock Hills.
That left him as the only player under par heading into round three, with compatriots Scott Piercy and Charley Hoffman tied for second.
Stenson hanging in
A shot further back is Stenson, victorious at Royal Troon two years ago, and the Swede produced a battling display to stay in the hunt.
He struggled on the front nine, hitting a trio of bogeys on what was looking to be a tough day. However, a birdie on the 13th, and then an eagle on the 15th ensured he finished the day level par.
And while Stenson felt conditions had improved from day one, he admitted he still had some way to go to reach peak form.
“Even though I would say it’s playing easier than it was [on Thursday], it was still tough out there, and I was making some, couple of saves to be 3 over at the turn,” Stenson said.
“So things were a little rough, but I was just trying to keep my patience and hanging in there.”
Fleetwood on the charge
Course record-holder at Carnoustie, Tommy Fleetwood, was the best performer on the day, carding a four-under 66, matched only by defending champion Brooks Koepka.
That was enough to move Fleetwood level in fourth with Stenson, as well as Koepka, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter.
The 27-year-old his six birdies on his round, including three in his final five holes, to move right back into contention after a tough first day.
“It was survival at one point, but I just happened to get something going at the end. Overall. very, very good and I am happy to be off the course,” he said.
Big names miss the cut
Johnson is the only man under par after two rounds in New York state, and a number of star players found the conditions too tricky.
The projected cut of eight over left plenty of the world’s best golfers on the outside looking in, not least 2017 Champion Golfer Jordan Spieth (+9), as well as Tiger Woods (+10) and Rory McIlroy (+10) who said: “The first 27 holes were what killed me.”
One man who did make it however, was 2013 Champion Golfer of the Year Phil Mickelson as he bounced back from a tough first round.
Having carded a 77 on Thursday, he bounced back to record a 69 on day two, leaving him six over par, level with Louis Oosthuizen, Champion at St Andrews back in 2010 and the 2013 Champion Golfer of the Year Zach Johnson.