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Rickie Fowler leads the US Open 2023, but Rory McIlroy comes into contention after hitting a hole-in-one.

A new high mark Rickie Fowler leads the 123rd US Open midway, but Rory McIlroy is closing in.

Eight birdies pushed Fowler to 10 under par and a one-shot lead over Wyndham Clark, with McIlroy a shot back in third with Xander Schauffele.

Defending winner Matthew Fitzpatrick hit a hole-in-one, while Dustin Johnson shot a level-par 70 and is four shots down on six under.

Jon Rahm is enraged after making the cut at the prestigious Los Angeles Country Club.

The world number two snarled his way through the Californian course, posting four of his six bogeys on the back nine.

The Spaniard nearly shattered a wedge as his emotions got the best of him before signing for a three-over 73 to finish two over par.

After a day of record scoring on Thursday, many expected tournament organizers to toughen up the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club, but there were still plenty of birdies to be found on Friday, including the event’s third hole-in-one.

Fowler’s comeback continues with another birdie flurry.
Fowler has put on a furious attacking display for a player who failed to qualify for the US Open last year after falling to 173rd in the world rankings.

The 34-year-old is hunting his first major title and, far from relaxing on his US Open record round of 62 on Thursday, came out firing again with three consecutive birdies, becoming the fastest player in this event to reach 10 under par.

Fowler carded six bogeys but eight birdies in a rollercoaster round with only four pars, taking his total to a championship record 18 in his first two rounds, while his 36-hole score of 130 tied Germany’s 2014 champion Martin Kaymer for the lowest in US Open history.

“I’m in the lead, but we’re only halfway there,” the American explained. “Having the lead is nice, but it means nothing right now.”

“I’m looking forward to continuing to challenge myself and going out there and trying to execute as best as I can.”

Schauffele, who tied Fowler’s 62 on Thursday, did not provide the same fireworks on Friday, but he closed with two birdies after three consecutive bogeys to sign for a level-par 70 and join McIlroy on eight under.

The reigning Olympic champion will be in the same group as McIlroy on Saturday at 23:39 BST.

Scottie Scheffler, the world number one, is not far behind on five under after a 68, with Open winner Cameron Smith rounding out the top ten on four under following a 67.

Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland are both one under par, while Brooks Koepka, who won the US PGA Championship last month, is even par.

McIlroy launches a back-nine assault
Teeing off on the 10th in the early wave, things did not go well for McIlroy in his first nine holes, and he was in danger of dropping out with three bogeys and a single birdie, but the response was emphatic.

Six birdies followed, four in his final five holes, including a hole-in-one at the par-three ninth, in contrast to his bogey finish in the first round.

“It was a great way to finish the round,” McIlroy said, according to NBC. “It felt good to finish the round strong and put myself right in the mix for the weekend.”

Dustin Johnson, like McIlroy, is in contention for a second US Open victory, despite a horrific start on the par-four second. The American worked hard to deliver a competitive round and demonstrate his title credentials.

“Making a quad on number two definitely didn’t get the day started off how I envisioned it,” Johnson said.

“However, to battle back and still be right in the mix heading into the weekend, I’m very proud of how I came back and finished the round.”

Johnson was joined on six under par by Australian Min Woo Lee, who shot the day’s low round, a five-under 65.

American Clark set the pace for the early starters, carding a round of 67 with just one bogey to reach nine under after some shaky putting on the greens.

The 29-year-old earned his first PGA Tour title last month, and this is a significant US Open result for him after missing the cut in his previous two visits.

Big names miss the cut, including Fitzpatrick’s first ace.
Although he was mainly dissatisfied with his play, particularly from the tee, Sheffield’s Fitzpatrick had a memorable moment on the short 15th, which he only realized he had aced thanks to the crowd’s reaction.

“It was so exciting and my first ever professional hole-in-one,” said the 28-year-old from Sheffield, who finished the day one over par with a level-par 70.

“I knew it had a good chance of going close as soon as I hit it.” “After all the high fiving, my hand was a little sore.”

Fitzpatrick qualified on one over with Tyrrell Hatton, Patrick Reed, and Sergio Garcia, while Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry, and Tommy Fleetwood qualified on two over.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut on his 53rd birthday, seemingly doomed to miss out on the one major that has eluded him, while Jordan Spieth was another big name to fall out on three over.

Justin Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, is also leaving after letting his round slip away with two late bogeys, finishing at four over.

Meanwhile, two-time major champion Justin Thomas finished on 14 over after a nightmarish 11-over round of 81.


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