Top NewsScotty Scheffler is in danger of missing the US...

Scotty Scheffler is in danger of missing the US Open cut

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PINEHURST, NC — The solid and formal US Open course crowns champions, yes, but it also has a way of bringing down giants. After all, Arnold Palmer missed the cut eight times. Jack Nicklaus nine times. and Tiger Woods with four.

So never mind that Scottie Scheffler entered this year’s tournament as the heavy favorite and was the kind of heater the game hadn’t seen since Woods’ peak; Nothing is a given at the US Open. The world’s top-ranked golfer was reduced to the world’s most frustrated at Pinehurst No. 2 on Friday morning.

He wasted chances, struggled with his putter and got lost at times. The most unfit player on the planet at one point flipped his putter in the air in frustration, turning his back as it slid down the 15th green.

With two bogeys and a double bogey, Scheffler posted a 74 in Friday’s second round, leaving him at 5 over through 36 holes and, shockingly, in danger of missing the cut. He will have to watch the course later in the afternoon to see if his score is good enough for tee time on a Saturday. It’s an unfamiliar position for Scheffler, who hasn’t missed the cut since August 2022 and finished outside the top 10 once in his last 16 starts.

“I didn’t think 5 over was going to get me into the weekend. But I’m proud of how I fought today,” Scheffler said. “I gave myself a good chance. I actually felt like I did a great job yesterday. I couldn’t get the puddings down today. This golf course can be unpredictable at times and it probably got the best of me the last couple of days. I’ll sit and think about where we’ve been going for the past few days and figure it out.

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He shot a 90 in the clubhouse after playing a lot of golf on a scorching Friday afternoon when the temperature was expected to top 90 degrees. The top 60 players (plus dice) after 36 rounds make the cut at the US Open. DataGolf, an analytics site, calculated that 4 over par was the most favored cut line when Scheffler left the course, however, according to the site, the odds later changed to more than 5.

Thursday’s opening round saw a pair of scintillating 65s – Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay – certainly played hard on Friday morning. Hideki Matsuyama returned in the morning round, posting a 66 that put him at 2 under for the tournament, while 31-year-old Belgian Thomas Dedry shot a 67 that put him at 4 under for the tournament lead. Bryson DeChambeau shot a 69 that tied him for 4th, good enough to put him among the leaders heading into Saturday.

Meanwhile, McIlroy shot a 72 to fall to 3 under for the tournament. Looking for his first major championship since 2014, when he won both the British Open and the PGA Championship, he is poised to enter the weekend near the top of the leaderboard.

McIlroy and others hit the clubhouse from the morning tide, curious how the conditions and rising temperatures would treat some of the afternoon players, including Cantlay, who was looking for his first major title; Sweden’s Ludwig Aberg, who shot a 66 on Thursday, and France’s Mathieu Pavon, who opened the tournament with a 67

Scheffler had an early tee time Friday, starting with McIlroy and Xander Schauffele on the back nine, looking for a hot start after Thursday’s 71 to put him in the weekend hunt. But he missed a few birdie putts early and got frustrated before the return.

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“I hit it really well. I couldn’t get a putt to fall early,” he said.

A poor chip on No. 15 sent the pin past the edge of the green. Scheffler missed a 17-foot par putt and uncharacteristically flipped his putter into the air, turning his back to the green in disgust.

The greens were particularly fast on Friday morning and every hole felt like a new adventure. On the tee box at the par-3 17th, Scheffler’s ball was still in the air and he muttered to himself, “Maybe the worst golf shot I’ve ever seen.” His ball landed to the left of a bunker and he had to chip onto the sand. But he missed a 12-foot par putt, carding a second bogey that left him at 3 over — his worst score in any round this year.

He never made a birdie that day, the first time he failed to do so in a major round. On the 18th tee box, the 27-year-old Texan slammed his driver’s head into the ground and threw his tee in frustration. He drove the club up the fairway, appearing to choke at times.

Then on the par-5 fifth hole, Scheffler’s round went from bad to nightmares. His chip from the sand and wiregrass to the left of the green failed to clear a hill and rolled right under his feet. His next chip flew 54 feet from the pin and the green. Another chip stopped at 15 feet, and after two putts, Scheffler had a double bogey that featured an area he wasn’t used to, skirting the tee line.

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“You have to hit good shots around this place. “The golf course is challenging,” he said. “I think it’s fun to play personally, but yeah, it’s definitely a grind.”

Scheffler hasn’t missed a major since the 2022 PGA Championship. He has finished in the top-5 at the past two US Opens and finished eighth at last month’s PGA Championship after winning his second Masters in April.

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