Åberg one clear of pack after round 2 – US Open

Round 2

Ludvig Åberg tops a star-studded leaderboard heading into the weekend at the US Open, with Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy among the chasing pack at Pinehurst No 2.

The US Open debutant posted a one-under 69 on another tough day for scoring to move to five under, a shot clear of 2020 champion DeChambeau, overnight co-leader Patrick Cantlay and Belgian Thomas Detry.

McIlroy – chasing an elusive fifth major title and first since 2014 – sits two back despite following a bogey-free 65 with a second-round 72, leaving him tied-fifth alongside Tony Finau and Matthieu Pavon, while 2021 Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama carded a round-of-the-day 66 to get within three of the lead.

World No 1 Scottie Scheffler snuck into the weekend on the cut mark of five over despite carding the first major round without a birdie of his professional career, as 15-time major champion Tiger Woods missed the cut for a second successive major following a three-over 73.

None of the morning wave were able to improve on the five under total set on the opening day, although Detry did briefly get to six under until finishing a second-round 67 with two bogeys in his last four holes.

Detry set the initial clubhouse target alongside DeChambeau, who fired his approach at the last to tap-in range to move to four under, with McIlroy a further shot back after failing get up and down to save par on his final hole of a round that contained one birdie and three bogeys.

Cantlay sits just one stroke back.

“Overall I felt like I did a pretty good job at keeping some of the mistakes off the scorecard,” McIlroy said. “I wish I had converted a couple more of the chances. Wasn’t quite as good with the putter today but still overall in a great position going into the weekend.”

Åberg – one back after an opening-round 66 – made a fast start in the afternoon wave after holing from 30 feet at the second and taking advantage of the par-five fifth, as Cantlay pulled alongside him when he ended a run of pars by making a 20-foot birdie at the sixth.

Pavon also impressed with a birdie-birdie start but missed a five-foot chance at the fifth which would have made it a three-way tie at the top, before Cantlay’s double-bogey at the par-four eighth briefly put Åberg two clear.

The Swede never left top spot throughout the rest of the round despite also dropping a shot at the eighth, as Cantlay sandwiched a scrambled bogey at the 12th with two birdies to get back within one.

Åberg poured in from 20 feet at the 12th but slipped back to five under when he failed to get up and down from the sand to save par at the 16th, then two-putted his last two holes to set a clubhouse target that was not matched.

Cantlay lost his share of the lead with a dropped shot at the 16th, eventually signing for a second-round 71, while Pavon was also on five under alongside Åberg until a bogey-bogey finish.

McIlroy carded a two over par round but remains in contention.

“It’s hard, but it’s not supposed to be easy,” Åberg told Sky Sports. “It’s what we expect coming into a US Open, even though it’s my first one. I’ve had a lot of good discussions with my caddie Joe about course management and about trying to stay disciplined and patient. It’s not easy but I feel like we’ve done a great job of that so far.”

McIlroy was playing alongside Scheffler and reigning PGA champion Xander Schauffele, who is within four of the lead despite joining Scheffler in double-bogeying the par-five fifth, with just 15 players under par heading into the weekend.

Open champion Brian Harman is seven back after successive 71s and defending champion Wyndham Clark is in the group on four over that also contains Collin Morikawa, as Scheffler narrowly avoided missing his first cut since July 2022.

Scheffler, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, five-time major winner Brooks Koepka and Matt Fitzpatrick were among those to make the cut on the number, with Francesco Molinari also jumping to five over after finishing his round with a sensational hole-in-one at the par-three ninth.

Robert MacIntyre missed out by a shot following a second-round 76 and FedExCup champion Viktor Hovland also finished on six over, with Woods a further stroke behind after finding only one birdie on another frustrating Friday.

“Well, it’s one of those things where in order to win a golf tournament, you have to make the cut,” Woods said. “I can’t win the tournament from where I’m at, so it certainly is frustrating. I thought I played well enough to be up there in contention. It just didn’t work out.”

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