Fowler one ahead of chasing pack after second round – US Open

Round 2

Rickie Fowler came through a wild second round to take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the US Open, as Rory McIlroy charged into contention in Los Angeles.

Fowler followed Thursday’s record-breaking 62 by posting just four pars during a second-round 68 at Los Angeles Country Club, mixing eight birdies with six bogeys to move to 10 under and equal the US Open’s 36-hole scoring record.

The five-time PGA Tour winner tops the leaderboard ahead of Wyndham Clark, who set the initial clubhouse target after a three-under 67, while McIlroy is just two strokes back and in third spot as he chases a first major victory since 2014.

McIlroy birdied four of his last five holes to sign for a second-round 67 as Xander Schauffele – who joined Fowler in creating major history on the opening day – birdied his final two holes to salvage a level-par 70 and join the world No 3 in tied-third.

Schauffele and Fowler held a two-stroke cushion after the opening day, where they posted the lowest rounds in US Open history and matched the all-time record for a men’s major, but they started their second rounds a shot behind after Wyndham Clark had moved to nine under.

McIlroy recovered from a poor start to remain in contention.

Fowler got up and down from a greenside bunker to take advantage of the par-five first and start a run of three consecutive birdies, briefly taking him two ahead and moving him to 11 under quicker than any player has previously managed in US Open history.

The American hit a poor tee shot after a long wait at the fourth tee, resulting in a first bogey of his round, then cancelled out a 10-foot birdie at the sixth by three-putting from long range at the next.

Schauffele opened with five straight pars before undoing a five-foot birdie at the sixth by also three-putting the next, his first dropped shot of the week, with both players then picking up shots at the par-five eighth.

Fowler reached the turn two ahead but slipped back into a three-way tie when he posted back-to-back bogeys from the 10th with the world No 45’s rollercoaster round then seeing him drain a 20-foot birdie at the 12th and three-putt the 13th.

Schauffele slipped down the leaderboard with three consecutive bogeys from the 13th, while Fowler rolled in from eight feet at the 15th and responded to a dropped shot at the next by birdieing the 17th to restore a one-shot advantage.

Wyndham Clark’s round of 67 has him one behind Fowler.

Fowler then made a two-putt par at the last to remain at 10 under, with the 130 shots taken over the first two days matching Martin Kaymer’s record-low total set on his way to 2014 victory at Pinehurst.

“We’ll try and clean some of that up,” Fowler said. “The birdies are out there if you put yourself in the right position, but as you can see, bogeys are very easy to make!”

Schauffele responded to his back-nine wobble by birdieing his final two holes and getting back to eight under, with McIlroy – the 2011 US Open champion – also on that total after almost making a hole-in-one on his final hole of the day.

Harris English sits in fifth spot ahead of Min Woo Lee and Dustin Johnson, who recovered from a quadruple-bogey at the par-four second to salvage a level-par 70 to head into the weekend on six under, with world No 1 Scottie Scheffler five off the halfway lead after a two-under 68.

Defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick fired the third hole-in-one of the week at the par-three 15th on his way to a level-par 70, while world No 2 Jon Rahm snuck into the weekend on the cut mark after finishing a three-over 73 with four bogeys in his last eight holes.

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