It’s been a tale of two rounds at the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. On Thursday, twenty-one players broke par, including Justin Thomas, who cruised to a five-under 65. Your grandfather’s U.S. Open, this was not.
But on Friday, the iconic A.W. Tillinghast-designed course fought back, as did mother nature. Just three players—Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama and Bubba Watson—shot under-par rounds. Only six have under-par, 36-hole totals heading into the weekend.
Leading the way is Patrick Reed, who grinded out an even-par 70 in Friday’s brutally difficult second round. The 2018 Masters champion needed all of his short-game heroics, as he hit just 5 of 14 fairways and only half of his greens in regulation. Is that type of play sustainable on the weekend of a U.S. Open? Reed is going to find out.
On Saturday he’ll play alongside DeChambeau, who shot a wild 68 on Friday that included five birdies, five bogeys and one eagle on his final hole of the day, the par-5 ninth. DeChambeau is one back of Reed at three under. They will tee off in the final pairing at 2:25 p.m. ET.
In front of them will be Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello and Harris English, who are tied for third at two under. Justin Thomas is also at two under, which puts him in the third-to-last group off with Jason Kokrak at 2:03 p.m. Before all those fireworks get started, we’ll keep you updated on any important early-round action in our live blog below.
11:50 a.m.: Noren saves his par at the 11th, and now goes into the gauntlet that is 12, 13, 14 and, well, the rest of the back nine. Good luck! If he’s somehow able to eek out a 69, or even a 70, a four or five over total after 54 holes might not look all that bad by the end of the day.
11:45 a.m.: Folks, it is brutal out there. Just two players on the course are under par, and with the way it’s going, that likely won’t last much longer. Alex Noren, who is still one under on his around, has about eight feet left for par at the 11th. Amateur John Pak, the only amateur to make the cut, just made birdie at the second to get to one under on the day, four over for the week. But he just missed the green at the third.
11:02 a.m.: We’re over three hours away from the leaders teeing off, but there are 22 players already on the course. The best round belongs to Sweden’s Alex Noren, who opened his third round with five straight pars and then made back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh holes. At the par-4 eighth, where everybody tends to give one back, Noren just missed a five-footer for par. Bit of a momentum-killer, though he can get that stroke back at the par-5 ninth. The 10-time Euro Tour winner is now one under on the day, five over for the championship.