Gary Woodland shot a flawless round of 6-under 65 on Friday and will take a two-shot lead into the weekend at the 119th U.S. Open.
The 35-year old Kansas native finished his second day in Pebble Beach, California with 12 pars and six birdies, highlighted by a final-hole gain to reach 9-under par for the tournament.
“The one (birdie) on the last, that was just a bonus,” said Woodland. “Hit a beautiful drive. I was in the divot, a pretty deep divot.
“We were a little indecisive what we were going to do. We tried to take a little less club and hit it hard and play out to the safe to the right and was nice to knock it in.”
Round-one leader Justin Rose carded a 1-under 70 to secure solo second-place on 7-under par. The 38-year old Englishman will join Woodland in Saturday’s final pairing.
“There’s a long way to go. And yet I couldn’t think — here and St. Andrews would probably be the two most iconic places to lift a bit of silver,” said Rose, when asked what it would mean to win this weekend at Pebble Beach.
“I couldn’t think of anything better. But if you don’t mind I’m just going to wait a couple of days.”
One further back was South African Louis Oosthuizen, who finished with a colorful card, comprised of seven birdies, six bogeys and five pars.
“Seven birdies and six bogeys. I’m not a big fan of bogeys, I had a lot of bogeys on my scorecard,” said Oosthuizen. “But you miss these greens, it’s so difficult around the greens at the rough. And you can’t control the ball.
“You basically are guessing what it’s going to do. And all those loose iron shots, I had tough chips, and end up bogeying probably all of them.”
Following a bogey-double bogey stretch on Nos. 13 and 14, respectively, Rory McIlroy bounced back with two-consecutive birdies on holes 15 and 16 en route to 69 and a two-day score of 5-under par, good for T4 alongside Aaron Wise (70).
“I bounced back well. I didn’t hit a great tee shot off 15, but the bunker shot, the fairway bunker shot sort of turned everything around,” said McIlroy. “It was nice to see a shot like that and roll the putt for birdie.
“And then it was sort of a bonus holing from the back of 16, as well. I said to myself going into the 14th I want to get those shots back that I just lost, I want to get back to 3-under par. 15, 16, there are short irons in your hand, and you’ve got the 18th, as well.
“I didn’t quite get those three shots back, but 2-under for the last four after what happened, very pleased with. Really happy with my position going into the weekend.”
Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka was next at 4-under par following a second-straight round of 69. He was tied for sixth-place with four other players, including Matt Kuchar (69), Chez Reavie (70), Chesson Hadley (70), and Matt Wallace (68).
“Pretty pleased. I’d take 69 before I started,” said Koepka. “The wind was a little different than it was yesterday. So I’m pleased with it.
“I hit some good putts, some didn’t go in, struck it beautifully. And if I strike it like I did today and hole a few more putts, I should be just fine.”
At 3-under par was a star-laden logjam of eight more players tied for 11th place, including Sergio Garcia (70), Jon Rahm (70), Henrik Stenson (71), and Adam Scott (69), among others.
Francesco Molinari (72) and Dustin Johnson (69) headlined eight more players at 2-under par, one clear of a fivesome, including Jordan Spieth (69) and Phil Micklelson (69).
Tiger Woods shot a second-day 72 to fall back to even-par 142 and into a tie for 32nd.
2019 U.S. Open Championship
Video: Top-10 Shots on Day 2
The USGA has compiled the best shots from the second round of the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links, where Gary Woodland leads by two shots.
More U.S. Open videos, including highlights and interviews.
Leaderboard: Top 10
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd2)
1. Gary Woodland -9 (-6)
2. Justin Rose -7 (-1)
3. Louis Oosthuizen -6 (-1)
4. Rory McIlroy -5 (-2)
4. Aaron Wise -5 (E)
6. Brooks Koepka -4 (-2)
6. Matt Kuchar -4 (-2)
6. Chez Reavie -4 (-1)
6. Chesson Hadley -4 (-1)
6. Matt Wallace -4 (-3)
11th (-3): Henrik Stenson, Jon Rahm, Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott
19th (-2): Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Francesco Molinari
27th (-1): Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth,
32nd (E): Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama, Tiger Woods
45th (+1): Marc Leishman, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Kevin Kisner
57th (+2): Tyrrell Hatton, Rafael Carera Bello
MC (+4): Ian Poulter, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker,
Tracking World Top-10
01. Brooks Koepka (-4, T6)
02. Dustin Johnson (-2, T19)
03. Rory McIlroy (-5, T4)
04. Justin Rose (-7, 2)
05. Tiger Woods (E, T32)
06. Francesco Molinari (-2, T19)
07. Justin Thomas (+4, MC)
08. Patrick Cantlay (+2, T56)
09. Bryson DeChambeau (+1, T45)
10. Xander Schauffele (-3, T11)
People talk about this golf course, how iconic, especially any U.S. Open championship, do you ever think about you’d like to win here on the 18th hole?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I don’t think there’s a better place to win the U.S. Open. Pebble is probably — that finishing hole is the greatest hole in golf. It’s fun to play (indiscernible) things could happen on that hole.
But it’s — you know, if you have the chance to hoist the trophy here, it’s pretty special. Talked to Graeme about it a little bit. It’d probably be the coolest feeling you could have.
Saturday’s Final Pairings
2:01 pm: M. Wallace (-4), B. Koepka (-4)
2:12 pm: M. Kuchar (-4), C. Hadley (-4)
2:23 pm: C. Reavie (-4), R. McIlroy (-5)
2:34 pm: A. Wise (-5), L. Oosthuizen (-6)
2:45 pm: J. Rose (-7), G. Woodland (-9)