After two rounds of play at Torrey Pines South Course, Richard Bland and Russell Henley will enter the weekend at the U.S. Open with a share of the lead at 5-under 137.
The surprising lead pair were one clear of Louis Oosthuizen (71) and Matthew Wolff (68), and two in front of Bubba Watson (67) and Jon Rahm (70).
Bland produced a 4-under 67, three better than Henley (70). The 48-year Englishman, who claimed his maiden win last month at the British Masters, is playing in just his fourth career major.
“I knew it was pretty good,” said Bland, when asked about his form.
“I was coming off a couple of good results, a win and a third in Europe. I was feeling pretty good about my game. I’ve been driving the ball well for five, six weeks now, which is the cornerstone if you’re going to put a fight up for a U.S. Open.
“When I saw this place on Monday, I kind of — yeah, it kind of set up to my eye. There’s not too many sort of doglegs. It’s all there just straight in front of me, and that’s the kind of golf course I like. There’s nothing kind of jumping out and grabbing you or anything like that.
“When I saw the course Monday, yeah, you know what, I thought, I can play around here.”
Kevin Streelman (69), Mackenzie Hughes (67), and Xander Schauffele (71) were T7 on 2 under.
One further back was the trio of Scottie Scheffler (69), Guido Migliozzi (70), and Patrick Rodgers (71), who rounded out the top-10 on 1 under.
Justin Thomas birdied two of his last three holes en route to a 69. He was T14 on even-par 142, alongside Collin Morikawa (67), Brooks Koepka (73) and Bryson DeChambeau (69), among others.
Rory McIlroy (73) headlined a group of 10 more players tied for 21st on 1-over par 143, one clear of Dustin Johnson (73) and Phil Mickelson, who chased a first-round 75 with a 69.
2021 U.S. Open
Round-2 Leaderboard: Top 10
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 2)
1. Richard Bland -5 (-4)
1. Russell Henley -5 (-1)
3. Louis Oosthuizen -4 (E)
3. Matthew Wolff -4 (-3)
5. Bubba Watson -3 (-1)
5. Jon Rahm -3 (-1)
7. Kevin Streelman -2 (-2)
7. Mackenzie Hughes -2 (-4)
7. Xander Schauffele -2 (E)
10. Scottie Scheffler -1 (-2)
10. Guido Migliozzi -1 (-1)
10. Patrick Rodgers -1 (E)
Developing more to come…