Woods blames putting for US Open misery

Kristopher Nichols
June 16, 2018

It is Johnson's unflappability - along with a game that won't quit - that would seem to separate him from such situations in the weekend to come. Rose said. "I enjoy the battle".

Americans Charley Hoffman (69) and Scott Piercy (71) head the chasing pack behind Johnson at level par.

"The conditions were a lot better today and I played well, the way I have been playing in decent conditions recently".

Woods is staring down the barrel of a missed cut at Shinnecock Hills having signed for a two-over-par 72 during the second round to fall to 10 over.

Woods began Friday knowing he needed a good round just to make the cut, and it looked like it could be coming when he spun a wedge to 2 feet at his opening hole (the par-4 10th) for a kick-in birdie.

Meanwhile, Johnson took a massive step towards a second US Open victory in three years as Ian Poulter's challenge imploded on an eventful second day. In the two major events for which he qualified last season-the British Open and the PGA Championship-he made the cut, and on the year finished with $2,098,346 in winnings, more than he'd earned since 2009.

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Surely, the 28-year-old can also reach back to this time last year, when he shot a total of 16-under at Erin Hills in Wisconsin and made many think the USGA was taking it too easy for the setup of their national championship. He recovered on the back nine, using four birdies to try to get under the cut line. "I hit some nice pitches from around the greens", said Johnson. I hit two bad putts on one and two, and for most of the day I just didn't putt well. And then you have to battle yourself to try to do it, because it's very hard. "I'm just going to keep playing my game". Poulter's world ranking left this year's trip to Shinnecock in no doubt, but just two months ago, he missed qualifying for the Masters for the second straight year. Spieth slowed down just long enough to recount what happened on No. 11, a devilish 159-yard par-3 often described as one of the world's most hard short holes.

Former US Open champion Johnson fired a brilliant 67 to climb to 4-under and he will take a four-shot cushion over Scott Piercy (71) and Charley Hoffman (69) into day three in NY.

They were at 141, along with Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose, each with a 70, and Poulter. The positive memories sprinkled along the Monterey Peninsula will do little to protect him next year from the tenacity of a Pebble Beach U.S. Open, where the sprayed shots and errant putts he authored this week would be punished with equal measure. "The pressure is at its highest, and it's just one of those tournaments that's very hard to play well and win".

The pair are among the most unflappable, refusing to be sidetracked by things outside their control, like ferocious rough and bumpy greens.

"It's tough out there, but I shouldn't make two doubles and a triple".

But with a razor-sharp short game, the three-time US PGA Tour victor said a nasty Shinnecock set-up would play into his hands.

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