Six of world’s top 10 golfers miss cut


June 17, 2017

Jason Day of Australia shakes the hand of Rory McIIroy of Northern Ireland after both finished the second round of the U.S. Open Championship on hole No. 9 on Friday afternoon at Erin Hills in the town of Erin. Both Day and McIIroy missed the cut.
John Ehlke/Daily News

TOWN OF ERIN — Jason Day, the winner of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, was confident and loose heading into this week’s 117th U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

“Yeah, to be honest, I said (Thursday) it’s the been the best preparation going into a major,” Day said. “I felt like, in my career, which is playing in majors and knowing what I needed to do to prep for a tournament such as this.”

When it came down to it, though, Day admitted his lack of execution cost him.

Day shot a 3-over-par 75 on Friday to follow up his 7-over 79 on Thursday to finish 36 holes at 10-over-par. He missed the cut by nine strokes.

“Yeah, I was in the hay too much over the last couple of days,” Day said.

“It’s pretty frustrating when I got here Friday, put a lot of work in, not a lot, but I tried to pace myself,” he added. “I did the work, looked at the golf course, made sure that I could actually and visualize the course. And I felt the most calm I have in a major in a long time this week. And just unfortunately this didn’t pan out.”

The USGA brands the U.S. Open as golf’s ultimate test. Several of the world’s best golfers agree after Friday’s second round.

Six of the top-10 golfers in the world rankings will not compete during the weekend’s final rounds. Among those includes world No. 1 and defending event champion Dustin Johnson.

“Yeah, the same thing as yesterday,” Johnson said. “I hit the ball better than yesterday. That’s for sure. Drove it very well, you know, hit a lot of good iron shots, just didn’t make any putts.”

So, for another year, Curtis Strange will remain the last golfer to repeat as U.S. Open champion (1988-89).

“You know, this is a golf course, that I really like this golf course,” Johnson said. “It sets up really well for me, especially if I’m driving it like I did today. I couldn’t have shot any higher. I couldn’t possibly shoot any higher than I did. I just struggled on the greens. It’s simple.”

Johnson shot 1-over Friday after shooting 3-over Thursday.

Also not in the field for the final two rounds are Day (No. 2 in the world), Rory McIlroy (No. 3), Henrik Stenson (No. 6), Alex Noren (No. 8) and Jon Rahm (No. 10).

McIlroy shot a 1-under 71 on Friday, but the damage was done Thursday with his 6-over 78.

“Yeah, we were,” Day said when asked if he and McIlroy were consoling each other on the course.

Stenson shot 3-over for the championship, Noren was 6-over and Rahm was 5-over.

NOTE: On Friday morning, Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, withdrew because of a back injury.