In fact, the players exiting were the most noteworthy.
Still, Fowler wrapped up the day just one off the lead of the foursome of Paul Casey, Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka. He closed with a 67 at Augusta that got him into a tie for 11th at 1 under, but his game dropped off a bit from there. The 23-year-old Californian, whose mother is Taiwanese and father is German and French, had a pair of birdies on the day and shot a one-over 73.
"We had a lot of fun out there", said Niebrugge, from Mequon, Wisconsin. The other Johnson here, 2016 Open-winner Dustin, isn't.
Johnson, who captured last year's U.S. Open at Oakmont, birdied his first two holes on Friday but missed a 3-footer at the fourth hole and again struggled with the putter, shooting 73 to finish at 4-over 148. The rankings began in 1986 and this is the first time the top three players in the world have missed the cut in a major. "Everything was in good shape".
"With some incredible golf the next couple of days, you can make up a significant amount a strokes", he said.
"I think the greens are getting U.S. Open-like, but not as firm as they're going to get if we don't get any rain", Garcia said about the course that allowed a record number of sub-par scores in the first round after rain soaked the layout earlier in the week.
On a day with scoring more hard, Hadwin found his game to be a little off early in the round but he was able to grind out pars with great putting.
"I just hit a three-wood a touch left on 11, and I had to try and hit something out of the rough, and ended up in a tough spot behind the green", Fowler said. "If you hit the fairways, the scores are there".
Chez Reavie matched Matsuyama's 65 in round two to lead a group at four under. There will probably be more nerves, more excitement, there is a lot of golf to be played here.
With four birdies on his final six holes, McIlroy finished strong, but his 1-under 71 couldn't erase his opening 78 and he missed the cut by four shots.
"I thought 63 was the number". "I was a little anxious starting out yesterday, and it caught up to me".
South Korea's Kim Si-Woo shot a two-under-par 70 to move to five under while 22-year-old amateur Cameron Champ was alongside him after a three-under-par 69.
The weather forecast will play a vital role...
Day, however, said he felt ready to go before flaming out early. "I've never done this before".
Despite some uncharacteristically low scoring for U.S. Open standards, Koepka reminded everyone that players still had their difficulties. "But I played pretty well". "I have a tee time on Saturday, so you just kind of learn along the way to never really give up. I think the more rounds I can play, I'm hopefully going to get rid of all that stuff and hopefully stripe it down to what you saw the last six holes". "And I was proud I hung in there".
Casey made a snowman - a triple-bogey 8 on the par-5 14th - and still broke par with a 71.
Spieth made the turn at two under on the round, and his back nine was fairly uneventful until the par-four 15th.
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I made some nice pars and rolled in some putts. "So I kind of burned some steam off on the range and got it out of my system. He fired his second shot at the par-four 18th, his ninth hole of the day, from 175 yards out in the centre of the fairway.