|US Open second-round leaderboard|
|-9 G Woodland (US); -7 J Rose (Eng); -6 L Oosthuizen (SA); -5 A Wise (US), R McIlroy (NI)|
|Selected others: -4 B Koepka (US), M Wallace (Eng); -3 H Stenson (Swe), A Scott (Aus), G McDowell (NI), S Garcia (Spa); -2 F Molinari (Ita) D Johnson (US); -1 J Spieth (US);P Mickelson (US); Level T Woods (US);+2 T Fleetwood (Eng) T Hatton (Eng)|
England’s Justin Rose is two shots behind halfway leader Gary Woodland at the 119th US Open at Pebble Beach.
Overnight leader Rose carded a one-under 70 in round two to move to seven under, while American Woodland shot a bogey-free 65 to reach nine under.
Rory McIlroy’s 69 lifted him to five under, one ahead of Brooks Koepka, who is chasing a third successive title.
South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen is in third on six under after a topsy-turvy 70, while Tiger Woods is level par.
Woods, who ended an 11-year major drought by winning his 15th at the Masters in April, fell away with successive bogeys on the last two holes.
Asked afterwards if he was “steaming”, Woods said: “Yeah, I am. Not a very good finish. I’m a little hot right now. I just signed my card about a minute ago, so I need a little time to cool down a little bit.”
However, he added: “Right now I’m still in the ball game.”
Fellow American Aaron Wise concluded his round with consecutive birdies to post a level-par 71 to sit alongside McIlroy.
England’s Matt Wallace, who failed to make the cut in 2017 and 2018, had a three-under 68 to improve to four under for the tournament.
Welsh golfer, Rhys Enoch produced the second best round of the day as he posted a five under 66, to make the cut at two over par.
‘I’m in the perfect position’ – Rose
Overnight leader Rose, who started on the back nine, produced an exemplary display to the turn, collecting birdies at the 15th and 18th to stretch his lead to three strokes.
But as the wind strengthened, a first bogey of the day arrived for the 38-year-old on the first.
Rose whose only major triumph came six years ago at the Merion club, Pennsylvania, brushed that off though, hitting a glorious seven-iron shot to within a few feet of the pin at the second, to respond with a birdie.
However, a bogey at the fifth – where he complained of a spectator using a camera as he pushed his tee shot off the cliff edge to the right – signalled a shift of approach down the stretch.
Any errors were followed by good recovery shots as he scrambled to finish with five pars and post his first back-to-back below-par scores in 42 rounds at the US Open.
“I’m happy with it,” Rose told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I don’t expect it to lead but it’s going to be right there but I’m in the perfect position going into the weekend.
“If you miss the fairway off the tee you’ve basically lost half a shot so the goal for the rest of the hole is how do you get that half a shot back and it normally has to come with a great short game shot or great putt.
“The fact my short game feels sharp is great. It takes a bit of pressure off the long game.”
McIlroy bounces back to stay in the hunt
After starting the day two shots off the pace, four-time major winner McIlroy enjoyed a drama-free front nine, as he picked up birdies at the fourth and seventh holes after executing sublime iron shots.
A precision putt on the 11th then took him into a tie for second at six under before his round briefly started to unravel.
A bogey at the 13th preceded a double bogey at the 14th, where he misjudged both his initial approach into the green – which rolled back off the putting surface – and to compound matters, then feathered his next shot into a greenside bunker.
But he bounced back in magnificent fashion with a piercing nine-iron into the green at the 15th which laid the platform for a birdie.
That was followed by a sensational putt from the fringe at the back of the 16th green.
“I probably could have been a little better, the middle of the back nine ruined things a bit, but to bounce back with two birdies was huge,” McIlroy told Sky Sports.
“I played a pretty much perfect round of golf until the 13th and was just picking off birdies when I could. To shoot two rounds in the 60s and get myself in position going into the weekend is very pleasing.”
Woodland leads the US charge
The 35-year-old from Kansas, who has won three PGA Tour titles since turning professional in 2007, capped an impressive display with a monstrous 50-foot putt at the 18th to register his sixth birdie of the day.
It ensured the world number 25 leads a major after 36 holes for only the second time in his career, after accomplishing the same feat at the 2018 US PGA Championship, where he finished joint sixth.
In fact, Woodland has yet to convert any of six tournament leads at halfway into victories on Sunday.
Koepka, who started his round on the 10th, had an unspectacular round with three birdies and just one bogey to remain firmly in contention as he chases a fifth major title in his last nine starts.
“I’m good at this patient game, I know you just need to be hanging around on the weekend,” he said. “I have a chance. If I can putt the way I did on Thursday and hit it like I did on Friday, it’s a good combination.”
Matt Kuchar had an eagle-three at the 18th to join Koepka on four under, alongside fellow Americans Chez Reavie and Chesson Hadley.
However, Rickie Fowler’s quest to break his major duck, which began in fine fashion with a five-under 66 in round one, collapsed on Friday. The 30-year-old had five bogeys and a double bogey in a six-over 77 to fall off the pace.
McDowell in, Poulter out
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, who won this tournament the last time it was played at Pebble Beach in 2010, produced a hot streak on the greens as he made five birdies in seven holes before stalling on the back nine.
McDowell briefly reached five under for the championship but bogeys at the 11th and 14th holes saw him slip down the leaderboard.
Englishmen, Matt Fitzpatrick, Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrell Hatton all made the cut but Lee Slattery missed out by a stroke after carding a double bogey seven on his final hole.
Despite making five birdies, England’s Ian Poulter missed the cut for the third time in his last five majors after finishing on four over par.
The 43-year-old’s hopes of making the weekend were torpedoed by a quadruple-bogey eight on the third hole.