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17 Junio 2017, 04:41 | Martinez Canez
More startling than the low scores was smoke rising from about a half-mile away when a commercial blimp, not affiliated with the tournament, crashed into a field and burst into flames.
Unfortunately for the four-time major victor he looked on course to be doing precisely that on Friday afternoon after struggling to an opening 78, which featured an eagle on the second, four bogeys and double bogeys on the 15th and 17th.
Fowler dropped to a share of fifth at six under, alongside compatriots Jamie Lovemark and JB Holmes (both 69).
Rather than stretching out the course on Friday, tournament officials used the last of the good weather to dry out the course as much as possible, and tuck pins in hard-to access spots. "So, it should be a fun weekend".
Just don't mention that to some of the best players in the world. He missed the cut at last year's PGA and withdrew from this year's Masters after falling down a staircase.
It was the first time since the rankings system was launched in April 1989 that the world's top three players have all failed to make the third round of a major.
In fact, you have to go down to 19th place to find a victor of a major, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer, at three under. "Everything was in good shape".
I feel like I'm playing good. Former US Open champion Ernie Els chose the 20th anniversary of his last victory in the tournament to remind fans that he is not quite ready to be put out to grass. I got out of position, but it's the attitude, it's the grit that matters at the end of the week.
The rounds of the day were turned in by Hideki Matsuyama and Chez Reavie, who equaled Fowler's 65 on Thursday.
The Northern Irishman had a one-under-par 71 in his second round on Friday but was five over par overall after a disastrous 78 in the first round.
"I thought 63 was the number".
"To be three under par with a chance on the weekend, I'm proud of that", said Garcia.
"I'm very excited and very happy with the score", the Japanese star said.
There is no telling what the weekend will bring - starting with the weather, which includes a possibility of thunderstorms that could delay play and make the greens soft again.
Of the four, Fleetwood - who was ranked 188th in the world rankings as recently as last August, but now up to 32nd - is the only one never to have won in the United States. "I've never done this before. I guess it's rare you get through a U.S. Open or any major without some kind of hiccup". "I'm enjoying it right now". I think the more rounds I can play, I'm hopefully going to get rid of all that stuff and hopefully strip it down to what you saw the last six holes. "And I was proud I hung in there".
While Fowler got off to a soaring start, Dustin Johnson, the No. 1-ranked player in the world and defending U.S. Open champion, struggled with a 3-over-par 75 and is tied for 102nd.
"I've shown what can happen with one bad swing". You could see somebody with an unbelievable round come from five plus to win the tournament, if what's projected weather-wise is still there. That left only four of the top 12 in the world to play the weekend.
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