Cameron Smith anxiously watches his tee shot at the 15th today – photo USGA Simon Bruty
Queensland’s Cameron Smith, playing in his 5th US Open Championship heads the Australasians into the weekend at Winged foot in New York, the 27 year old adding a second round of 73 to his opening 71 to be in a share of 28th place and eight shots from the 36 hole leader, Patrick Reed.
Smith was out in the morning field on day two but the conditions were no easier than those faced by those out later in the day, strong breezes buffeting the Winged Foot layout for much of the day.
After a wayward tee shot at the first had led to a bogey, Smith hit a stunning approach at the second to set up a birdie and despite a bogey at the 7th he was still only 1 over par for the day and 2 over for the tournament through 14 holes.
Bogeys at the 15th and 17th holes took some of the gloss off what might otherwise have been a very strong round but he is still well placed and heads those of his fellow Australians who made the cut into the final 36 holes.
Adam Scott plays his tee shot at the 3rd today – photo – Kohijiro Kino USGA
One shot behind Smith is Adam Scott, who overcame a horror start in which he bogeyed his first three holes to finish with a round of 74 to go with his opening 71 and at 5 over he is safely inside the cut line which fell at 6 over.
“It’s just very, very hard to get in a rhythm out there because if you’re just off the fairway, you’re just slashing and scrambling,” said Scott, describing the day.
“I did an okay job of it. I mean, I just got off to a slow start. It’s a hard start and a hard finish, and I got off to a bad start. I finished well, hung in there. I still like my chances for the weekend. I’ve got to play a great round tomorrow. If I shoot under par tomorrow, I’ll be right in the mix for Sunday.”
Jason Day bogeyed three of his first 5 holes and at that stage was in serious jeopardy of missing the weekend. He fought hard throughout his closing nine and when he birdied the 17th, he appeared safe. A wild drive at the last however would lead to a bogey and he has finished on the cutline at 6 over and ten from the lead.
Also at 6 over is US Open debutant Lucas Herbert who had the luxury of playing the opening 36 holes with fellow Australians, Matt Jones and Lukas Michel.
Herbert made a shaky start in his quest to be around for the weekend when he double bogeyed the par 3 10th (his first hole of the day) and when he would also double bogey the 10th hole of his round his chances appeared slim of making the cut.
He immediately birdied the next two holes however, the second of those from off the green at the 3rd hole of the golf course.
To have made his first US Open cut on such a demanding golf course in just his second appearance in the event is a reflection on how far the Victorian has progressed in 2020 including of course his win in Dubai in February.
New Zealander Danny Lee is tied with Scott at 5 over and in a share of 33rd place.
Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, Curtis Luck, Lukas Michel, Scott Hend and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox were others from down under although they will have the weekend off to ponder their performances.