June 17 (UPI) — Two-time major winner Collin Morikawa and Joel Dahmen were tied atop the leaderboard after the second round of the U.S. Open on Friday at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
Morikawa matched the low score of the tournament with a 4-under 66 for a share of the lead with Dahmen, who carded four birdies and two bogeys for a 2-under 68. Both players were at 5-under par after 36 holes.
“It’s the U.S. Open. No one has taken it deep so far and kind of run away,” Morikawa said. “The last few days is a huge confidence booster for me heading into this weekend, and hopefully we can kind of make some separation, somehow.”
Defending U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm stayed in contention with an eagle on the par-5 14th and a series of critical par putts. He had a 67 in the second round and was among the five-man group sitting just one shot back of the lead.
That group also included Rory McIlroy, who is coming off a win at the Canadian Open. McIlroy had a double bogey on the third hole and a bogey on the sixth, but he hit his stride on the back nine with three birdies over his final seven holes for a 69.
Beau Hossler (67), Aaron Wise (68) and Hayden Buckley (68) joined McIlroy and Rahm at 4-under par after two rounds of play.
“After 36 holes in a major championship, that’s all you want to do is put yourself right in the mix going into the weekend,” McIlroy said. “For a little part of the day there, it seemed like I was going to be a few more behind. But I dug deep and played the last eight holes really, really well.”
Scottie Scheffler, the top-ranked player in the world, shot a second-round 67 and was among five players sitting two shots behind at 3-under par.
Phil Mickelson, meanwhile, failed to make the cut at Brookline after following up his first-round 78 with a 73.
The 52-year-old Mickelson spent four months away from competitive golf over his controversial remarks about the PGA Tour and the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series. He ended up joining the rival circuit and returned to competition last week.
The U.S. Open proved to be a tougher test for Mickelson, who struggled on the greens. Amid his suspension from PGA Tour events, his next stop is Oregon next month for another LIV Golf tournament.
Sergio Garcia, Sungjae Im, Kevin Na and Tony Finau also missed the cut line at 3-over par.
The third round of the 122nd U.S. Open is set to begin at 9:49 a.m. EDT Saturday.