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English duo in four-way tie

16 June 2017 National Sport


Last Updated: 17/06/17 1:33am

Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood are part of a four-way tie for the lead on a congested leaderboard at the halfway stage of the US Open.

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and set the clubhouse target at seven under at Erin Hills, which was matched by Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman.

Overnight leader Rickie Fowler is one of three players a shot off the pace, with just eight strokes splitting those making the cut and the world’s top three players all making an early exit.

McIlroy posted a one-under 71 on Friday

McIlroy posted a one-under 71 on Friday

McIlroy posted a one-under 71 on Friday

and , while defending champion Dustin Johnson missed out after four bogeys on his back nine.

Beginning one off the pace, Casey birdied the 11th to move alongside Fowler but slipped down the leaderboard by following a blemish at the next with a triple-bogey at 14 and bogey at the 15th.

Casey dropped five shots in four holes along his first nine

Casey dropped five shots in four holes along his first nine

Casey dropped five shots in four holes along his first nine

Xander Schauffele briefly grabbed a share of the lead by birdieing the fifth but bogeyed the ninth, as Casey racked up five straight gains around the turn to rejoin the tie at the top.

Schauffele rolled in a 12-footer at the 12th but double-bogeyed the next while Fowler, one of the afternoon starters, got to eight under with a gain at the second.

Fowler missed a birdie putt at the last for a share of the lead

Fowler missed a birdie putt at the last for a share of the lead

Fowler missed a birdie putt at the last for a share of the lead

Koepka made a lightning start with four birdies in his first seven holes on the back nine, as Fowler picked up a shot at the seventh to put the pair all-square at nine under.

Fowler’s blemish free-start came to an abrupt halt with three straight bogeys from the 11th and a missed birdie putt from 10 feet at the par-five 14th, allowing Koepka to claim the outright advantage despite a dropped shot at the first.

The leaderboard bunched further when Koepka dropped a shot at the sixth to slip to seven under, with Harman birdieing the 16th to join Fleetwood and Casey in a four-way tie.

Fleetwood bounced back from a blemish at the 17th to convert a 10-foot birdie at the last to match Harman’s two-under 70, while Koepka failed to add a birdie along the closing stretch.

Fleetwood mixed four birdies with two bogeys

Fleetwood mixed four birdies with two bogeys

Fleetwood mixed four birdies with two bogeys

JB Holmes and Jamie Lovemark join Fowler on six under, with Hideki Matsuyama in the group a further stroke back following a round-of-the-day 65.


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