The best moments from the second round of the 2024 US Open

The 124th US Open continues on Friday with Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy sharing the lead at No. 2 Pinehurst.

Only 15 players shot sub-par rounds on Thursday, highlighting the difficulty of the course.

Ludwig Aberg, Mathieu Pavon and 2020 US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau maintain the remaining top five spots on the leaderboard under Cantlay and McIlroy.

Below are highlights from the second round of the 2024 tournament in North Carolina.

Detri stays hot

Thomas Detri continues to work his way to the top of the leaderboard. After making three birdies on the first nine holes, Detri birdied it to 3 feet on No. 1 (he started on the back nine) and made an easy birdie before hitting a 22-foot putt on the third hole. He tied with Patrick Cantlay at five after starting the day at one. – Paolo Ugetti

Bairstow turns it around

Talk about transformation. England’s Sam Bairstow shot a 14-over 84 on Thursday in his first round at the US Open. A day later, he carded a 3-under 67, an 11-shot improvement and the club’s best round yet. On Thursday, Bairstow had seven bogeys, a double bogey and a triple bogey. On Friday, he had five birdies and two bogeys. The best improvement from first round to second round at a US Open is 19 shots, accomplished by four players, the last of whom was Earl Puckett in 1965 (93-74). –Mark Schlabach

Problem for world number 1

If Scottie Scheffler doesn’t turn things around and cruise to victory on the final three holes of the second round, he’ll join Greg Norman (1997, Congress), Tiger Woods (2006, Wingfoot), Luke Donald (2012, Olympic Club) and Dustin Johnson (2017, Erin Hills) as the only No. 1-ranked players in the world to miss the US Open, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Stats expert Justin Ray of Twenty First Group Marked with an X That Scheffler has never had a birdie-free round in a major as a pro. –Schlbach

Chaos at No. 5

When three of the best players in the world play a par-5, you usually expect a birdie or two, and maybe an eagle. At worst, you expect equality. Not at Pinehurst No. 2, and certainly not on the par-5 fifth hole, where today’s pin site is all the way to the left. The trio of Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele decided to attack said pin with their approach shots.

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None of them carried the green, and they all watched in horror as their balls trickled down the steep left slope into the local sand area below. It’s one of the worst places you can be on this golf course, and it shows. Scheffler’s and Schauffele’s chips were back on their feet, and McIlroy learned from their mistakes and sent it wide of the pin and off the green on the right side. McIlroy was able to get up and down par, which may have been his best form of the day, but Scheufele and Scheffler suffered a much worse fate and came away with double bogeys. Note to yourself – and to everyone in this field – do not turn left on #5. — Ogetti

March from Hovland

Give reigning FedEx Cup champion Viktor Hovland credit for not mailing it. After posting an 8-over 78 in the first round, Hovland opened the second round with a birdie on No. 1. Then a double bogey on the eighth put him down. To 9 more. Hovland finally put things together with four birdies in a five-hole stretch to reach 5, giving himself a chance to make the cut. He made putts of 16 feet and 8 feet on Nos. 9 and 10, respectively, then hit his putts to 4 feet on 12 and 2½ feet on 13. –Schlbach

Zand3r see3l3

Talk about throwing 3s. PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele, after making a pair of bogeys on his first two holes on the back nine, carded seven par 3s in the first 13 holes of the second round. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Hunter Mahan recorded the most 3s in a single round at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 with nine in 2014. Mahan’s round included five bogeys and a double bogey, which caused him to miss the cut. Schauffele is in no danger of doing so – he is 3 under and has five holes to play. Scheufele has hit 9 of 13 fairways so far and leads the field in strokes gained: approach (3.08) per round. –Schlbach

Straka takes a break

Pinehurst No. 2 hit a lot of shots from the best golfers in the world in the second round of the US Open. She finally returns the couple to Sepp Straka. The University of Georgia graduate caught a terrible break when his approach on the par-4 third hole bounced off the pin and settled into a bunker. He ended up making triple bogey on the 7th.

In the par-3 ninth round, Straka got two of those back when he hit a smash from 194 yards. This was the first hole of the tournament. It is 2 on the turn. –Schlbach

Xander is running

And here comes Xander Scheufele. After starting his round with back-to-back bogeys, moving him into second place in the tournament, the 2024 PGA Championship winner bent down and made three birdies in six holes, including a dart that stopped two feet short on the 18th hole. Schauffele hasn’t had his best yet, but he has been struggling on a tough golf course. He heads into the second nine of the day in great shape. — Ogetti

Tough day for Scotty

It was another frustrating day for world No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler. He started from the back and birdied bogey on both par 3 holes. On the 15th, he missed the green and couldn’t putt a 17½-foot putt for par. On the 17th, he hit his tee shot into a left greenside bunker and missed by 9 feet. He was 2nd in the round at the turn and 3rd in the tournament. Schaeffler’s frustration was starting to show. After narrowly missing a birdie putt on No. 16, he threw his putter in the air. When his shot on No. 18 went left, he slammed his driver into the ground and threw off his jersey. –Schlbach

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Surprise in a second

Here comes the Belgian Thomas Detri. The former University of Illinois star moved into a tie for second at 4 under after making three straight birdies at Nos. 11-13. After starting on the back nine and tied for 10th, Detri drained 17½ feet on 11, 13 feet on 12 and 16½ feet on 13. Detri was one of the best amateur players in the world but is still seeking his first professional win on the PGA Tour Or the DP World Tour. His best US Open finish was a tie for 49th at Winged Foot in 2020. –Schlbach

Turn back the clock

German Martin Kaymer, who escaped with an eight-stroke victory in the last US Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014, is back in the mix after a decade. Kaymer got two under with an 11-foot birdie putt on the par-4 13th, then put it right back with a bogey on the 14th. He’s at 1 under par. If Kaymer, the LIV Golf League leader, can somehow win again this week, it will be the third-longest stretch between U.S. Open victories. Julius Burroughs (1952-1963) and Hale Irwin (1979-1990) waited 11 years between their victories. –Schlbach

McIlroy saves the equaliser

For the second day in a row, McIlroy gave the Pinehurst crowd something to cheer about with another pass off the green. After McIlroy hit his approach shot on the par-3 17th just short of the pin, his shot went past the hole and off the green and into the short grass. A frustrated McIlroy asked for it to stop – to no avail – and then proceeded to save the ball with his wedge. No bat needed. McIlroy, who started on the 10th hole on Friday, finished with a 2-under lead for the day and 3 under for the tournament. — Ogetti

Rory struggles early

They are off and running in the second round of the US Open at Pinehurst No. 2. McIlroy, who started Friday as co-leader with Patrick Cantlay, did not card a par 5 in the first round while posting a bogey-free 5-under 65. Starting Friday Ninth, McIlroy has already scored twice. He missed a 12-foot birdie attempt and settled for par on the 15th. On round 4 of the 11th, his putt rolled off the green. He went over the hole by about 5 feet and missed the par putt coming back. He is under 4, one stroke behind Cantlay. — Schlabach

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