Texan duo Spi­eth and Reed lead US Open

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY GREG HEAKES

Ry­der Cup team­mates Pa­trick Reed and Jor­dan Spi­eth charged up the leader­board, but the Amer­i­can as­sault on Fri­day didn’t in­clude Tiger Woods who crashed out of the U.S. Open.

The two Texas na­tives were colead­ers af­ter 36 holes at the US$10 mil­lion tour­na­ment at the 7,695 foot Cham­bers Bay golf course, the long­est in ma­jor cham­pi­onship history.

The 24-year-old Reed had a 69 for a five-un­der to­tal of 135, join­ing reign­ing Mas­ters cham­pion Spi­eth, 21, who had a fine 67.

“Any­time I play with Jor­dan I en­joy it,” said Reed. “The main thing for me is to stay fo­cussed

“I am in a good po­si­tion and I hope­fully can have a good week­end and a chance to win.”

Overnight co-leader Dustin John­son was one stroke adrift with a 71 as he was tied with South Africa’s Branden Grace (67) who was the only non-Amer­i­can in the top four. U.S. golfers held eight of the top 11 po­si­tions on Fri­day.

Grouped on 137 were U.S. trio Tony Finau (68), Daniel Sum­mer­hays (67) and Ben Martin (70) and Joost Luiten of the Nether­lands (69).

The two young Amer­i­cans Spi­eth and Reed formed a suc­cess­ful Ry­der Cup pair­ing against the Euro­peans at Gle­nea­gles, Scot­land in late Septem­ber.

World num­ber two Spi­eth is once again prov­ing he can shine on the big­gest stage as he surged up the leader­board by mak­ing birdies on three of four holes be­gin­ning at No. 14.

Spi­eth, who posted a wire-to-wire vic­tory at Au­gusta in April, is seek­ing to be­come the first man to win the Mas­ters and U.S. Open in the same year since Woods in 2002.

“If you shoot in the 60s at a U.S. Open you are go­ing to be pleased,” Spi­eth said. “I will draw on my ex­pe­ri­ence at Au­gusta, but my pa­tience here has to be that much higher.

“At Au­gusta I was mak­ing ev­ery­thing. It would be nice if I could do that here. This course is go­ing to get tougher and tougher.”

There was some drama on the fi­nal hole of the day for Spi­eth’s three­some when play­ing part­ner Jason Day, of Aus­tralia, col­lapsed on the side of the fair­way af­ter suf­fer­ing a bout of ver­tigo.

The Queens­land na­tive was treated by sev­eral med­i­cal staff on the course for about 10 min­utes be­fore mus­ter­ing enough courage to fin­ish out his round de­spite be­ing in ob­vi­ous dis­com­fort as he made those fi­nal shots.

His man­ager Bud Martin said Day, who shot a 70, ex­pects to be well enough to re­sume his tour­na­ment on Satur­day.

Reed also climbed up the leader­board Fri­day as he briefly held the tour­na­ment lead, but a bo­gey at the last dropped him into a tie with Spi­eth.

Reed, who pro­claimed him­self as one of the “top five play­ers in the world” af­ter win­ning the WGCCadil­lac Cham­pi­onship in March of last year, would like to val­i­date that boast with his first ma­jor ti­tle at Cham­bers Bay.

Reed had a chance to hold onto the 36-hole lead but his 18-foot putt for par on 18 stopped on the edge of the cup for a tap in bo­gey.

John­son had three birdies on the front nine and ap­peared to be headed into the week­end with at least a share of the lead.

But the long-hit­ting Amer­i­can had a frus­trat­ing fin­ish with backto-back bo­geys on 17 and 18 to drop to a tie for third.

“When I got into trou­ble I felt I hit good shots and got my­self out and made some good up-and-downs,” said John­son, who is con­sid­ered one of the best play­ers who hasn’t won a ma­jor. “But I just didn’t hole the putts like I did yesterday.

Long­est Ma­jor in History

The USGA wanted a more dif­fi­cult sec­ond round af­ter 25 play­ers broke par on Thurs­day. So they ex­tended Cham­bers Bay to 7,695 feet, mak­ing it not only the long­est ever U.S. Open but also the long­est in ma­jor cham­pi­onship history.

The front nine alone was 4,020 feet. They also made the first hole a par-five in­stead of a par-four and al­tered 18 so that it be­came a tricky par four.

World num­ber one Rory McIl­roy and six-time U.S. Open run­ner-up Phil Mick­el­son both punched their tick­ets into the week­end.

McIl­roy was mak­ing no progress from the two over mark he started the day on un­til he ea­gled the par­four 12th.

But he took a dou­ble-bo­gey at the par-three 17th and set­tled for a sec­ond straight 72 and a four-over to­tal which got him into the week­end.

Woods wasn’t so lucky as he had the door slammed shut be­hind him Fri­day.

Woods added a 76 to his open­ing 80 and, at 16 over par, he was on his way home af­ter another dis­as­trous tour­na­ment, tied for 150th place.

Mick­el­son fired a four-over 74 to keep his bid for a ca­reer grand slam alive.

Other no­ta­bles miss­ing the cut were Rickie Fowler, de­fend­ing champ Martin Kaymer, Bubba Wat­son and 15-year-old am­a­teur Cole Ham­mer.

AP

Jor­dan Spi­eth hits out of a bunker on the 18th hole dur­ing the sec­ond round of the U.S. Open golf tour­na­ment at Cham­bers Bay on Fri­day, June 19.

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