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Rose leads US Open midway through 2nd round as McIlroy and McDowell in the hunt

Rose fired a one-under par 70 today.

Justin Rose and Tiger Woods shake hands during the second round at Pebble Beach.
Justin Rose and Tiger Woods shake hands during the second round at Pebble Beach.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

Updated Jun 14th 2019, 11:54 PM

JUSTIN ROSE HELD a two-stroke lead midway through the second round of the US Open, firing a one-under par 70 to back up his record-equalling first-round 65 at Pebble Beach.

England’s Rose, who won the 2013 US Open at Merion, was ahead of a chasing pack including Louis Oosthuizen, Aaron Wise, Rory McIlroy and Gary Woodland.

Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka was three back after his second straight 69 for four-under 138.

Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry all began their second rounds impressively with the trio two-under for their day’s work. McIlroy moved to five-under after his front nine as he recovered from a bogey on his opening hole.

2010 champion McDowell had an eventful start with a pair of early bogeys followed by four successive birdies to take him to four-under.

Lowry, who began the day four-over, grabbed shots back with birdies on his second and fourth holes.

Koepka, trying to become just the second golfer to win three straight US Open titles, teed off on 10 and was even through nine holes with one birdie and one bogey. He put together back-to-back birdies at six and seven to inch up the leaderboard.

“I know you just need to be hanging around on the weekend,” said Koepka, who wasn’t dismayed at the number of putts that failed to drop in his round.

“As long as they’re good putts it’s fine,” he said. “They were coming off where I wanted them to. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. They might all fall.”

On a misty morning on the Monterey Peninsula, Rose opened with five straight pars before his first birdie of the day at the par-four 15th and he stretched his lead to three shots when he got up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker at the 18th.

After a putt to save par circled the cup and failed to drop at the first he stuck his approach to four feet for birdie at the second.

Rose said a mental error led to his other bogey of the day, after his tee shot sailed right and over the cliff at the fourth.

He was disappointed that he was unable to build momentum off his birdie at the second, but was pleased to close with two solid pars.

“Makes me feel like I at least got something out of the day,” Rose said. “I like my position, like the golf course, feel like I’m trending. I don’t feel like I’m cooking — some work to be done for me on the weekend for sure.”

- Woods stumbles late -

Rose, whose opening 65 matched Tiger Woods’ first-round in 2000 as the lowest rounds ever posted in a US Open at Pebble Beach, played alongside Woods – who finished with back-to-back bogeys in a one-over 72 that left him at even par for the tournament.

Woods had kept a clean card until then, although his only birdie of the day came at the 11th — his second hole of the day.

While birdies remained plentiful, the morning failed to produce the kind of barrage of low scores seen Thursday.

American Chesson Hadley had three birdies in his first five holes to reach six-under before a double-bogey at the 15th. He finished with a one-under 70 to join the group at four-under that also included Chez Reavie and Matt Kuchar.

Afternoon starters aiming to gain ground included four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who started the day three-under and parred the first two holes.

Phil Mickelson, seeking the elusive US Open title that would complete his career grand slam, was targeting a round in the 60s after a one-over 72 on Thursday.

“I’m playing well enough to do it,” said the 48-year-old, who won the PGA Tour’s National Pro-am at Pebble Beach in February.

© AFP 2019

> Follow the latest leaderboard from the second round of the US Open here

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