Rickie Fowler makes three straight bogeys, falls out of US Open lead

Rickie Fowler makes three straight bogeys, falls out of US Open lead

Rickie Fowler makes three straight bogeys, falls out of US Open lead

He birdied four of his last six holes - he missed two birdie putts of 10 feet and two-putted for birdie on the par-5 seventh - to rally for a 71.

Day, who had made the cut at every major since the 2012 PGA Championship, followed up his opening round 79 with a 75, leaving the Australian anchored near the bottom of the leaderboard at 10-over.

McIlroy missed the cut for a second consecutive U.S. Open.

Matsuyama will be the top-ranked player at Erin Hills over the next two days after Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day all failed to make the cut. It was the first time since the official world rankings began in 1986 that the top three all missed the cut in a major.

Fowler leads by one shot from England's Paul Casey and lowly-ranked American Xander Schauffele. "I'm not saying that this is the week or isn't the week, but I like the way this golf course suits me and we're off to a good start". The cut for the top 60 and ties was at 1-over 145, tying a U.S. Open record set in 1990 at Medinah.

With Johnson, McIlroy and Day misfiring, it was left to a clutch of unheralded players to dominate the upper reaches of the leaderboard.

Of the four, Fleetwood - who was ranked 188th in the world rankings as recently as last August, but now up to 32nd - is the only one never to have won in the United States.

Lowry had a poor front nine, which featured four bogeys and a birdie.

Day, who won the 2015 PGA Championship up the road at Whistling Straits, had to birdie his last hole Thursday to break 80.

The up-and-down round ended with the Englishman signing for one-under 71 and walking into the clubhouse level with Fowler, who had yet to start his round. "I feel like I have great control of the ball right now and distance control, which is big on a lot of little sections out here going into greens, especially with the wind picking up".

For players like Jordan Spieth (73) and Johnson, it was a matter of not making enough putts.

The two-time major champion is 3 under for his third round at the U.S. Open and has moved into the top 25 at Erin Hills.

"You can not play this golf course if you're not in position off the tee and I wasn't in position", McIlroy said.

McIlroy, however, who had come into the tournament from an injury layoff after a niggling rib problem, said he was encouraged by his performance. I like classic US Open courses but this is different.

Fowler, the world number nine from California, revelled in benign conditions at Erin Hills Golf Course to reel off seven birdies and 11 pars in a superb 65.

"The greens were still receptive to good shots, but they were firmer and faster", said Fowler.

South African Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, roared into contention going six-under through 16 holes to sit one shot back alongside American Patrick Reed who was also putting together an impressive scorecard going five-under with four to play.

The 23-year-old put himself in a hard position Thursday by shooting a one-over 73 due largely to uncharacteristic struggles on the green.

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