“I want it to play as hard as possible,” he said. “There’s so many holes out here that I can take advantage of that some people can’t. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to win or anything. You’ve still got to execute, you’ve still got to hit the driver straight.”
While DeChambeau was threatening to change the time-honored method for winning a major championship at Winged Foot, his rivals — young and old — were generally faltering. Phil Mickelson, who finished second at the last U.S. Open held at Winged Foot, in 2006, did not make the cut for weekend. He shot a four-over par 74 Friday, which, coupled with a first-round 79, left him at 13-over for the tournament.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood, ranked 15th in the world, also shot 74, putting him at eight-over for the event. Tied with Fleetwood was defending champion Gary Woodland.
Dustin Johnson, the world’s top-ranked golfer, made a slight move up the leaderboard, rebounding from a 73 on Thursday to shoot even par 70 on Friday. Tiger Woods, who shot a seven-over par 77 on Friday after a 73 on Thursday, also did not make the cut.