Missed fairways leave McIlroy in rough shape at US Open

American Rickie Fowler tamed Erin Hills to claim the first-round lead at the US Open on Thursday, making the so-called toughest test in golf look easy with a record-equalling display while the big guns failed to fire.

This week, he's spent his mornings sitting on the porch of the clubhouse at Erin Hills golf course in Washington County, Wisconsin.

With the top 60 and ties qualifying for the final rounds at Erin Hills, the cut appeared set to fall at one or two over par as the afternoon wave started their second rounds.

After grabbing a share of the early second round lead at the U.S. Open, Paul Casey crashed down the leaderboard with a triple bogey as the Erin Hills layout showed its teeth on Friday.

While Fowler got off to a soaring start, Dustin Johnson, the No. 1-ranked player in the world and defending U.S. Open champion, struggled with a 3-over-par 75 and is tied for 102nd.

A rattled Casey added another bogey at the 15th to extend his miserable run before hitting the turbo-charger and firing off five consecutive birdies.

Paul Casey was alone in third at 7 under after a 71 in the second round. "But as soon as you get out of position on this golf course, you're really struggling and suffering for par".

Fowler finished his round with seven birdies - including three straight at Nos.

"Just because we had the deluge yesterday and the days leading into this, it's pretty benign and receptive", he said.

Garcia carded an eagle, three birdies and three bogeys in a roller coaster round.

"I feel great. That's all totally fine".

Day was particularly disappointed because he thought he had prepared properly for the championship.

While Fowler and Casey hope to stay at the level they established in the opening round, several of the pre-tournament favorites have to pick it up if they are going to make the cut and compete on the weekend.

He eventually bypassed a logjam at five under par, two shots behind Fowler, and nibbled at the leader from a prime position at 66. That still didn't appear to be almost enough. His round would have been better had it not been for two bogeys in his closing holes.

Last year's U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett withdrew from the U.S. Open with a sore back on Friday as the Englishman's injury woes continued. Johnson was three over for the round with three holes to play.

Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day - the top three players in the world, all of them professing expansive Erin Hills to be flawless for their games - spent Friday cleaning out their lockers after missing the cut. With a blind shot to the green, he went long into deeper hay, and his first hack at it moved the ball only a few feet.

"I take it as a compliment", Fowler answered. "It's a good 8 in the end".

"You don't get many rounds at the US Open that are stress-free", Fowler said. Even as the course slowly recovered from rain early in the week, reasonable scores were available.

Another youngster looking for his first major win, Patrick Reed, is listed at 20/1 after shooting a four-under 68 in Round 1.

No such concern for Andrew "Beef" Johnston who booked his place for the weekend and thanks, in part, to four hand-delivered peanut and jelly sandwiches on route to 73 to be inside the top-30 at two-under par. If the sun shines and the wind blows, it's going to dry out. Johnson, Day and McIlroy are watching at home.

In the World Golf Rankings era dating back to 1986, the top three players in the world had never missed the cut at a major. Day had no answers.

"I felt the most calm I have in a major in a long time this week". I'm not just talking about his prodigious drives, though.