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15th Jun 2024

Aberg leads US Open as McIlroy positions himself for weekend surge

Paddy Morgan

McIlroy starts Saturday in contention for his first major in 10 years.

Ludvig Aberg holds a two-shot lead at the U.S. Open after an impressive second round at Pinehurst Number Two, where he finished at 5-under-par.

Aberg’s performance on Friday included three birdies, offset by two bogeys, securing his position at the top of the leaderboard.

Rory McIlroy, however, is currently at 3-under-par and in a strong position going into the weekend.

McIlroy’s round on Friday featured a notable par save on the 17th, despite a birdie putt that went off the green. He managed to stay competitive by hitting 13 fairways, although he expressed the need to improve his left wedge shot.

Pinehurst Number Two’s greens proved challenging, with a day two stroke average of 73.

Keeping the ball on the green was particularly difficult, and the firm conditions are expected to persist through the weekend. The putting surfaces measure only 6,500 feet, adding to the difficulty.

Friday was marked by memorable moments, including hole-in-ones by Sepp Straka and Francesco Molinari at the 194-yard ninth hole.

Seventy-four players made the halfway cut at 5-over-par, including notable names like Matt Fitzpatrick, Brooks Koepka, Shane Lowry, Tom McKibbin, Scottie Scheffler, and Tommy Fleetwood.

However, major champions such as Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, and Justin Thomas missed the cut.

Patrick Cantlay, who led after the first day, finished his round at 4-under-par.

Cantlay made a few unforced errors on the back nine despite a strong start.

Bryson DeChambeau, also at 4-under, had a solid round with birdies on the challenging par-three sixth and ninth holes. He will play in Saturday’s final group with Aberg.

Thomas Detry also stands at 4-under after making three consecutive birdies on the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes.

Aberg, a rising star who turned professional in June 2023, continues to impress with his performance at the U.S. Open.

His quick ascent in the golf world includes a win on the DP World Tour, a PGA Tour victory, a runner-up finish at The Masters, and participation in the 2023 Ryder Cup.

As the tournament progresses, all eyes will be on Aberg and the other top contenders as they vie for the prestigious title at Pinehurst.

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