Jordan Spieth is in with a fantastic chance of emulating Tiger Woods’ achievement at the US Open heading into the weekend at Chambers Bay, though Ryder Cup partner Patrick Reed shares his lead.
The last time a player claimed back-to-back Masters and US Opens was in 2002, but after shooting his highest ever 36-hole total in a professional tournament (156), Woods is not even recognisable as that once domineering force and joins a whole host of big names heading home early.
Rarely does a score of five over par send players into the weekend at a major tournament, but seldom does a course like Chambers Bay throw up such a unique challenge, and that’s where the field has been severed.
Spieth (2/1) and Reed (5/1) were among those who were up to it however, posting scores of 67 and 69 for their second rounds, entering the clubhouse level on -5, one shot ahead of Dustin Johnson (4/1) and South African Branden Grace (14/1).
Johnson’s superior length off the tee is sure to keep him in the hunt on the Washington State coast, though three bogeys in a row on the back nine put a dampener on his round.
There are plenty of chances for birdie and for the bigger hitters such as Reed, who carded a majestic two on the par-4 12th, some eagles, though making par consistently looks like the code breaker at Chambers Bay.
Aside from a reckless double bogey on the 18th – which Spieth later described as the “dumbest hole I’ve ever played” – the Green Jacket holder only went over par on one other hole, dialling in six birdies along the way.
Meanwhile, Reed’s round was far more erratic, swapping birdies for bogeys almost hole by hole, playing just a third of the holes in regulation.
Spieth is now the only major winner left in the field under par through Friday and with his temperament and confidence he’s a worthy favourite for consecutive major titles.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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