Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day all failed to make the cut at the U.S. Open on Friday, the first time that the top three players in the world failed to qualify for weekend play at the championship since the rankings were created in 1986.
Last year’s winner and world number one Johnson, who arrived late in Wisconsin after staying in California for the birth of his second child, added a one-over-par 73 to his opening 75 to finish on four-over 148, three off the cut line.
Second-ranked McIlroy, who has played just six tournaments this year while battling a nagging rib injury, shot one-under 71 after opening with a six-over 78, and number three Day had a second-round 75 to finish on 10-over 154.
The trio’s struggles were all the more surprising given that low scores were there to be had for all. Rain-softened conditions at Erin Hills made greens more receptive and a lack of brisk winds left the course virtually defenceless.
The links-style layout, the longest course to stage a U.S. Open, had the most sub-par scores in a first round at the championship, while the one-over-par cut matched the record low previously set in 1990 at Medinah.
Rickie Fowler’s seven-under-par on Thursday also tied the record lowest first-round score at a U.S. Open. Sixty-eight players made the cut, with former champion Webb Simpson, former Masters and British Open winner Zach Johnson and former PGA champion Keegan Bradley all making it on the number.
Other notable players failing to make the cut included British Open champion Henrik Stenson (147), former Masters winners Charl Schwartzel (147) of South Africa and Australian Adam Scott (147) and double Masters winner Bubba Watson (148).