BROOKLINE, Mass. — The top of the US Open leaderboard after two rounds is filled with some of the biggest studs in the game. Collin Morikawa, who has already been a two-time Grand Slam champion, shares the lead. Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy, with five majors between them, are just one behind. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler’s back-nine run on Friday brought him to three under par, which is within two. Will Zalatoris, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka are on the prowl, as they say. There’s plenty of star power, which should make the final 36 holes pretty spicy.
However, another handful of highly hyped contenders won’t be around for all the weekend fun at The Country Club. Here are some of the most shocking botched cuts heading home early from the third major of the year.
Due to his recent run of form and a strong history in the majors, the Irishman was among the most popular picks in the daily fantasy and gaming community in the run up to Brookline. In eight PGA Tour starts in 2022, Lowry has made all the cuts, posting three top-three finishes and another four top-25 finishes along the way. His win at the 2019 Open Championship, plus a pair of top-10 finishes at the US Open this past, had to make me want his chances, but Brookline beat him. It also couldn’t have helped that he was paired with the circus that was Phil Mickelson this week, though we highly doubt Lowry would use that as an excuse.
The near-winner of the PGA Championship, like Lowry, missed the cut on the number. The Chilean showed some serious signs of golf amnesia with finishes of 7th (Colonial) and 13th (Memorial) in his first two starts after the PGA collapse. But his elite game from tee to green was nowhere to be found in Boston. The good news is that this was only his third appearance at a major. There will be many opportunities in the big ones in the not too distant future for Mito.
Young’s back-nine career was on his way to becoming the legend of US Open cuts. After a disastrous tournament-killing quadruple eight-bogey on the par-4 third, Young (after another bogey) proceeded to birdie, hole-in-one (!), birdie, birdie to climb all the way back to four over with a hole to go. But his last attempt to make a 33-foot birdie to reach the weekend would not fall in the ninth, giving him four missed cuts in five big starts in his career. However, the only cut he’s made of him, a T-3 at Southern Hills last month, is a much better barometer of things to come for the 25-year-old.
After a slow start to the season, Finau began doing Finau things beginning in May at the Mexican Open, where he finished runner-up. Entering the US Open, he was fourth at Colonial and second at the RBC Canadian Open, putting him back on everyone’s radar. But too many bogeys stopped his momentum this week, and it will be the first time in his career that he’s gone three straight majors without finishing in the top 20.
Fairway finders, approach gawds and short game experts were expected to play well at The Country Club this week. Berger is all three, and after a brutal MC hammer at Southern Hills, he bounced back with a top 25 finish at Colonial and a promising fifth-place finish at Muirfield Village. In 2021, he had his best year at a major yet, posting a T-7 at the US Open at Torrey Pines and a T-8 at the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s. 2022 hasn’t been so kind, with Berger’s biggest record now reading: T-50-MC-MC.
Smith’s failed cut, while somewhat shocking, was also somewhat expected, at least by the so-called experts on this little website. The Aussie was coming off one of his few poor performances all season in Canada, and the numbers off the tee were particularly worrying. It turned out that there was plenty of cause for concern on a track as tough as TCC, where Smith missed quite a few shots off the court and, as a result, lost control by two shots.
Hovland’s failed cut was a slow and painful burn. He came out on the morning wave and seemed to be one of the biggest movers on his first nine, chipping in from distance (yes, a Hovland chip) for birdie on 12 (his third) and then making another birdie. in the 13th to reach two under the championship. But on the 17th, he started an incredibly hard-to-watch streak of six straight bogeys, then made three more in his last five holes for an ugly back-nine 42. Big things are expected from the former US Amateur winner, but the first part of his career in the majors is not proving fruitful, the Norwegian failed to crack the top 10 in any of his first 11 appearances. That said, this is his first failed cut in 12 majors, so it’s not all doom and gloom.