Australia’s Cameron Smith has missed the cut at the US Open, but a posse of his countrymen remain in the hunt after the classic tournament’s wind-lashed second round.
Unlike Smith, whose round was blighted by off-fairway forays into the rough, Marc Leishman hung tough to stay in touch during a rough and tumble day on the Brookline course in Massachusetts.
Smith’s hopes of challenging for a first major championship bit the dust after a second disappointing round with Australia’s world No.6 following up an opening 72 with a frustrating 74.
Smith slumped to six over par for the tournament, missing the halfway cut by a distance on Friday night.
Leishman and Scott in contention
Leishman birdied his penultimate hole in a 71 that left the 38-year-old at one over and six shots behind halfway leaders Collin Morikawa and fellow American Joel Dahmen.
Playing in his 84th consecutive major, Scott is one stroke further back after a three-over 73.
Scott’s little-known countryman Todd Sinnott is also two over on his major debut.
A sectional qualifier in Japan, the 439th-ranked Sinnott posted his second successive 71 to impressively survive the cut.
And two weeks after his sister Minjee won her second major at the US Women’s Open, Min Woo Lee also secured a weekend tee time after a late rescue act in his second round.
Lee eagled his penultimate hole, the eighth, sinking an 18-footer that ensured he battled back to three over and right on the cut line after a level-par round of 70.
But the tournament is over for Smith and fellow Australians Lucas Herbert and Jed Morgan.
Smith had his work cut out after a difficult opening round and his hopes of a fast start were quickly scuppered on Friday morning.
The Queenslander found the thick, rough stuff in front of the green at the par-three second, and swished angrily at the grass after failing to get within 30 feet with his second shot.
From bad to worse
After a bogey there, his mood was hardly improved with further dropped shots at the fourth and sixth leaving him with a mountain to make it to the weekend.
But it only got worse, a wayward drive at the 10th and the failure to extricate himself from a tough greenside lie at the 15th leading to two more bogeys.
A tee shot to five foot at the par-3 16th eventually earned Smith his first birdie in 23 holes, but it was too little to late.
Herbert crashed to 13 over with a horror 79, while Morgan ended at 16 over after following up his disastrous opening 82 with a 74.
Chasing the third leg of a career grand slam, Morikawa grabbed a share of the lead at five under with a 66, the low round of the day.
Dahmen fired a 68 as the leaders claimed a one-stroke advantage over five players, including pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy (69) and defending champion John Rahm (67).
World No.1 Scottie Scheffler (67) is three under and two off the pace.