Mark Townsend rounds up the best of the final day in his US Open report as Gary Woodland ran out a brilliant winner at Pebble Beach

US Open report: What happened on Friday at Pebble Beach?

Gary Woodland produced a magnificent best-of-the-day 65 to take a two-shot lead over Justin Rose. The Englishman put together his own masterclass, but his was around the greens to save par, as he added a 70 to his opening 65.

The champion at Merion in 2013, playing with Tiger Woods, has had only 49 putts over the first two days as he traded three birdies with two dropped shots. Rose keeps reiterating that he is yet to produce his best ball striking this week and part of his afternoon was spent with coach Sean Foley on the range.

Woodland, on the other hand, powered his way up the leaderboard in a major that has produced little in terms of any relative success. He rattled up five birdies to grab the lead on his own, made a brilliant par save at the 8th, his penultimate hole, and then holed another putt from distance to extend that lead going into Saturday. Last year’s Waste Management winner is coming to Pebble on the back of a top 10 at Bethpage.

US Open report

For Rory McIlroy it was a brilliant effort to rally after a genuine wobble midway through the back nine. Last week’s winner was going nicely at three under for the day when he dropped one at 13 before making a real mess of the next, spinning a wedge back off the green and then fluffing the flop-shot recovery. A double-bogey seven was the result but he then birdied the next two, the first from a fairway bunker, to get it round in 69 and a 5-under total.

US Open leaderboard | Tee times

Just ahead of him is Louis Oosthuizen, who finished on 6-under after a 70 and a back nine where the only par came at 18.

Brooks Koepka, going for a hat-trick of wins, kept edging forward with a second 69 while Woods edged his way back to level par after finishing with back-to-back bogeys.

The other big gun, Dustin Johnson, was at 2-over after five and maybe heading for the exit but he looked outstanding as he gave himself chance after chance thereafter and he will go into the weekend at 2-under and still a threat.

As for the romantic story of the week, Phil Mickelson, he threw in something for everyone, coming out firing with three quick birdies before the usual barrage of birdies and bogeys. He eventually signed for a 69 to sit at 1-under.

And special mention to Wales’ Rhys Enoch who shot a 66, to go with his opening 78, to make the cut on the number. He will now play with Patrick Reed.

US Open report: Friday talking points

On Thursday caddie Michael Greller copped a load of flak after a couple of misjudgments, on Friday a rake got in the way of Jordan Spieth‘s progress.

The four-time major winner had found sand off the tee at the 2nd and was taking on the green, 200 yards away, with a 6-iron. The recovery only got as far as the environs of the bunker.

“I had a clean lie. Thought I could clear the lip. And when I hit it, all I heard was like the rake. And I guess it slammed into the rake and came back and kind of buried down into the tall grass. If it didn’t hit the rake, I don’t know if it had enough to get anywhere near the green or if it would have been way short or what, but certainly it would have been in a better position than it went to.”

But Spieth wasn’t pointing the finger elsewhere.

“That’s on me. If there’s rakes in front of the bunker, typically we pull them out. But when I was in it, I couldn’t see it. So it was kind of a weird set of events. I did well to make a five.”


Patrick Reed is a fiery character at the best of times. Safe to say he didn’t like his chip at 18…

Full marks for the clean snap.


Brooks Koepka finds few things that are too tricky these days but he’s not a fan of the range at Pebble Beach this week. After taking some time off and then having an ordinary week in Canada he came to California a little undercooked – and banging balls hasn’t helped.

“I’m just striking it just a little thin, and then this range doesn’t quite help. It’s going into and off the left. It’s in a direction I hate. The turf on the range is a little firmer, a little tighter than it is on the course,” he said.

“It’s been easier to find my game actually on the course. I feel like I can really be down on the ball, come in a little bit steeper than it is the range. So I’m not going to hit balls today.”

On the upside Koepka is 4-under after back-to-back 69s.


Tiger Woods hadn’t had a bogey this week coming to his final two holes, then he had two of them at 8 and 9 to sign for a 72 and level-par total. It was a frustrating day all round but particularly on the greens as he kept finishing above the hole as he took 32 putts.

“It’s so important to be below the hole because above the holes, they’re a little tough to make. I missed a couple but overall I kept leaving myself above the hole. Unlike Thursday, when I missed it I missed the correct spots below the hole, today I never had that many looks from below the hole. And the one I did have, I made at 11.”


Justin Rose is sitting very pretty at 7-under after two days but he’s not getting carried away with any sort of further low numbers over the weekend. It’s the US Open and anything in red figures might be very tasty come Sunday night.

“It’s about who finishes under par really is the trick. Guys do tend to get it under par the first couple of days. And there’s a bit more moisture on the course but things can change really, really fast.

“I think the USGA would probably have loved the course set-up but they’d probably have loved five mile an hour more breeze both days. Par would have probably meant something a little more than it has the first couple of days but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be the case on the weekend. I think this course has plenty of teeth in it.”

US Open report: Best photo

On Thursday Lucas Bjerregaard ran up an 11 on Pebble Beach’s 18th hole. On Friday he found himself on the beach and rescued a par.

Steve Carroll spent some time at the 18th on Friday and wrote about golf’s Russian roulette hole.

US Open report: Best quotes

“It was a very typical Chesson Hadley round: six birdies, a double, and three bogeys. That’s kind of how I play golf.”

– Chesson Hadley on being… Chesson Hadley

“That’s the best I’ve seen somebody get up and down around the course for two rounds maybe ever.”

– Jordan Spieth on playing partner Justin Rose’s short-game skills

US Open report: Best stats

US Open report: Best tweet

US Open report: Best (and worst) moments

Keep up to date with all the action from Pebble Beach with NCG’s dedicated US Open website as well as on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

If you missed the best bits from Thursday, head to the next page…