Graeme McDowell, a 30-year-old native of Portrush, Northern Ireland, carded a 3-under 68 to take the second-round lead (3-under 139) at the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Ernie Els, Dustin Johnson, Ryo Ishikawa and Phil Mickelson are just 2 strokes behind.
McDowell is making his fifth start at the U.S. Open, with Friday’s 68 his third round in the 60s in 18 attempts. Last year, he posted 69s in rounds one and three en route to a T18 – his best showing at the U.S. Open.
Ernie Els and Tiger Woods teed it up on Friday for the 30th time in a PGA TOUR event. Woods has gotten the better of Els 15 times, with Els coming out on top eight times (including both rounds this week), and seven times resulting in a tie. The two are well known for their duel at the 2003 President’s Cup, which ended in a tie.
Dustin Johnson, the winner of the 2009 and 2010 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, moved to 1-under 141 after carding a 1-under 70 on Friday. He sits just two strokes behind leader Graeme McDowell.
Johnson has now made the cut in 13 of 15 starts in 2010, with five top-25s. In addition to his win at Pebble Beach, he has top-10s at the Northern Trust Open (T3) and the HP Byron Nelson Championship (T7).
Ryo Ishikawa posted an even-par 71 to remain at 1-under through two rounds, just two strokes behind leader Graeme McDowell. Ishikawa is making his fifth start in a major championship (MC-2009 Masters, MC-2009 British Open, T56-2009 PGA Championship, MC-2010 Masters, TBD-2010 U.S. Open).
Phil Mickelson bounced back from a 75 with a 5-under 66 to move within two strokes of leader Graeme McDowell. The 66 equals his best round in 74 overall rounds at the U.S. Open (R2, 2004, finished 2
The cut came at 7-over 149 with 83 players advancing to the weekend. The cut at the U.S. Open reduces the field to the low 60 and ties and anyone within 10 strokes of the lead. The largest cuts in U.S. Open history came in 1996 (108 players) and 1993 (88 players).