Date: June 17, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Day, Scott among big-name casualties

It’s an historic weekend for Australian golf – but not for the right reasons.

Since Jason Day made his major championship debut at The Open in 2010, at least one of he and fellow Queenslander Adam Scott have made the cut.

But that streak has ended at 27.

World No.3 Day showed glimpses of form at Erin Hills today, but simply made too many errors to claw back after his opening 79.

In the end, his chase for birdies probably cost him a couple of strokes in an unusually erratic second-round 75 that left him at 10 over and sent him home for an unexpected weekend off, just his third missed major championship cut.

Sadly, he’ll be joined on the sidelines by three of the other four Aussies at Erin Hills this week with Scott (75 for +3), Wade Ormsby (75 for +6) and Nick Flanagan (79 for +10) also missing the one-over cut.

But with due deference to Scott, the biggest shock among those was Day, who was clambering for numbers to explain his scores given a fine preparation.

“I was in the hay too much over the last couple of days. Actually the stats yesterday, I think I hit like 12 greens, but I made two triples amongst that. And short game, I made zero of six up-and-downs,” he said.

“It's pretty frustrating when I got here (last) Friday … did the work, looked at the golf course, made sure that I could actually play and visualise the golf course.

“And I felt the most calm I have in a major in a long time this week and just unfortunately this didn't pan out.

“I usually love places like this. I enjoyed the walk. The walk was great,” he said with customary smile.

“The golf course is actually really beautiful. I just unfortunately just didn't execute.”

Day began his second round on the 10th and had four birdies against two bogeys by the time he stook on the second tee.

But a bogey on that relatively straightforward short par four proved the tipping point.

Another bogey followed on the fourth and then two trips to the hay on the sixth turned into a double-bogey. A bogey on the ninth was almost emblematic of his week as he walked off befuddled.

Scott, after fighting his way back into contention late on day one, was still square overall after nine holes today.

But a wayward drive into the deep stuff on the par-five first hole (his 10th) meant he could barely move his second shot and that culminated in a costly double on a hole many of his peers were reaching in two.

Bogeys followed on the second and fourth, then just when twin birdies on the seventh and eighth gave him faint hope, a sand-riddled bogey on the ninth dropped him back to three over.

There had been hope the cut might drift towards that number, but effectively calm conditions for most of the afternoon put paid to the world No.12’s weekend hopes.

Ormsby, of South Australia, needed to make birdies to have any chance of extending his stay, but couldn’t find one in his second round.

The major championship debutant didn’t look remotely out of his depth and will doubtless have learnt a lot from his 36 holes’ exposure at the top level, but simply didn’t hit enough greens to post a good score.

Flanagan, making his return to the US Open for the first time since 2004 as an amateur,  looked as though he might make a charge from his overnight three-over base when he made two birdies in the first seven holes today.

But the New South Welshman made a bogey on the eighth and the wheels came off quickly.

A bogey on the ninth was followed by a lengthy excursion into the fescue left of the 10th and a triple-bogey.

Three more bogeys and a double on the long 14th later, and Flanagan had turned his round into a 79 in seemingly a heartbeat.

Still, the Aussies aren’t alone among the surprise early departures from Wisconsin with Billy Horschel, Jon Rahm, Alex Noren, Rory McIlroy, Thomas Pieters, Justin Rose, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson all heading home.

Remarkably, it's the first time since world rankings were introduced in 1986 that the top three players have missed a major championship cut simultaneously. 

The 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett withdrew before the second round with a back injury after his opening 81.