Minutes after walking off his final green of the day, Dustin Johnson said Oakmont Country Club is one of the toughest courses he’s ever played.
Although he didn’t seem to have too much trouble with it.
Johnson went on a torrid streak and made history doing so, putting together a bogey-free first round and a not-so-shabby second to tie clubhouse leader Andrew Landry at 4-under par on Friday at the U.S. Open.
Johnson became the first player to post a bogey-free round in an Oakmont-hosted U.S. Open since Loren Roberts in 1994. The No. 6 player in the world was 3-under par in the first round, and 1-under in his second.
“It was a long day today, but I felt like I played really solid all day for all 36 holes,” Johnson said. “Very pleased with how it went.”
There was a reason why Johnson had 27 consecutive bogey-free holes: he was hitting greens. The South Carolina native rattled off a run of 25 straight greens hit in regulation, spanning from the first to the second round.
He was solid off the tee, too, hitting 11 of 14 fairways in the second round.
“Mentally you’ve got to make sure you stay sharp all day,” Johnson said. “You can’t go to sleep on any shot out here.”
After joining nearly half the field in completing 36 holes in one day, Johnson will start his third round on Saturday afternoon at a time still to be determined.
Meanwhile, Landry played only one hole Friday, making one putt that was previously suspended with the rest of play on late Thursday afternoon. The 28-year-old Texan is scheduled to tee off his second round at 7:11 a.m. Saturday.
While Landry was on and off the course in a matter of minutes, he made a notable impression on Friday, setting the record for the lowest first-round score in U.S. Open at Oakmont history. Landry, who is making his major championship debut, was clinical with his 4-under 66, tallying six birdies to just two bogeys.
And as for the last birdie, one he had to wait 15 hours to take, one that’d make history, Landry wasn’t overly nervous.
“I just pretty much thought about it this morning,” the No. 624 player in the world said. “I didn’t, like, dream about it.”
With Johnson and Landry co-leaders at 4-under, Lee Westwood is in sole possession of third at 3-under. Westwood finished off a round of 67 on Friday morning, and will take the tee box for his second set of 18 at 8:28 a.m. Saturday.
Three players — Sergio Garcia, Scott Piercy and Shane Lowry — are 2-under. While Lowry begins his second round Saturday morning, Garcia and Piercy both shot even in the second round after each posting a 68 in the first round.
Despite a somewhat erratic second round — he hit only 5 of 14 fairways — Garcia finished the day in style, sinking a 51-foot putt to save par on the 9th.
“I’m very happy to finish at 2-under,” Garcia said. “I didn’t play that great this afternoon, but I thought I scrambled nicely and made a couple big putts when I needed to.”
As impressive as Johnson was in his 36 holes, there was a collection of stars that didn’t handle Oakmont as gracefully.
With three holes to go in his second round, world No. 1 Jason Day finished 5-over par. Also ending the day early was Phil Mickelson (7-over through 16), Justin Rose (6-over through 16), and Henrik Stenson (9-over through 16).
While those big names still have to finish Saturday morning, some of golf’s stars haven’t even started their second rounds yet.
Jordan Spieth (2-over), Rickie Fowler (6-over), Danny Willett (5-over) and Rory McIlroy (7-over) hope to improve their scores enough Saturday morning to make the cut — and eventually make a run toward the top of the leaderboard.