SAN FRANCISCO – Don’t look now but the top two players in the world probably won’t be around for the final two rounds of the 112th U.S. Open.
World No. 1 Luke Donald shot 72 on Friday to finish 36 holes at 11 over, which left him tied for 133rd when he signed his scorecard. The normally steady Englishman, who ranks eighth on TOUR in driving accuracy, only hit 46 percent of his fairways and 50 percent of his greens in regulation.
Donald's best finish in a major since taking over No. 1 is a tie for eighth at last year's PGA Championship. He didn’t make a birdie in the first round.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy, who was playing with Donald and is currently ranked No. 2, shot 73 and finished one stroke ahead in a tie for 122nd. McIlroy had ended a streak of three missed cuts with a tie for seventh last week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
The frustration was evident at the eighth hole, McIlroy's last of the day, where he missed a 2-footer for par and had to make a putt of nearly three times that distance for his 13th bogey in two rounds. The young Northern Irishman only hit 53 percent of his greens in regulation and 54 percent of his fairways while using 65 putts.
The third member of the group, world No. 3 Lee Westwood, will likely be around for the weekend after a 72 on Friday that left him 5 over for the tournament and tied for 53. Westwood has finished third or better in six of his last 10 majors.