AUSTRALIANS Adam Scott and Jason Day had to sit and wait for the rest of Saturday morning with their eyes on different parts of the leaderboard.
The pair completed their final three holes on Saturday morning at Oakmont Country Club without dropping or picking up any shots, making six safe pars between them.
Play was suspended on Friday evening because of darkness with Day and Scott unable to tee off from the 7th hole and needing to face the tough three hole stretch after a night’s rest.
After signing their cards on Saturday their scores were the same as when they left the night before, Scott even-par after a 1-under 69 and well in the hunt while Day likely safe from the cut after making ground with a 69 of his own.
35-year-old Scott said after his round that, unless one player went on a hot streak for the next half of the second round tee times, he would be very much in contention heading into the final rounds.
“You have to be pretty pleased to have three pars on those holes to finish the course,” Scott said outside the Oakmont clubhouse.
“It would have been nice to sneak a birdie, but that doesn’t always happen at US Opens.
“I’m in good shape. As long as someone like [Lee] Westwood doesn’t do anything crazy.
"But even if it does, it’s just going to play harder and harder over the weekend, so if I can just hold my spot here [even-par] for another day, then I think I’ll be in with a shot tomorrow.”
Westwood did do something crazy. By the 4th hole he was 5-under for the tournament and had the solo lead, but from the 6th to the 14th hole he carded six bogeys and dropped back to 1-over.
The Englishman did fight back to be even-par with a birdie on the 16th hole, but that only brought him back to level with Scott.
DAY TWO WRAP OF ALL THE ACTION FROM OAKMONT:
As for how Oakmont will play over the rest of the weekend, Scott expects one area of the course to suit his game and another that will test the games of every player who makes the cut.
“[The fairways] aren’t going to firm up, probably, which is good because it allows me to push it down there and keep it in the fairways like I have been which has worked well so far," he said.
“But the greens will firm up and I just have to be a bit better into the greens and certainly, to win a US Open, you’re going to have to make some putts, so hopefully they can all come on the weekend.
“[The greens will] be a little firmer, but they’re really cutting them a lot at the moment and when they go again tomorrow, I think we’ll see some crazy stuff happen then.”
As for Day, getting away with three pars on Saturday morning was an important step in making the cut, particularly with the holes he and Scott had to play
Their first hole of the morning was the 7th, a 483-yard (440 metre) par-4 with a fairway that slopes back toward the tee.
The 8th is the infamous 288-yard (263 metre) par-3 with a scoring average of over 3.2 this week and the 9th is a steep uphill par-4 with a green with ridges and slopes that are impossible to capture on television.
The par-4-and-a-half 9th is also playing as the hardest hole this week, the 7th the fifth hardest and 8 the seventh.
After his three holes on Saturday, the World Number One was happy to fight back with a second round that was in contrast to his uncharacteristic first.
“The second round was nice. The first round, obviously, was terrible,” Day said.
“I gave myself plenty of opportunities in the first round to give myself or try and capitalise on the opportunities off the tee shots.
“I felt like I drove it pretty good in the first round and then missed too many greens, especially with short clubs, and a couple of three-putts in there as well.
“Good to come back out this morning and par the last few holes, which are very difficult to do because 7, 8, and 9 are not easy.”
Sitting at 5-over but repairing some of the damage from his first round 76 means Day had a nervous wait watching the second round, but with the course continuing to dry out and firm up he was always confident of making the final rounds.
“I'm hoping that it gets really hot today and starts baking everything out and then hopefully plays hard for everyone, and hopefully I can claw my way back into this tournament," Day said in the early morning before the next wave of players took to the course.
“I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to getting some breakfast. I missed breakfast this morning. I'm going to get some breakfast and get into it this afternoon.”
ROSS METHERELL TALKS YOU THORUGH THE SPLIT HANDS DRILL:
Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.