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Scheffler added a second round of 67 to his opening 70 to join world No 371 Nick Hardy at the top of the leaderboard on three under par.
The Masters champion was two-over after seven holes but then birdied the eighth and 13th, holed out from 55 yards for eagle on the par-five 14th and picked up another shot on the 16th in his bid for an amazing fifth win in 2022.
Twenty-five players had recorded scores in the 60s in the first round, equalling the second most in tournament history and just two behind the record of 27 at Pebble Beach in 2019.
But with a blustery wind helping to dry out the course, six-time major winner Nick Faldo predicted conditions would continue to get tougher over the weekend.
“It really is nasty, gusty, blustery, and there are some really tough holes,” Faldo, who lost a play-off to Curtis Strange in the 1988 US Open at Brookline, said after completing commentary duties for American broadcaster CBS.
“To be honest anybody in red numbers will be very happy and in a great spot. It’s only going to get tougher. They can let this course go and it could be really tough.”
South African qualifier MJ Daffue could attest to that after enjoying a three-shot lead when he holed from 80 feet on the seventh to reach six under par, only to play his last eight holes in five-over.
World No 8 Viktor Hovland had been just a shot off the lead after two early birdies, but bogeyed six holes in a row around the turn and dropped three more shots on the closing stretch to shoot a dispiriting 77.
Rory McIlroy was among the later starters as he looked to build on his opening three-under-par 67, the four-time major winner hoping to dodge the thunderstorms which were forecast to arrive early in his second round.