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Richard Bland continues remarkable feel-good story with great round at Torrey Pines
DeChambeau recovers from four-over while Rory McIroy has topsy-turvy day
If 48-year-old Richard Bland believed he had found fantasyland when winning his first European Tour title last month, it is now clear that he had barely entered its outskirts.
Four weeks on from crying in disbelief on the 18th green at the Belfry, this supposed journeyman - rated a 1,000-1 chance - is in a share of the lead at halfway point at the US Open after a brilliant 67 at Torrey Pines.
Golfing folklore already shows that the immensely popular Staffordshire golfer took 478 attempts and 25 years a pro to become the oldest first-time winner on the circuit, emulating so many famous names by picking up the British Masters trophy.
That earned Bland, the world No 115, a place in this week’s field in San Diego for his second ever appearance in a US major - and just his fourth in any major - but he evidently did not head to San Diego simply for the hits and giggles.
"I'm very proud," Bland said. "To lead a major is always pretty special. I tied the lead in the Open in 2017 for a hole, so it's nice to have it a bit longer than that.
"I was coming here off a couple of good results, a win and a third in Europe. I've been driving the ball well for five, six weeks now, which is the cornerstone if you're going to put up a fight for a US Open.
"When I saw this place on Monday, it kind of set up to my eye. It's all there just straight in front of me, and that's the kind of golf course I like. It’s great to look on the European Tour website and see that ‘1’ by my name. But I want more. Every golfer wants more...”
Bland’s four-under heroics - featuring seven birdies and three bogeys - were good enough to gain the 36-hole advantage alongside American Russell Henley (70) with South African Louis Oostuizen, the 2010 Open champion and a perennial visitor on the major leaderboards, tying for third with another home hope in Matt Wolff.
In short, Bland the veteran looked like he had been competing on the biggest stages for all of his career.
The South Course is anything but a pushover, as evidenced by Rory McIlroy, the four-time major winner, who had to fight back with two birdies in the last five holes for a 73 and one-over for the tournament.
Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson is on three-under after his own 67, while pre-tournament favourite Jon Rahm moved ominously on to the same mark after a 70.
Torrey was tough, but Bland seemed oblivious to both the severity of the challenge and the pressure of the occasion. Perhaps when you have been through Q-School on 10 occasions and watched, over and over, your salary prospects dangling on a thread, competing in an £8 million-plus event does not feel too vexing.
Whatever, Bland - who once had trials as a goalkeeper for Southampton and is still based in the Hampshire city - was unflappable. If he had provided a masterclass of perseverance in the Midlands, then on the California coast he delivered another in making the utmost of an opportunity.
To think, it was only three years ago, in 2018, when Bland suffered the low point in his profession. At 45, Bland lost his card and at home, his brother, Heath, was suffering from a life-threatening illness which saw him placed in an induced coma for a month at the start of that year.
At that point, most figured it was over for Bland, but once more he picked himself up to reclaim his Tour card and now he is reaping the rewards of that belligerence of spirit.
Starting on the 10th, Bland holed a 30-footer on that par four to set the tone for his star-bannered money. He missed the green on the next two holes, but enacted nerveless ups-and-downs on both occasions and was back on the birdie trail when hitting an approach from 90 yards to five feet on the par-five 13th (his fourth).
Torrey claimed back a shot when Bland bogeyed the 15th (his sixth), but there followed an 18-footer on the par-three 16th, a 10-footer on the par-four 17th and there he was - on top of the US Open leaderboard. It could not last, surely, and a sloppy bogey on the par-five 18th - in truth a birdie hole - brought his admirers back to earth.
Not for long. Bland threatened to make mincemeat of the first nine, hitting it to five-feet on the second, three feet on the fourth and holing from 12 feet on the sixth. Bland did bogey the eighth but that was not about to ruin an incredible effort.
Bryson DeChambeau had also made inroads, the defending champion posting a 69 to return to level par. Brooks Koepka is on the same score after a 73, while England’s Tyrrell Hatton was among those who missed the cut, along with Justin Rose.
Meanwhile, Monty is only one step away from qualifying for next year’s US Open. Monty Scowsill, that is. The 25-year-old from Ipswich earned a place in Saturday’s 36-hole final of the Amateur Championship against countryman Laird Shepherd knowing that so much is on the line at Nairn, the wonderful Highland links.
Not only will the champion receive a spot in the 2022 US Open but also next month’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s and next year’s Masters.
What a day for Richard Bland
It looks as though he could still top the leaderboard come the end of the round - everyone a shot or two of him is going backwards bar Russell Henley.
We'll put a final report of the second round above this post when it finishes in a few hours time, so return here for James Corrigan's take on events at Torrey Pines.
Brooks goes backwards
From the great start of being two-under through four the two-time US Open champion is now one-over for his round.
A bogey at the par-four 10th was down to a tee shot that found a bunker - he overshots the approach over the back and was unable to get up and down. His round is in danger of unravelling - he's now back at one-under.
'Here comes Collin' doesn't...
...have the same menacing ring to it at 'Here's Johnny!' does it...
Brooks Koepka is level par through the front nine
So the expected charge sort of happened then didn't as two bogeys pegged him back. He's still on two-under.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello got to four-under
And was sniffing at the leaders' heels when double bogey struck at the par-four fifth. He was in the bunker off the tee, he stayed their after his second shot, went into the right rough with his third and was unable to scramble for a bogey. He's slipped back to two-under.
One of the pre-tournament favourites
Collin Morikawa is putting together some round. He went into today four-over, and after the first that got worse as he bogeyed to slip to five-over. He likes this course, however, and five birdies from the second to the ninth - four on the bounce from the sixth - has got him back to level-par. He's now within striking distance.
Richard Bland has company at the top
Overnight leader Russell Henley gets to five-under. He birdies the par-five 18th (his ninth). That's a steady and impressive first nine for the American - no blemishes and that one birdie.
Of the afternoon (in California) starters
No one has really made a move. Koepka got to four-under but has since slipped back to where he started, on two-under. Xander Schauffele is level through seven (two birdies and two bogeys). Mackenzie Hughes is the only one making moves on the top 10, with his three-under getting him to one-under.
Matt Wolff was the man of the first round
With his rollercoaster one-under. He's been far more dull so far today and is one-under through the front nine.
How are the Europeans doing out on the course?
-4 Rafa Cabrera-Bello (2)
-2 Francesco Molinari (5)
-1 Migliozzi (8)
Level par Matt Fitzpatrick (5)
+1 Tyrell Hatton (5)
+2 Marcus Maritage (8), Ian Poulter (3)
+3 Eduardo Molinari (9)
+4 Tommy Fleetwood (7)
+5 Shane Lowry (6), Viktor Hovland (4), Bernd Wiesberger (3)
+6 Martin Kaymer (4)
+9 Henrik Stenson (6)
Rory McIlroy speaks...
On his two-over round, 73…
“[It was] pretty good, one-over is still in the There are too many bogeys on the card for my liking. [But] it’s the US Open so you’re going to have to scramble a bit. I missed on the wrong side too many times so need to sort that out."
Having said Brooks Koepka would
Likely storm this round (I can be prone to hyperbole from time to time...) he's now gone back-to-back bogeys. The old adage of keeping on the short stuff proving true again. He's in the second-cut rough off the tee, then into the bunker with his second and three shots from there lands him another blemish...he's now back to two-under.
Russell Henley has opened up with five pars - he stays on four-under, one back of Blandy.
Disaster for Tyrrell Hatton
The Englishman had been motoring along nicely at one-under until the par-five 13th (his fourth). He drove left into the rough, hacked it out 130 yards before firing into a greenside bunker. From there he went through the back into the first cut rough and he did well to come out with just a double bogey seven. He's now on one-over.
Brooks Koepka is horribly out of position on the fifth
He was in a bunker off the tee, then his approach lands in thick rough above a greenside bunker. He takes his medicine and walks off with a bogey and he's back to three-under.
Xander Schauffele makes a move
The local boy nails a 20-footer in for birdie at the third and he is at three-under, just two back. He bogeyed the first but has bounced back in style with back-to-back birdies.
Koepka makes his charge
Brooks birdies another!
What are the chances he'll play party pooper to Richard Bland's chances of becoming the oldest 36-hole leader at the US Open? Pretty high, I reckon. He's just picked up another shot at the fourth to move to four-under, just one back from Blandy.
Phil Mickelson moves in the right direction
The oldest man in the field - better known as plain old 'Phil' - birdies the second to get to three-over. His playing partner Xander Schauffele gets in on the act with one himself and he's on two-under, just three back. A reminder he's never finished out of the top six in four US Opens and he's a San Diego local.
The American trio
Of Koepka, Thomas and Morikawa all par the tricky par-three third. It's caught a few golfers out over the first two rounds but all three found the green and two-putted.
The English duo
Of Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton are two holes into their second rounds. Not a great start for the former, Fitzpatrick bogeyed his first (the 10th) and he's on level-par. Hatton started more steadily he went par-par to remain on one-under.
A sure sign that 'Phil' is on the course
Is when the word 'bomb' is used...
What a start from Mackenzie Hughes
The Canadian has opened with three straight birdies to move to one-under. That illustrates that while this is a US Open set up there are chances to go low there - just ask Richard Bland.
There's a swagger about Brooks Koepka
And with good reason - he's just birdied the par-four second to move to three-under - ominous. Justin Thomas saves par and stays at two-over.
Russell Henley for some reason isn't getting much TV time
But the overnight leader has opened up with a par-par start and he stays on four-under. I imagine we'll see every one of Phil 'Phil' Mickelson's shots even if he's 14-over without a hope of making the cut...Anyway, 'Phil' is four-over as he tees off - one shot inside the cut line.
Brooks Koepka opens with...
...a par. A solid start from Bryson DeChambeau's nemesis - he stays on two-under. Playing partners Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa also open without any dramas and they are on two-over and five-over respectively.
Branden Grace finishes at level-par. South Africa have a host of world-class golfers a the moment. Kevin Streelman ends two-shots better.
By the way, if you're reading this and want to know the football score...
...it's 0-0 after 71 minutes at a wet Wembley.
Does what a few have done before him - finishes with a birdie. That takes him back to four-under, one off Bland's lead. He's due a second major and few would begrudge the likeable South African with a swing to die for if it came this weekend. He's looking good.
The big names
In the second 'wave' are teeing off now - Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa have all just played three good drives down the first. If there’s one man who will be backing himself to overhaul Bland’s clubhouse target it’s Koepka who is on two-under.
Jon Rahm birdies the last
He's not playing near his best but he's on three-under going into the weekend. He was the pre-tournament favourite and I rather fancy he'll be the pre-third round favourite as well. He had his moments this round - we saw him have an argument with a bunker, pretend to try snap one of his clubs BUT he's looking in ominous form and the one to watch heading into the third round.
Golden oldies reigning at the moment
Richard Bland speaks...
On leading after his second round…
“To have the lead is special - I tied the lead at the Open for a hole so it’s nice to have the lead for longer this time.”
On his putting and the quick greens…
“My speed’s been pretty good this week - it’s getting quicker and gathering a little speed.”
On being aggressive…
“I thought some of the flags today were pretty getable and took advantage of those. Maybe I need to be a bit more aggressive when I can be.”
On taking inspiration from Phil Mickelson winning the US PGA aged 50…
“Of course, Phil’s been a world-class player since the year dot. He went and won it - it didn’t fall into his hands. So for him to do that was hugely impressive at pretty much 51 years old. It’s one of the best golfing achievements this century.”
How are the Britons doing? (Justin Rose fans look away now)
Those in the clubhouse...
-5 Richard Bland
+1 Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy
+2 Rob Macintyre
+4 Paul Casey
+6 Matt Wallace
+7 Jordan Smith
+13 Justin Rose, David Coupland
Rory finds the greenside bunker at the ninth
BUT he plays a delightful bunker shot to within two inches and he taps in for birdie - nice way to finish. He's on one-over and within touch of the leaders.
Dustin Johnson ends with par and will go into the weekend on two-over.
has had his chances today - he misses another decent birdie chance (this one on 16), He's one-over for the day but just two shots back of Bland on three-under.
The man of the moment
Finishes with a birdie to close with a two-under 69. He was two-over through three and languishing on four-over. But he fought back and is in contention at level par heading into to weekend.
Rory has another good look
At a birdie - this one at the par-three eighth (his 17th). he stays at two-over. Meanwhile playing partner, Dustin Johnson makes it bac-to-back birdies to get back to two-over. Barring disaster on the last he'll be here for the weekend and make a major cut for the first time in three attempts.
Cannot get enough of Blandy's story
Golfers of the world unite in feeling pain for
Jon Rahm. The Spaniard lips out from three feet - as a hacker it hurt to watch...he stays at two-under.
Having bounced back from three bogeys in a row
With a birdie at the sixth, Rory McIlroy nearly gets another shot back at the seventh. It's a tricky, long breaking putt that just misses on the high side. He's at two-over.
Louis Oosthuizen is back to three-under
A long birdie putt on 14 gets the South African back to tied-third.
Meanwhile Dylan Wu birdies 12 to get back to two-under.
The fairytale continues
Richard Bland ends with a par at the ninth
He's the solo and clubhouse leader on five-under. It was a great round of four-under and there's very little I can say about it that I haven't already below.
But if you're not feeling really happy for him and don't think that this proves good things can happen to good people then perhaps you are just too cynical (or perhaps stupid)...either way, take a a bow Blandy!
Rahm is happy and smiling
After the horror bogey at the 13th the Spaniard looked like he was about to get even more frustrated with another wayward approach at the following hole. He left himself in the greenside bunker but chipped it in for an unlikely birdie. He's back to two-under
Bryson DeChambeau looked like he was poised to make a charge
At the turn - but since he birdied the first - his 10th - he's been two-over. The putter's gone cold on him and he's now back to over par - one-over to be exact.
Let's play some Bubba golf
Why? Well, everyone's favourite golfer prone to crying relatively easily (that's Bubba Watson, in csae you were wondering...) has fired in three birdies in a row on four, five and six (his 13th, 14th and 15th). The two-time Master champion is now two-under (three-under for the round)
It's another bogey for Rory
McIlroy's going backwards very quickly - he drops another shot (his sixth in his past 10 holes) at the par-four fifth. He's now at three-over and near the likely cut mark...
Rahm is angry
Yep, you know what that means - the Spaniard has bogeyed the par-five 12th. His approach was wild nearly causing him to snap his club (it was an half-hearted attempt, to be fair...) That gave him too much to do and he's back to one-under.
Richard Bland bogeys
The par-three eighth. He spanked his tee shot into the bunker and was unable to get it up and down. He's still sole leader on five-under.
Here's a stat
Richard Bland is five-under for his round - that's three-shots better than anyone else today. He's fired seven birdies and looks as though he's being playing in majors all his life. What a heart-warming tale that should make even the most cynical among us (possibly including me) smile.
On one of the easiest holes on the course...
...the fourth, Rory McIlroy makes bogey. He's going in the wrong direction. He was in a fairway bunker off the tee on and unable to reach the green in two. He started off well enough but that's now five bogeys in his past nine holes. He now back on two-over.
Has a good birdie chance on the fifth - he misses on the low side and a chance to go back to one-under goes begging - he stays at level-par. Meanwhile Louis Oosthuizen saves par at the par-four 12th to stay at two-under - that was impressive - he was in the rough off the tee and then in a greenside bunker.
What a remarkable few weeks for Blandy
Matt Le Tissier is excited
This is brilliant...
BLAND IS NOW TWO CLEAR! Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. Richard Bland has another birdie to get to six-under and his now the clear frontrunner.
The greens are quickening up
McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen and Dylan Wu have all missed short putts in the past minute. Oosthuizen is now on two-under (two-over for his round) and Wu is on one-under.
Rory misses birdie chance and three-putts, while DJ sinks his
On the second - their 11th - McIlroy goes long with his birdies chance, leaving him a tricky downhill six-footer. He misses and he's back to one-over. As he frets over the short stick Dustin Johnson gets back to three-over.
Meanwhile, Bland has another good birdie chance on the sixth, his 15th...
It's moved back out to sea. So chances are we'll get through all of today's play - phew...
Quick word on the English duo playing together
Lee Westwood is one-over for the round and tournament, while Paul Casey is three-over for the round and tournament. Both through 12 holes.
Jordan Spieth chips in for eagle
at the tough 12th - that gets him back to four-over and with a fighting chance of making the last two rounds. Gutsy.
Jon Rahm has ended his argument with a bunker
And is very quietly going about his business - he's level par for the round through 11 (two-under for the tournament) - he's very much the danger man at the moment, especially if the angry words (with himself, particles of sand etc etc) cease.
The par-three third strikes again
For the second day running DeChambeau goes long on the picturesque par three...and again he drops a shot (he did well to limit the damage to just a four) He drops to level par.
The Leaderboard (one for Richard Bland fans to photo)
It might just...
RICHARD BLAND HAS THE SOLO LEAD. (yes, it's worth the caps lock and bold font...)
He birdies the fourth, his 13th, to be the first man to five-under. He's full of confidence - he's driving the ball well, hitting decent iron shots and leading the putting stats- all in all it's pretty close to perfection.
Brad Faxon on Sky Sports tells us Bland is the first 48 year old to lead the US Open since Fred Funk 20 years ago - niche stat to do with 48 year olds...
Is the story set to continue?
Rory has had only two pars
On his front nine - he birdies the 18th to get back to level par.
Meanwhile, Jon Rahm, on the 10th is seen having words with and pointing accusingly at a bunker (he's still on two-under)...he's demonstrative, I'll give him that.
Has had a quiet front nine - he's fired in eight pars and one bogey. He misses a great chance to get back to four-under on the ninth but he has to settle for par to remain one back on three-under.
What a turnaround for the 'videobomber'
DeChambeau birdies the first (his 10th) to move to one-under - two hours ago he was in danger of missing the cut, now he's in contention...how time flies...
Disaster for DJ
The world No.1 is looking anything but at the moment. He bogeys his fourth hole in a row to fall back to four-over. He's in danger of not making it to the weekend - that would be three consecutive missed cuts in the majors...unexpected.
McIlroy stops his bleeding with a par, he stays on one-over - both move to the 18th - a birdie chance.
That DeChambeau eagle
Bland is back at four-under
To state the bleeding obvious Richard Bland isn't overawed by the course or the occasion. He birdies the second (his 11th) to reclaim the co-lead on four-under, he's three-under for the day, the best round out on the course.
As Rory unravels, Bryson bounces back
DeChambeau has just sunk and long putt on the 18th for an eagle and from being four-over an hour ago the defending champion is now at level-par. What a turnaround. He's out in 34 having been two-over for the day through three. His driving has been good, it's been the irons that have let him down, but he's found his mojo out there at the moment.
It's another bogey for McIlroy, this one coming on the long par-three 16th. That's three on the bounce for the former world No. 1 and he's now on one-over.
Blandy has company on three-under
American Dylan Wu is two-under for his round (through four). He's world No. 489 and an unlikely name near the top of the leaderboard - as is Bland...exciting, unexpected stuff.
Great character from Richard Bland
It’s one thing to make a charge at the US Open, but it’s the way Bland is going about it that is most impressive. It’s not going all his way, but he’s taking the bogeys on the chin (so to speak) and once again he shows real character to get up and down from the deep right-hand bunker on the first to save par. He stays at three-under.
Bogeys for Rory and DJ
McIlroy played the hole fairly well but slides a short put wide and drops back to level par, he's one-over for the day. His playing partner Dustin Johnson also makes it back-to-back bogeys - he's two over for the day and tournament. I've said it before and I'll say it again, he looks out of sorts.
He was in danger of becoming DeShambles but he's got it back from four-over to two-over where he started the day. He just misses a birdie putt on 17 (his eighth).
Bland is in trouble at the 18th
He finds the bunker on his ninth and only just gets out - he leaves himself an uphill putt for par but it only shaves the hole and he falls back to three-under.
We have a sole leader now as fellow former co-leader Louis Oosthuizen bogeys the sixth - a poor bunker shot left him too much to do with the flat stick.
Russell Henley now leads all by himself on four-under.
Rory only has
One par through five holes - that came on the first, Since then he's gone bogey, birdie, birdie, bogey. The latest bogey thanks to a wild approach at the 14th which found the righthand bunker, he can't get up and down and he's back to one-under.
Take a pic of this for Richard Bland
Rahm's mood immediately improves
After the bogey on five he bounces back straight away with a birdie on six - he's back to two-under.
If you're wondering why I am not mentioning Justin Rose that much
It's because the Englishman (winner of the US Open at Merion in 2013) is 10-over for the tournament. It's just not happening for the Olympic champion. He was seven-over yesterday and is three-over through five today - one to forget...
Rory creates roars
RICHARD BLAND IS TIED FOR THE LEAD!
Yes, it's worthy of CAPS LOCK. This feel good story is getting better and better, The Englishman birdies the 17th (his eighth) to move to four-under and the co-lead...this is special.
Watch out everyone
Jon Rahm is slightly angry...the Spaniard does have a temper on him and he's annoyed with himself on the par-four fifth. He pulls his drive, then leaves the approach short, he he does with his chip, he two putts for a bogey to fall to one-under. That's one of the easier holes on the course so perhaps we should understand his inner rage this one time.
Rory turned that possible six at the 13th into a four - that birdie sends him to two-under. Watch out leaders...DJ also leaves the green with a birdie and he's back to level par.
Patrick Cantley is everyone’s favourite
‘He’ll win a major soon’ golfer. Before the start of every major he’s always talked about as a potential winner…could this week see him break his duck? He’s in the right position to do so - he’s just birdied the fourth, he’s one-under for the day and lies on two-under.
His compatriot Jordan Spieth gets another birdie to move to four-over, he’s doing what he needs to to play at the weekend.
Rory blocks his approach to the par five 13th
He'll has a bit of work to do to save par there - he's slightly shortsided himself. He would have been looking to capitalise on that par-five having birdied the 14th to move back to one-under.
Meanwhile, Richard Bland bounces straight back from the bogey at 15 with a birdie at 16 - he's at three-under and just one off the lead - long may his fine form continue =.
A first dropped shot of the day
For Richard Bland. He pulls his approach on the 15th leaving him too much to do. He chips to within six foot but misses and he’s back to two-under.
Not much movement at the top so far
DeChambeau gets one shot back
He gets a much-needed birdie at the par-5 13th...he's at three-over now.
Also popping one in when they really need it is Jordan Spieth - he birdies the fourth to get back to five-over. He still needs a few more if he's to stay for the weekend - they're saying on Sky Sports that the cut line is looking likely to be at four-over
No once, absolutely NO ONE has ever used that when talking about Branden Grace, I am sure about that...anyway, I've shown no originality because the man who went close at Chambers Bay in 2015 has just got and eagled the second, pitching in with his second. He's now at one-under, he's been out of form recently but has the pedigree to win big.
Not a Mastering the second round
Playing with DeChambeau the Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is having a torrid day - he's five over through his three holes and lies on three-over now. Bet that's not a fun threeball to be part of...
The English duo
Of Paul Casey and Lee Westwood are three holes into their second rounds - Casey is finding life tougher than his newly married playing partner. He has just registered back-to-back bogeys to be on two-over while Westy has oped up with three pars to remain on level par.
How Bland took to Torry Pines
Rory bogeys the 11th
The long par 3 is catching out a lot of players out and McIlroy succumbs to it's wiles today. He drops back a shot due to his tee shot finding the bunker, he nearly got up and down but walks off with a bogey. DJ saves par and they are both at level par.
Brooks Koepka's smile gets bigger
Because DeChambeau has bogeyed the 12th (his third) he's out of position once again and left himself a 30 footer for par. He's now at four-over for the tournament thanks to being two-over through three today.
It gets better and better for the Englishman - the man who won his first pro title earlier this year at the age of 48 is now three-under thanks to a birdie at 13 (his fourth). He's two-under for the round and tied for third! He couldn't could he? The obvious answer is 'it's way too early to start thinking like that ' but he would be a hugely popular winner if the very very unexpected did happen.
Oosthuizen looked in impressive form yesterday
His swing is to die for - so smoothy and envy-inducing - and it’s never a huge shock to see him challenge for the big titles. He’s got his second round started and has a three-footer to open up with a birdie and take the sole leader. He misses - it was left all the way and he’ll have to make due with a par.
Will Louis reign this week?
Is one of the more interesting bits of weather you can have - it looks all mysterious and intriguing, unlike rain which is just plain annoying. However, you can play golf in rain but not fog and it's looking foggy at Torrey Pines at the moment. Not bad enough to bring the golfers back to the clubhouse (as with yesterday) but something the organisers will be keeping an eye on.
Jon Rahm shot two-under yesterday and likes this course (won here in 2017). He's also under way and like his European team-mate opens up with a solid par at the first.
Rory Mcilroy got over his first-round woes
With a one-under 70. He’s out on the course at the moment and has just parred his first (the 10th) - his birdie putt just missing on the low side. Playing partner Dustin ‘DJ’ Johnson bogeys and he’s now one-over. He only made one birdie yesterday - that’s very unlike him and there’s a sense he’s just off his game.
Far from Bland
In fact the is news is positively spicy - OK, I admit it, that doesn't really work...apols - anyway Richard Bland is one-under for his round and two-under for the tournament. The feel-good story of the year so far is getting better and better.
Not the start DeChambeau wanted
A poor second shot left the defending champion and ‘videobomber’ (there’s a work I’ve never used before until today is out of position and bogeys his first (the 10th). Somewhere, Brooks Koepka has a smile on his face.
Could he finally win that second major?
Leaderboard at the start of round two
-4 Russell Henley, Louis Ooosthuizen
-3 Francesco Molinari, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Sebastian Munoz
-2 Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele, Hayden Buckley, Hideki Matsuyama, Jon Rahm
Here's that 'videobomb'
A bit of fun or pathetic and petty?
More petty squabbling on the way?
Coming into the third major of the year all the golfing chat revolved around the spat between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. Most people with access to the internet will have heard of the spat, but in case you haven’t it goes along the lines of one of them ‘slagging’ off the other one, the other one then saying he had a better body than the other and so on and so forth. If it seems a bit childish, petty and slightly pathetic that’s because there’s a high probability it is.
The Americans At Loggerheads dominated most of the first day at Torrey Pines. Koepka posting an impressive two-under 69 early on to lay down a marker for the defending champion, who went out in the afternoon and shot a two-over 73.
Earlier DeChambeau managed to “videobomb” Koepka during a TV interview that aped the incident that occurred in last month’s US PGA Championship. Silly for most normal people DeChambeau’s antics added yet more fuel to the squabble that is continuing to dominate the USA’s national championship.
As it happens there were others out on the beautiful course near San Diego and among them Russell Henley set the early target with a four-under 67, a mark that Louis Oosthuizen also reached before the light gave and play was called off for the day.
Rory Mcilroy started off well and managed to complete 18 holes before the darkness came and will be happy with his one-under 70.
Elsewhere Phil Mickelson, who won last month's PGA Championship, had just one birdie and finished 4 over.
"I don't think my expectations have changed (because of winning the PGA Championship)," Mickelson said. "But I feel like I have the confidence and ability to play well enough to get in contention, and so I guess my disappointment when I don't play to that level is a little bit greater."
Mickelson turned 51 on Wednesday and added: “I’m optimistic that I'll put together a good round (on Friday).”
It’s sure to be another testing day by the Pacific, stay here to find out who makes it to the weekend.