Russell Henley remained atop the 2021 US Open standings at Torrey Pines after Friday’s second round, with Richard Brand joining him tied for first place. Both are tied at 5 under par after 36 holes.
Brand pulled an under-67 score on Friday to be tied with Henley for first place. Louis Oosthuizen and Matthew Wolff are tied for third at under 4 for the tournament, and Bubba Watson and Jon Rahm are each tied for fifth at under 3. Defending US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau, is tied for 13th place.
Some of the big names who failed to make the cut include Tony Finau, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson and Henrik Stenson.
Or: Torrey Pines South Course, La Jolla, CA
When: Saturday June 19-Sunday June 20, 2021.
tv coverage: Saturday, 11 am-9pm (NBC); Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Golf Channel), 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. (NBC).
Departure times: See departure times for day 3.
Live updates: Follow with a live leaderboard.
Check out some of what The Associated Press’s Doug Ferguson wrote after Friday’s action.
The US Open prides itself on being the most open of all major tournaments with some 9,000 players from all golf backgrounds having a chance to compete.
The weekend at Torrey Pines features major champions and contenders, unknown and unannounced players, all still within reach of this US Open trophy. Nine strokes separated the first from the last.
It starts with Richard Bland, a 48-year-old Englishman who finally won the European Tour last month on his 478th try. Bland was under 67 and left Torrey Pines with his name atop the standings in just his fourth major. Its first took place 23 years ago.
Russell Henley was fortunate enough to build himself a two-stroke lead on Friday afternoon when he stood over an 18-foot birdie putt on the ninth par-5. He missed, then saw his 2-foot putt come out of the cup. That gave him a 70 to join Bland 5-under 137.
They’ll be in the final group on Saturday, with a lot of big hitters behind them and getting a lot more attention. Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (71) and Matthew Wolff (68), US Open runner-up last year at Winged Foot, were one stroke behind.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson (67) and Jon Rahm (70), former winner at Torrey Pines and former world No. 1, also replied.
Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau and his pal Brooks Koepka were tied, just five strokes behind. They were on the same score. They will not be in the same group.
Also at par 142 was Justin Thomas, who had a 68.
“Most of the time, if I’m five before a Saturday, I probably need to do 12 or 15 or more birdies on the weekends to hang on,” Thomas said. “But it’s a US Open. It’s a little different.
Henley doesn’t know much about Bland except that he pays a little attention to golf around the world and remembers hearing about his victory at the British Masters to end his long quest for victory.
“I’m sure he doesn’t know anything about me either,” said Henley, a three-time PGA Tour winner who has appeared in 26 majors without a top 10.
Bland’s victory at the British Masters made him the oldest winner for the first time in European Tour history. It was also the start of a series of three tournaments for the top 10 players to enter the US Open. Travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have eliminated the 36-hole qualifier in England.
It’s only his fourth major – twice at Royal Birkdale in 1998 and 2017, once at Bethpage Black for the US Open in 2009 – and it came on a high note.
“A lot of guys have a lot more on the CV than I do,” Bland said. “But I’m here to compete and give it my all.”