Richard Bland and Russell Henley are tied for the lead at five under following the second round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Bland carded a four-under 67, while Henley went one under Friday.
U.S. Open Leaderboard
T1. Richard Bland (-5)
T1. Russell Henley (-5)
T3. Louis Oosthuizen (-4)
T3. Matthew Wolff (-4)
T5. Bubba Watson (-3)
T5. Jon Rahm (-3)
T7. Kevin Streelman (-2)
T7. Mackenzie Hughes (-2)
T7. Xander Schauffele (-2)
T10. Scottie Scheffler (-1)
T10. Guido Migliozzi (-1)
T10. Patrick Rodgers (-1)
Full leaderboard available at PGATour.com
Bland teed off at 7:07 a.m. PT, so he was in the clubhouse early and watching as a spectator to see if his two-round score would leave him atop the leaderboard.
A bogey on No. 18 knocked him back to two under for the round as he made the turn. The 48-year-old proceeded to pick up three birdies between Nos. 2-6.
A bogey on the eighth hole proved costly in retrospect since it ultimately cost him sole possession of the lead.
Henley has had the direct opposite tournament to Bland, who put together a nondescript first round before moving up the pack in the second. He'll likely be disappointed to be sitting at five under considering he was four under through 18 holes.
For a brief moment, Henley overtook Bland. His tee shot on the par-three eighth hole came to a stop within seven feet of the cup. He sank his birdie putt to get to six under.
Henley three-putted his way to a bogey on the ninth hole, though, to once again occupy a share of the lead with Bland.
Jon Rahm entered as the betting favorite, just ahead of Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas. At the halfway mark, he has left himself in a solid position.
Rahm bogeyed No. 5 but immediately rebounded with a birdie on No. 6. The same story played on the back nine as he followed a bogey on No. 13 with a birdie on No. 14. He got under par for the round on the par-five 18th hole.
DeChambeau's odds of repeating as U.S. Open champion aren't much better now than they were to start the day.
He did himself few favors with a two-over 73 in the opening round. Although DeChambeau is back at even par after a two-under 69 on Friday, closing a five-shot gap over 36 holes won't be easy with as tight as the scoring has been so far.
After he went four over in the first round, it not only looked like Phil Mickelson's quest for a second major title this year was over but also that he might miss the cut altogether. Lefty did enough on Friday to finish two shots above the projected cut line.
Jordan Spieth and Shane Lowry are on track to survive by the skin of their teeth after sitting on the four-over cut line. Spieth's impressive chip on No. 12 took on an added importance given the margin between him playing through the weekend and heading home Friday night.
Matt Kuchar (six over), the pair of Billy Horschel and Will Zalatoris (seven over) and Tony Finau (eight over) wound up even lower down the leaderboard.
Viktor Hovland, meanwhile, was forced to withdraw due to an eye injury he suffered while practicing on the driving range. He attempted to play on but couldn't complete his round.
Chez Reavie and Branden Grace unleashed two of the day's best shots early into the round, with each coming away with eagles on par-fives.
Brooks Koepka put his prodigious power on display when he got onto the green of the par-five 13th hole in just two shots.
The last time the U.S. Golf Association brought the Open to Torrey Pines, Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate were the only golfers to wind up below par. Unless the conditions significantly worsen Saturday and Sunday, the 2021 edition won't be another war of attrition like that.
But fans can probably count on seeing another similarly contested race to the title over the next two rounds.