US Open Golf 2019: Gary Woodland Leads Justin Rose by 2 Strokes After 2nd Round

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2019

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14: Gary Woodland of the United States reacts after a par-saving putt on the eighth hole during the second round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 14, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Gary Woodland will carry a two-shot lead into the weekend at the 2019 U.S. Open after shooting a six-under 65 in Friday's second round at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.   

Woodland stands at nine under overall following a bogey-free day that featured three birdies over his final five holes to grab the top spot on the star-studded leaderboard. Justin Rose stands alone in second place at seven under followed by Louis Oosthuizen in third at six under.

Rory McIlroy (five-under), Brooks Koepka (four-under), Adam Scott (three-under), Sergio Garcia (three-under), Dustin Johnson (two-under), Jordan Spieth (one-under), Phil Mickelson (one-under) and Tiger Woods (even) headline the multitude of other notable scores after 36 holes in the season's third major championship.

Woodland finished inside the top 10 at the PGA Championship last year, but he hasn't recorded a top-10 result at another major. He hasn't cracked the top 20 in eight prior U.S. Open starts.

The 35-year-old University of Kansas product is on pace to end that drought after two days of nearly flawless golf with a single bogey through 36 holes.

Mike O'Malley @GD_MikeO

Gary Woodland's 68-65—133 total after 36 at Pebble is one shot better than Tiger's 65-69—134 when Woods won in 2000.

He's done most of his damage with the putter, ranking third in the second round in strokes gained putting (plus-4.3), highlighted by a nearly 50-foot make for birdie to finish his day.

U.S. Open (USGA) @usopengolf

ARE YOU KIDDING?!?! Gary Woodland caps an unreal 6-under 65 round with a 50-foot birdie. He leads by 2. #USOpen https://t.co/QM466SGMF9

Woodland's success Friday didn't come as a significant surprise. He ranked sixth on the PGA Tour in Round 2 scoring. The challenge will be building off that on moving day since the third round is statistically his worst with the 125th-ranked scoring average.

Rose appeared to be ready to pull away from the pack for a while during the morning session at Pebble Beach. He was clean through the front nine with two birdies, while many of his counterparts were stuck in neutral.

The 2013 U.S. Open winner faded by playing his second nine at one over, which left the door open for someone to grab the lead, and Woodland took full advantage.

Meanwhile, Woods played rock-solid golf for 16 holes.

The 2019 Masters champion recorded a birdie on the 11th, his second hole of the day, and proceeded to tally 14 consecutive pars in tough scoring conditions. His round ended on a sour note, however, as he bogeyed each of his last two holes to slide down the leaderboard.

Tiger hit 79 percent of the fairways and 72 percent of the greens in regulation, but his putter was ice-cold Friday. He needed 32 putts to complete his round.

"Overall, I kept leaving myself above the hole," Woods told reporters about his inability to generate better looks at birdie. "Unlike yesterday, when I missed it, I missed in the correct spots below the hole. Today, I never had that many looks from below the hole. And the one I did have, I made at 11."

Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Ian Poulter and Bubba Watson were among the high-profile players to fall below the two-over cut line, bringing a premature end to their week at the 119th U.S. Open Championship.

Television coverage of the third round kicks off Saturday at noon ET on Fox.