Dustin Johnson takes control on day two at US Open

Dustin Johnson takes control on day two at US Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson takes control on day two at US Open after another testing round at Shinnecock Hills. Neil Tappin rounds up the action

Dustin Johnson looked every bit the world’s best golfer during day two of the US Open. The American added a round of 67 to his opening 69 to take a commanding lead into the weekend. That he was, for a long time, the only man under par was a fitting benchmark for a player who looked head and shoulders above the rest.

Lining up behind Johnson are a group of four Englishman. Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, and Paul Casey perhaps showing that the best preparation for Shinnecock Hills are the links golf courses of the UK. With the wind blowing and the course hardening, Shinnecock has looked more like Hoylake than the Hamptons.

Poulter had moved to within one shot of Johnson on three under par, but a 7, 5 finish, which the Englishman described as "stupid" means he is five shots back from the field now.

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The interesting sub-plot from a European perspective is the upcoming Ryder Cup. This event will go a long way to deciding the line-up of the our team at Le Golf National.

Aside from Johnson’s impressive performance, the other main talking point was the USGA itself – as is often the case at the US Open. Is Shinnecock Hills fair, have they gone too far with the set-up, is this what a major golf championship should be – just some of the questions relating to the way in which the golf course was set up.

In truth, it has been farcical at times. When genuinely great golf shots are being punished by pin placements perched on the edge of steep run off areas on greens running at 12 on the stimpmeter, you have to question the organisers. Thankfully, as day two wore on, so the wind calmed. But the US Open is supposed to be extreme, it is supposed to be the hardest examination paper in the game. Those defending the USGA will point to the quality of the leaderboard as justification for the set up.

US Open Leaderboard 2018

And yet, there have been some high profile casualties. Rory McIlroy’s rollercoaster relationship with the game at the highest level continues. Jordan Spieth, with his putter misfiring, looks lost. Jon Rahm looked like an inexperienced rookie and Tiger Woods reminded us of just how far he had fallen since his last major championship, 10 years ago – They all missed the cut.

As we head into the final two rounds, there are a host of story-lines waiting to be written. The 2018 US Open has only just begun.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X