MAMARONECK, N.Y. — Through the first 15 holes of a rare bogey-free second round Friday morning at Winged Foot, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson was 2-under par and playing himself back into contention after a 3-over 73 in the first round. But for Johnson and for so many others, it was too good to last, a tease before they crashed and burned on the way to the clubhouse.
Finishing on the front nine, Johnson had back-to-back bogeys on the 7th and 8th holes to slip back to even par for the round and plus-3 for the tournament. Opportunity lost.
"Obviously, I didn’t score that well coming down the stretch, but I played well," Johnson said. "On this golf course with the conditions that we’re supposed to have the next couple days, I don’t feel like I’m out of it. I’m going to have to play really well, but I like where I’m at."
Plenty of others had a faltering finish in the morning wave when a north wind kicked up to 15 miles per hour. Daniel Berger was 4-under on his front nine but was 4-over on the back nine to finish even for the day and join Johnson at 3-over for the tournament. Bubba Watson was three-under par then finished with a double bogey for a 69 and 1-over total.
Belgian Thomas Pieters followed an opening 66 with two early birdies to take sole possession of the lead at 6-under. But Pieters was 6-over on the back nine to finish at 74-140 even par.
"On the back nine, the wind got up," Pieters said. "My scorecard says it all. I missed a few really short putts, which still hurts. But I’m not unhappy where I’m at. I don’t think I will be too far away (from the lead)."
Describing his plans for the rest of the day, Pieters added, "I’m going to enjoy watching golf this afternoon from my sofa."