15 June 2024

US Open day two: Ludvig Aberg heads into weekend with an eye on history

15 June 2024

Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg took a one-shot lead into the third round of the US Open on Saturday as he aimed to become the first debut winner for 111 years.

Aberg carded a second round of 69 at Pinehurst for a halfway total of five under par, with Belgium’s Thomas Detry and the American pair of Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay all on four under.

Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau and Matthieu Pavon were a shot further back, with the entire field separated by 10 shots after the cut fell on five over par.

Masters champion and world number one Scottie Scheffler survived on the mark following a birdie-free 74, while former Open champion Francesco Molinari incredibly made a hole-in-one on the ninth – his final hole – to also qualify for the weekend on five over.

The last player to win the US Open on their tournament debut was amateur Francis Ouimet in 1913, but Aberg repeating that feat would come as no great surprise following an extraordinary start to his professional career.

Aberg joined the paid ranks a year ago but quickly won on the DP World Tour, helped Europe regain the Ryder Cup in Rome – including a record 9&7 win with Viktor Hovland over Scheffler and Brooks Koepka – and also tasted victory on the PGA Tour in November.

Such performances earned the 24-year-old a major debut at the Masters and he pushed Scheffler all the way in April before the world number one pulled away to claim a second green jacket at Augusta National.

“I think a US Open is supposed to be hard,” Aberg said. “It’s supposed to be tricky and it’s supposed to challenge any aspect of your game and I feel like it’s really doing that.

“But I’m super fortunate with the way that things have turned out over the last couple of days and hopefully we’ll be able to keep it up.”

Quote of the day

“Sort of internally screaming for the most part” – Tyrrell Hatton’s response when asked what goes on inside his head during a US Open.

Statistic of the day

Top statistician Justin Ray with some good news for those players at two under or better.

Shot of the day

Sepp Straka had already made a hole-in-one on the ninth, but Francesco Molinari amazingly matched him with his last shot of round two to make the halfway cut on the mark of five over.

Round of the day

Former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama posted the lowest score with a 66, but England’s Sam Bairstow gets the nod after a 67 which was an incredible 17-shot improvement on his opening 84 on his US Open debut.

Easiest hole

Neither of the par fives was the easiest hole, with that honour going to the short par-four 13th. A total of 32 birdies, 15 bogeys and just one double bogey resulted in an average of 3.900.

Hardest hole

Overnight joint-leader Patrick Cantlay was one of 12 players to make a double bogey on the most difficult hole, the fiendish green on the eighth also resulting in 47 bogeys and just 10 birdies for an average of 4.410.

Selected tee times (all BST)

1501 – Cameron Young, Scottie Scheffler1951 – Tyrrell Hatton, Tom Kim2002 – Hideki Matsuyama, Matthieu Pavon2013 – Tony Finau, Rory McIlroy2024 – Patrick Cantlay, Thomas Detry2035 – Bryson DeChambeau, Ludvig Aberg

Weather forecast

After a 40 per cent risk of showers overnight, the front passes at daybreak on Saturday with north to northeast winds becoming gusty up to 18mph. After the warmest start of the week, temperatures will again climb beyond 90 degrees at around 2pm.

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