Logjam at the top of the board

Dustin Johnson (73) ended at four over, World No.2 Rory McIlroy (71) missed the cut at five over while World No.3 Jason Day (75) was near the tail of the field at 10 over.

Other notable players failing to make the cut included British Open champion Henrik Stenson (147), former Masters winners Charl Schwartzel (147) of South Africa and Australian Adam Scott (147) and double Masters victor Bubba Watson (148). "Yesterday (Thursday), I just hit some shots close and made some putts". "I couldn't possibly shoot any higher than I did".

Unfortunately for McIlroy, he might well be doing just that on Friday afternoon, the 28-year-old following an eagle on the second - where he drove the green on the 330-yard par four - with four bogeys and double bogeys on the 15th and 17th. The top 60 and ties qualify for the final 36 holes. So there's a very good chance this weekend that the run of first-time major winners dating to the 2015 PGA (Jason Day) will extend to seven.

While Casey was relieved after his gutsy fightback, two of the world's top three players - McIlroy and Day - were left contemplating a missed cut.

"I'm optimistic with where my game is", he said. "I think the more rounds I can play, I'm hopefully going to get rid of all that stuff and hopefully strip it down to what you saw the last six holes".

"It's just golf. It's frustrating. I feel like that's going to help me to get back into contention and hopefully try to win some of these things". If you get four or five, that's pretty good. I sort of have to let it come to me little bit.

As for Johnson? His second son was born Monday and Johnson was headed to California to spend time with his family, change some diapers and presumably work on his putting. He'll return at next month's British Open at Royal Birkdale.

The 25-year-old Matsuyama, ranked No. 4 in the world, birdied six of his first eight holes in the second round.

Danny Willett, the Masters champion in 2016, withdrew before the start of the second round with a back injury. He opened Thursday with a 9-over 81.




But there was no hope for Day and McIlroy.

Johnson was hitting it so well that he appeared to be safe even when he was on the cut line.

Day admitted the course lay-out had played on his mind in both his rounds.

"It doesn't affect the game plan one bit, and it doesn't really affect the mindset", he said.

"I didn't see seven under at the start of the week, but today is the best we are going to get". It's just a matter of getting competitive rounds under my belt. When I was younger it went everywhere.

McIlroy has a hectic schedule again. He's playing the Travelers Championship next week, then after a week off heads to the Irish Open, the Scottish Open and The Open in consecutive weeks.

That's eight of the next 10 weeks after just seven starts in 2017. "I took advantage of it the last few days".

While the former took a share of the haflway lead with a 71 which owed so much to heart and perseverance, the latter submitted to the cut in a performance which is beginning to sum up his miserable season.

"I usually love places like this". "I enjoyed the walk, the golf course is attractive, but I just didn't execute".

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