Aberg, Cantlay, Pavon fight for US Open lead as rivals falter

football14 June 2024 19:21| © AFP
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Patrick Cantlay © Gallo Images

Sweden's Ludvig Aberg, France's Matthieu Pavon and American Patrick Cantlay, seeking their first major titles, shared the lead in Friday's US Open second round after Rory McIlroy and Thomas Detry stumbled back at Pinehurst.

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Ninth-ranked Cantlay, an 18-hole co-leader with McIlroy after five-under 65s on Thursday, parred the first four holes to stay on five-under.

Sixth-ranked Aberg, April's Masters runner-up in his major debut, fired a 66 Thursday and sank a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-4 second hole Friday to match Cantlay for the lead.

World number 24 Pavon began with a 10-foot birdie at the par-5 10th then sank a birdie putt from just inside 30 feet at the par-4 11th to claim a share of the lead.

Cantlay, off to his low major start, has a best result of third at the 2019 PGA Championship.

Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open winner and last month's PGA Championship runner-up, made five birdies and four bogeys but a tap-in birdie at 18 gave him a round of 69 to share fourth on four-under 136 with Belgium's Detry.

"Was very happy with how I stayed patient, gave myself good opportunities when they mattered, and I made a lot of clutch putts coming in," DeChambeau said.

"If the wind picks up, it's going to be diabolical."

Detry, ranked 55th, matched his PGA Tour best finish with a runner-up effort in March's Houston Open.

The 31-year-old Belgian had his best major finish last month with a share of fourth at the PGA Championship.

"If you would have told me on Wednesday I would have been 5-under in my round today, I wouldn't have believed it," Detry said.

The back-nine Friday starter birdied three consecutive holes before a bogey at 14, then birdied the first, third and fifth holes to grab the lead only to bogey the sixth and eighth to shoot 67 and share third.

"My confidence is good. My play is good. I feel mentally stable as well," Detry said. "I think I've got all my chances. I think it's going to be a fun challenge."

McIlroy, chasing his first major win in 10 years, closed with a bogey to fire a 72 and stand alone in sixth on three-under 137 for 36 holes.

"Had to have your wits about you," McIlroy said. "I felt like I did a pretty good job at keeping some of the mistakes off the scorecard. I wish I had converted a couple more of the chances. Wasn't quite as good with the putter today.

"Still overall in a great position going into the weekend."

The four-time major winner from Northern Ireland, a back-nine starter, fell with a lip-out from six feet for par to bogey 11 and a 10-foot par putt miss at the par-3 15th.

McIlroy rolled in a clutch par putt from just inside 40 feet at the par-3 17th, then sank a seven-foot birdie putt at the third to reach 4-under only to bogey the last.


McIlroy, trying to win an elusive fifth career major, played alongside top-ranked Scottie Scheffler and second-ranked Xander Schauffele, both with major titles this year.

At the par-5 fifth, where Scheffler and Schauffele each made double bogeys, McIlroy made a nine-foot par save putt.

Schauffele, who won last month's PGA Championship, was four off the lead after shooting 69 to stand on 139 in a share of 10th.

Pre-tournament favourite Scheffler was in danger of missing the cut after shooting 74 to stand on five-over 145.

It was the first birdie-less major round of Scheffler's career, the two-time Masters champion undone by bogeys at the par-3 15th and 17th plus his double.

"It was definitely a grind," said Scheffler. "I'm proud of how I fought. I gave myself a good chance. Today I just couldn't get the putts to fall.

"This golf course can be unpredictable at times, and maybe it got the better of me the last couple days."

Schauffele, who won last month's PGA Championship, was four off the lead after shooting 69 to stand on 139 in a share of 10th.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, fired a bogey-free 66 to share seventh on 138.

"I was playing really great," he said through a translator. "My short game was on point. That really helped. Hopefully I can keep that momentum through the weekend."

Austrian Sepp Straka aced the 194-yard par-3 ninth hole with a 7-iron.