US Open: Richard Bland shares lead with Russell Henley at Torrey Pines

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England’s Richard Bland shares an unexpected lead in the US Open after a four-under 67 in the second round.

The world number 115, playing in the event for only the second time, sits on five under alongside Russell Henley.

Late starter Henley led until a bogey on 18 at Torrey Pines saw him card a 70 to finish level with 48-year-old Bland.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau is level par after a 68, alongside two-time winner Brooks Koepka (73), with Rory McIlroy (73) on one over.

Bland lost his European Tour card two years ago, but fought back and won a first title on the circuit in his 478th event in May.

“I am very proud,” Bland – the oldest man to lead the US Open at the halfway stage – told Sky Sports.

“To lead a major is always pretty special. I tied the lead at The Open in 2017 for a hole, so it is nice to have it a bit longer than that.

“I want to give the gym-goers a run for their money,” added Bland, referring to the athletic young players who generally dominate the top of the game.

South African Louis Oosthuizen, who was among 36 players who had to complete their first rounds on Friday morning after fog delayed Thursday’s play, followed a bogey-free 67 with a 71 that featured two late birdies to leave him one adrift of the leaders.

The late starters provided less excitement with increasingly firm greens making birdies difficult, but American Matthew Wolff, runner-up to DeChambeau at Winged Foot in last year’s US Open, shot a 68 to reach four under.

Earlier, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson’s 67 left him two off the pace on three under, alongside world number three Jon Rahm, who carded a 70.

Spaniard Rahm, who led the Memorial event on the PGA Tour earlier in June by six shots but was forced to withdraw after a positive coronavirus test, may is well placed to put that disappointment behind him – and on a much bigger stage.

San Diego native Phil Mickelson had a healthy fan following on the California course and there was plenty of noise as the left-hander – a six-time runner-up in the US Open, the only major he lacks – holed a birdie on the last to card a 69 and finish two shots inside the four-over cut mark.

 

Agencies

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