Shubhankar falters on last hole; misses cut alongside legends
Southampton (US), Jun 16 (PTI) Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma faltered at the very last step of the second round to miss the cut at the US Open here.
Sharma finished with a bogey-double bogey in his last two holes to end the second round at six-over 76 and a 36-hole total of 10-over 150 to miss the cut, which fell at 8-over 148.
Some of the biggest names in the sport also missed the cut even as Dustin Johnson, who won the 2016 US Open at Oakmont, opened a four-shot lead at midway point.
Carding three-under 67, Johnson moved to four-under 136 and was the only man in the 156-player field to be under par. Two other players, Scott Piercy (69-71) and Charley Hoffman (71-69) are even par 140 in Tied-second.
Phil Mickelson made the cut as he followed his first round 77 with a 69 and is now T-35 at 6-over.
Among those who failed to qualify for the weekend were former US Open champions Jason Day (79-73), Jordan Spieth (78-71), Lucas Glover (77-72), Graeme McDowell (79-70) and former Masters champions Charl Schwartzel, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Danny Willett .
Tiger Woods, a three-time US Open champ, shot a 72 but still missed the cut, finishing at 10-over 150, in his first US Open appearance since 2015.
Woods said, I'm not very happy the way I played and the way I putted.
Sharma, 21, playing only his second Major, starting from the tenth, seemed set for the weekened, as he came to his 17th hole at three-over for the second round and seven-over for the tournament.
But then he bogeyed the eighth to go to eight-over and needed a par as it became clear that eight-over would be the cut-off.
On the ninth, his last hole, Sharma hit his tee shot to the right fairway and then got to the fringe in two and was 45 feet from the flag. Off his third he was just over nine feet and needed to hole the par putt to make the cut.
But he slid past and was four inches off. He mis-tapped his four-inch putt and ended with a double.
He opened with a bogey on tenth and went two-over with another on 14th, the toughest hole on the course. A birdie on 15th, where he holed a 25-footer was his brightest moment of the day. Further bogeys on first, fourth and eighth brought him to the edge and on ninth he tumbled out.
It was not to be, but it was a great experience. The course was really tough and I made some errors. But I enjoyed the experience and the challenge and I will surely come back here again, said Sharma, who has already qualified for his next Major, the Open Championships at Carnoustie.
Japan's world No. 10 Hideki Matsuyama birdied his closing hole for a 70, which moved him up 20 rungs to T26 on five-over, nine shots back of Johnson and as the leading Asian.
Byeong Hun An (71-76) is T45 entering Saturday at seven-over for the week, while China's Haotong Li sank three birdies against a lone bogey for a fine 68 to safely make the halfway cut on 7-over.
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat battled to a 72 to squeeze into the final two rounds right on the number at eight-over as he looks to lock his PGA TOUR card for next season.
Defending champion Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood each shot 66, the low score of the day, and are in a five-way tie for fourth, at one-over. Henrik Stenson (70), Justin Rose (70) and Ian Poulter, who played the final two holes in 4-over (72), are also at 141