"Today I started off a bit ropey".

Under clear skies and warm sunshine, the Erin Hills course still offered plenty of encouragement after a day of record low-scoring on Thursday.

He three-putted on No. 13.

The 39-year-old was only able to move his fourth shot a matter of inches in heavy rough over the back of the green on the par five, before hacking out sideways and taking three putts from just off the green.

"I knew I was out of it", Day said.

McIlroy and Day combined to play Erin Hills in 15 over.

The greens, predictably, had become quicker in the scorching sun and the pins, even more predictably, were not as generously set.

The biggest surprise at this U.S. Open was not who was leading, but who was leaving.

As for Day, he entered this week with a stellar track record at the U.S. Open - five top-10 finishes in six career starts. A bogey at the extremely hard par-4 fourth hole was the only blip on the front nine and he made the turn at one-over for the day.

The 47-year-old South African posted a two-under-par 71. When I get down he kind of tells me a joke or something dumb. Through 36 holes, not a single player inside the top 18 has won a major. Jason Day, the world number three, also looks poised to get the weekend off after a 75 left the Australian at 10 over through two round. But he missed his first cut at a major since the 2012 PGA Championship.

More news: Britvic Plc 15.1% Potential Upside Indicated by Whitman Howard

He never would have guessed it. "I took advantage of it the last few days". "And I just unfortunately didn't execute".

It didn't for McIlroy, either.

Rory McIlroy will miss the cut, but at least one of his U.S. Open records is safe - 35 consecutive holes without a bogey to start a U.S. Open.

After tying for 45th at the Memorial last month, Matsuyama arrived at Erin Hills on a downturn in a topsy-turvy season. If only he had hit the fairways. "But then again, you sit there and it's the U.S. Open". And even that was frustrating. (That was his first competitive round since the Players, having taken time off to heal from a rib injury.) On Friday, he hit 11 fairways and 12 greens but his five birdies were offset by four bogeys.

Schauffele had a chance to tie Fowler for the lead until his 12-foot birdie putt on the par-three ninth slid by on the right. That still didn't appear to be almost enough. He missed almost two months at the start of the year when he was diagnosed with a slight rib fracture, and then the latest break after The Players Championship.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). Brendan Steele hits a drive on the fifth hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Friday, June 16, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. "It's just like I said, you've got to keep it in the short grass, out of that fescue, and don't make any bogeys".

"It's very hard to get get through a major championship, let alone a US Open without a blemish on your card", the 39-year-old told BBC Sport.

His schedule will pick up immediately.

"It was a good display, all my own fault, but a good display of what can happen if you get out of position on this golf course". "Even though it's very disappointing to not be here on the weekend, I think these last two rounds will serve me well going into the summer".