Despite Gary Woodland taking the second-round lead of the US Open, he is not the favorite going into the weekend. Woodland, who has never won a major, is at 5/1, according to adjusted odds put out by the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
Rory McIlroy is the top pick at 4/1, despite being four strokes back of Woodland. First-round leader Justin Rose is the second selection at 9/2. He is two shots behind Woodland.
Woodland, 35, shot a 6-under 65, and set a record for a two day total at Pebble Beach for the US Open at 9-under par.
It is a bit surprising to see Woodland atop the leaderboard. He has only two top-10 finishes at a major (T-6 at 2018 PGA Championship, T-8 2019 PGA Championship), and was an 80/1 pick to win before Thursday’s opening round.
But Woodland has played well at the regular tour stop here, the AT&T Pro-Am. He finished fifth in 2017.
“I’ve played well at Pebble the last couple of times I’ve been here during the AT&T,” Woodland said. “I’ve struggled at the other two courses, but this golf course I feel comfortable at.”
Known for his length off the tee, Woodland has been tearing up the putting surface. He is tied for 13th in putting after two rounds. On the PGA Tour, he is 150th.
“With the stroke itself I put a lot of work in with Phil Kenyon. At the PGA Championship was one of the worst weeks I’d had putting but he told me it was the best he’s ever seen my stroke,” Woodland said. “We had a long talk the week after the PGA about learning how to practice, changing some things with the practice and routine, because the stroke itself was really good.”
Koepka in Hunt
Two-time defending US Open champion Brooks Koepka kept himself in contention after two rounds of 69. At 4-under par he is five shots behind Woodland going into the weekend, and likes his chances.
“I feel great. I’m excited. I’ve got a chance,” Koepka said. “That’s all you can ask for. I just need to make a few putts. Sometimes the hole just needs to open up. If I can get off to a good start tomorrow, have that feeling where the hole’s opening up, it could be a fun round.”
He is currently 7/1 to win.
Woods Putting Fails Him
Tiger Woods was trying to get back in contention on Friday, but was once again foiled by a fickle putter. Woods made an 11-footer for birdie on his second hole, No. 11, then couldn’t make a putt longer than 5 feet.
Woods shot a one-over 72, and is even par for the tournament, nine strokes behind Woodland.
“Overall, I kept leaving myself above the hole,” Woods said. “And unlike yesterday, when I missed it and I missed it in the correct spots below the hole, today I never had that many looks from below the hole. And the one I did have, I made at 11.”
Oddsmakers don’t give Woods much of a chance. The Westgate has him at 50/1.
Notable Missed Cuts
Justin Thomas won’t be around for the weekend. He shot two rounds of 73, finishing 4-over and missed the cut by two strokes.
Other notables that missed the cut were Tony Finau (+4), Kevin Na (+7), and Bubba Watson (+8).