Johnson takes control, Woods sinks below cut line

Tiger Woods slipped beneath the cut line despite a birdie-birdie finish, but Dustin Johnson encountered no such problems.

Dustin Johnson (L) and Tiger Woods (R)   -  Getty Images

Dustin Johnson returned to the clubhouse after his second round with a three-shot lead at the U.S. Open, while Tiger Woods finished below the projected cut line.

World number one Johnson punctuated an impressive day with a 45-foot birdie putt on the demanding par-three seventh, going three under for the day and four under for tournament.

Overnight co-leader Johnson was three strokes clear of his closest pursuers Scott Piercy and Ian Poulter, who, along with Russell Henley, held a share of the overnight lead at one under.

The last of Woods' 14 major victories came at the U.S. Open 10 years ago, but he seems unlikely to make it to Saturday - along with Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm - after a 72 saw him slip to 10 over for the tournament.

Methodically making his way around the testing layout that battered players in round one, Johnson picked up two strokes on his first nine for the outright lead and countered a bogey on the first with a gain on four.

While others struggled to get in the red, Johnson rolled a sensational putt home from the back of the green to pick up one more shot before completing his round.

Woods, who shot an eight-over on 78 Thursday, was even for the day heading to his second nine, needing to pick up a stroke or two to move safely inside the cutline.

Instead, he found disaster at the first again, double-bogeying the hole that bruised him with a triple to start the season's second major. Seemingly rattled, he dropped shots at two and six.

His body language spoke volumes as time was running out on his second nine and by the time he secured a birdie-birdie finish, it appeared to be too little, too late.

Justin Thomas, the third member of the marquee group, was struggling to make up ground. He finished with an even-par 70 and was at four over in the standings.

Tommy Fleetwood took advantage of improving conditions, carding a four-under 66 to counter his first-day 75 and draw closer to par overall at one over and into a tie for fourth with Henrik Stenson.

Fleetwood dotted his card with six birdies and two bogeys, while Henley slipped down the leaderboard after a triple-bogey seven on three.

Rafael Cabrera Bello, starting at the 10th, was three under through his first nine, but Shinnecock gives away red numbers grudgingly and he dropped four shots to slip to four over in total.

Garcia and Rahm appeared destined for the cut. They sat at 14 over and 15 over for the event respectively.

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