Patrick Reed is the man to beat at the halfway mark of the U.S. Open after earning a one-shot lead in his pursuit of a second major title, while Tiger Woods was among the big names who failed to qualify for the weekend.

Reed – the 2018 Masters champion – carded an even-par-70 to move top of the leaderboard through two rounds in tricky conditions at Winged Foot Golf Club on Friday.

American golfer Reed was a stroke behind overnight leader and countryman Justin Thomas heading into day two in New York, where the rescheduled major is taking place behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Reed, who made a memorable hole-in-one in the opening round, replaced Thomas atop the standings thanks to a mixed day, which included five birdies and as many bogeys.

A controversial figure on the PGA Tour following accusations of cheating during last year's Hero World Challenge, Reed started on the back nine and birdied his second hole but had three bogeys in a five-hole stretch – that also included another birdie – approaching the turn.

Reed tallied two birdies and two bogeys before closing his round with a birdie at the last to end the day four under and ahead of surging American Bryson DeChambeau (68), who improved 12 positions.

Rafa Cabrera Bello (70), Harris English (70) and former world number one Thomas (73) are tied for third and two shots off the pace heading into Saturday's third round.

Thomas set the record for the lowest score posted in a U.S. Open at Winged Foot with a first-round 65, but he was unable to repeat the feat on a tough day.

Jon Rahm (72) closed the round one over through 36 holes, while world number one and FedEx Cup champion Dustin Johnson (70) is two strokes worse off following back-to-back rounds in the 70s.

Johnson – the 2016 winner – is three over alongside four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who endured a forgettable round following a six-over-par 76.

In contention after round one, Northern Irish star McIlroy – seeking his first major trophy since 2014 – fell 17 positions on the back of a double bogey, seven bogeys and just three birdies.

As for Woods, he missed the cut and the 15-time major winner was not alone as defending champion Gary Woodland (74), Jordan Spieth (81) and Phil Mickelson (74) also fell short of the six-over line.

Three-time U.S. Open champion Woods finished with a score of 10 over after shooting a second-round 77, which included two double bogeys and five bogeys.

It was a horrible day for 2015 champion Spieth, whose woes continued as he bowed out at 14 over after going through the second round without a birdie, instead holding a double bogey and nine bogeys.

Phil Mickelson admitted he had played "some of my worst golf" as he tumbled out of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, scene of surely his biggest golfing nightmare.

Fourteen years after he double-bogeyed the 18th to surrender the 2006 U.S. Open to Geoff Ogilvy, when a par would have secured a third straight major, Mickelson failed to make the cut on the same course.

Now 50 years old and fresh from a debut on the Champions Tour, Mickelson followed Thursday's wretched 79 with a more respectable 74 in tough scoring conditions.

But on 13 over par he was certain to miss the weekend's action, and when asked whether he had considered if it might be his final U.S. Open, Mickelson said: "I don’t know."

He said he would "head home and take a few weeks off and go from there". The U.S. Open is the one major Mickelson has never won.

On this occasion, Mickelson was clearly hoping for more from his game, but said he "enjoyed the challenge" posed by the course in New York state.

"I think it's always one of the hardest tests that we play but one of the most fun challenges because of the… gosh, the character of the course all throughout, from shot-making to putting and short game," Mickelson said.

"I think it's a terrific place to play golf and I'm appreciative of the opportunity to have been able compete here and I'm disappointed I didn't play better."

As Bryson DeChambeau and Rafa Cabrera Bello reached the clubhouse at three under and two under respectively, firmly in the title hunt, Mickelson was struggling to work out where his performance was falling short.

Given the level of his success over the past 30 years, the five-time major winner appears to have found himself in a position he would not have expected.

Although he can play well with the heat off, competing is not bringing the best out of the American.

"I find that I've been playing very well at home, and I get out here where the penalty for a mis-hit is severe, and I find myself getting a little tight and a little steer-y, and playing some of my worst golf," he said.

"And that's something I've got to work on and fix. When I go back home, I don't have the stress and I seem to play just fine, but I've got to be able to bring it out here under these conditions."

Asked whether it was important to return to Winged Foot, given the memories it has for him, Mickelson put on a brave face.

The 2006 final-hole implosion led Mickelson to describe himself as "such an idiot" at the time, but the years have helped to heal the wounds of that Sunday.

"It's fun for me to come back here," he said. "I love the people here and I'm sorry they weren't able to come out to the tournament.

"But I think it's one of the best golf courses that we play majors on and it was fun for me to have to play and compete here one more time."

Justin Thomas set the early pace at the U.S. Open, where a record-breaking five-under-par 65 gave the former world number one a one-shot lead following the opening round.

Three straight birdies from the ninth and another at the last helped take Thomas to the top of the leaderboard with the lowest score recorded in a U.S. Open at Winged Foot, surpassing the previous low of 66.

Thomas – the 2017 US PGA Championship winner – ended the first day ahead of Patrick Reed, Thomas Pieters and Matthew Wolff in New York on Thursday.

A course usually renowned for its thick rough and brutal greens, Winged Foot's West Course was surprisingly forgiving for the start of the rescheduled 120th U.S. Open amid the coronavirus pandemic, hence some of the low scores and the fact Thomas reached 14 of the 18 greens in regulation.

Former Masters champion Reed will hope to remain in contention heading into the weekend after ending day one just a shot back – the American's 66 helped by a hole-in-one at the par-three seventh, the ball taking just one bounce before sinking.

Reed was not the only player to ace the seventh, however. Will Zalatoris repeated the feat later, with Wolff also coming agonisingly close in a remarkable series of events.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on that ace, Wolff impressed and dragged himself into the frame with a run of three successive birdies after beginning the back nine with a bogey.

Pieters is right there on Thomas' tail as well thanks to his round of 66 – a best ever opening score in a major for the Belgian, who closed out the day with a birdie that moved him above Rory McIlroy on three under.

Four-time major champion and 2011 U.S. Open winner McIlroy, who has not added to his haul of majors since 2014, had four birdies and a solitary bogey in a promising start, while Jon Rahm opened with a 69.

But it was a day to forget for some of the big hitters, who will now require strong second rounds.

Defending champion Gary Woodland is at four over, a shot worse off than world number one and FedEx Cup winner Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods, with the latter – a three-time U.S. Open champion – finishing with a bogey and double bogey on the last two holes.

After a front-nine one-under-par 34, American golfer Woodland played the back nine in five over for an opening-round 74.

It was a miserable start for five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, who will enter the second round nine over – while US PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa was three shots better off.

Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie would have a particularly thrilling and eerily similar tale to recount around a campfire of greats recalling their golfing horror stories.

The year was 2006, the scene was Winged Foot, the prize on offer was the U.S. Open on Father's Day. What unfolded was quite extraordinary. 

Fast forward 14 years and Winged Foot is, belatedly, preparing to once more host the major tournament, where the game's biggest names would do well to listen to Mickelson and Montgomerie's cautionary tale.

In total, there were 15 lead changes among five players on a dramatic final day. So, roast your marshmallows and listen carefully as we shine a torchlight on how Geoff Ogilvy became a major champion at the expense of more recognisable names…

Ogilvy's rollercoaster round

Starting the day just one stroke back of co-leaders Mickelson and the unheralded Kenneth Ferrie, Ogilvy found himself two clear through seven holes after making back-to-back gains at the fifth and sixth. But the Australian was not spared the drama and a run of four bogeys in the space of seven holes between the eighth and 15th saw him drop the lead. A solid finish, which yielded four straight pars, would prove to be crucial though…

Monty's mishap leaves door open for Phil

Considered one of the best players to never win a major tournament, Montgomerie passed up a golden opportunity at Winged Foot. The Scotsman had stayed in contention throughout a brutal final day and drained a mammoth 75-foot putt for birdie at his penultimate hole to take a share of the lead. A par would have been enough for the clubhouse lead, while a bogey would have at least meant a Monday play-off. Montgomerie drilled his tee shot at the last down the fairway and had a little over 170 yards to the pin. After a lengthy deliberation, he selected a seven iron but the approach missed the green short and the resulting chip out of the rough left a long downhill putt. He then agonisingly three-putted to see his hopes go up in smoke.

Mickelson makes an almighty mess of it

You could easily forgive Mickelson for thinking that when it comes to the U.S. Open there is a curse on his name. A six-time runner-up at the only major he has never won, including three prior to arguably his most heart-breaking experience at Winged Foot. Having won the previous two majors at the US PGA Championship and the Masters, few would have backed against him when a par at the last would have been enough to lift the trophy. Mickelson had been scratchy in getting to that point, with five bogeys negating three birdies. But still…surely, surely at least he would be back at Winged Foot on Monday. What followed was a comedy of errors. A drive off the tee was so errant it whistled through the trees towards a hospitality talent. His second struck a tree and advanced him just 25 yards, while his third plugged deeply into a green-side bunker. Out of the sand but with no spin, Mickelson's ball rolled off the other side of the green. A chip for bogey went six feet past the hole, leaving Ogilvy to celebrate.

The other hard luck stories…

Amid the drama, a couple of other near misses are often forgotten. Jim Furyk needed only a par at the last for what would have been enough for a play-off, only to miss a five-footer for par after recovering from the bunker. Padraig Harrington had crept into the mix having played 15 holes at two under without making a bogey. But the Irishman, now a three-time major winner, lost his cool at a crucial juncture, bogeying the final three to finish two back.

Brooks Koepka made a dream start to his title defence at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational after matching his career-low round on the PGA Tour.

Koepka carded an eight-under-par 62 for a two-stroke lead following the opening round of the World Golf Championships event in Memphis on Thursday.

The four-time major champion – who has missed two cuts in his past three outings heading to TPC Southwind – was almost flawless at the PGA and European Tour tournament.

Koepka, troubled by a knee injury that has led to just one top-10 finish in 10 tournaments this year, raced out of the blocks with four consecutive birdies before closing out the front nine with back-to-back gains after dropping the seventh.

The American star was bogey free after the turn, birdieing the 11th, 13th and 16th holes to top the leaderboard ahead of countrymen Rickie Fowler and Brendon Todd.

Kang Sung-hoon is outright fourth on five under, a shot ahead of 2018 champion Justin Thomas, Matt Kuchar, Chez Reavie and Max Homa, while the likes of Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia are three under through 18 holes.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth endured a mixed round, posting a double bogey, two bogeys and six birdies for a two-under-par 68 – a score matched by players such as Jason Day, Bubba Watson and Xander Schauffele.

Dustin Johnson, the 2016 winner who withdrew from last week's 3M Open, signed for a first-round 69 to be a shot better off than world number one Jon Rahm.

Rahm dethroned Rory McIlroy as the world's top-ranked golfer after winning the Memorial Tournament earlier this month and the Spanish star opened his Memphis campaign with four bogeys and four birdies.

He performed a lot better than McIlroy, who carded a three-over-par 73 to leave himself with plenty of work to do heading into Friday's second round.

Brendon Todd and Dustin Johnson carded career-low PGA Tour scores as the former moved into a two-shot lead from the latter on a moving day that lived up to its billing at the Travelers Championship.

Tee times were brought forward for round three due to the threat of inclement weather in Cromwell, Connecticut, and Todd – chasing a third PGA Tour victory of the season – signed for a stunning nine-under-par 61.

Todd, who now leads at 18 under par, drained a tough 13-footer at the first and recorded four more birdies prior to the turn on Saturday.

A further four gains followed on the back nine and Todd rolled a birdie putt just past the cup on the 18th that would have seen him start the final round three clear.

"Whenever I get a two or three-week stretch in a row, I tend to be playing better by the end of it," Todd said in quotes reported by the Tour's official website. 

"That's just something I'm using to my advantage now after missing two cuts. I'm peaking in the third week and hopefully I can get it done tomorrow."

Johnson, whose last win on the PGA Tour came in February 2019, was playing a couple of holes in front of Todd and also went bogey free.

After going out in 31 strokes, former world number one Johnson made five birdies on the way home.

The American felt he left plenty more opportunities out on the course, though, with just two of his birdies made with putts of nine feet or more.

"I really felt like I controlled the distance with my irons really well and hit tons of good shots," he said. "I had a lot of really good looks at birdie."

The 2014 champion Kevin Streelman (-15) shot a seven-under 63 to sit in outright third, with Mackenzie Hughes (-14), Bryson DeChambeau and Kevin Na (-13) all in the hunt.

There was disappointment for veteran Phil Mickelson who had led overnight, though. The American great carded a one-over 71 and is now six shots back.

Rory McIlroy also struggled to get firing and the world number one is eight shots adrift after a one-under 69. 

Phil Mickelson said that realising he cannot out-hit Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau has improved his game after taking the lead at the Travelers Championship.

Mickelson carded a seven-under-par 63 to surge a stroke clear at the halfway stage of the PGA Tour tournament on Friday.

The five-time major champion holed eight birdies and a bogey to be 13 under through 36 holes at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.

Eyeing his 45th PGA title, Mickelson – a two-time winner of the event – said: "I made some strides in the sense that I didn't try to go toe-to-toe with two of the longest guys in the game, Bryson [DeChambeau] and Rory [McIlroy].

"I ended up hitting some three-woods on some of those holes because it fit my game better, and fortunately, I made a couple of birdies. I'm thinking about number seven as an example, where they hit driver and I hit three-wood and was still able to make birdie.

"Playing my game and the way the course set up for me was a challenge when you're playing with guys that hit it like that, but it allowed me to play some good golf."

World number one McIlroy dropped down two spots to be four shots off the pace following his second-round 68, which included four birdies and two bogeys.

Xander Schauffele (68), Brendan Steele (62), Brendon Todd (65) and Marc Leishman (65) are also nine under heading into the weekend.

"I know what it feels like to go low out here, so I'll need a couple of good ones over the weekend," McIlroy said. "But the game feels in decent shape, and obviously get out early tomorrow [Saturday] and try to get back in the mix."

Phil Mickelson is on course for his 45th PGA Tour title after surging into the lead following the second round of the Travelers Championship.

Mickelson – who celebrated his 50th birthday earlier this month – carded a seven-under-par 63 to top the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the tournament on Friday.

The five-time major champion was almost flawless at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut, where he holed eight birdies and just one bogey for the outright lead at 13 under.

After dropping his second hole of the day, Mickelson was blemish-free with birdies at the fifth, seventh and ninth before a bogey-free back nine yielded another five gains.

Mickelson – who won the tournament in 2001 and 2002 when the event was known as the Hartford Open – sits ahead of fellow American Will Gordon and Canadian Mackenzie Hughes.

Gordon dazzled with a second-round 62, while overnight leader Hughes saw his three-stroke advantage evaporate following a two-under-par 68.

On a day which saw Denny McCarthy test positive for coronavirus and playing partner Bud Cauley also withdraw as a precaution, world number one Rory McIlroy dropped down two spots.

McIlroy started the day three shots off the pace but heads into round three four strokes back following his two-under-par 68, which included four birdies and two bogeys.

Xander Schauffele (68), Brendan Steele (62), Brendon Todd (65) and Marc Leishman (65) are also nine under through 36 holes.

Former world number one Dustin Johnson posted a 64 to be six shots behind Mickelson, while Jordan Spieth (69) plummeted into a tie for 53rd.

Meanwhile, Justin Thomas (71), Justin Rose (73) and Bubba Watson (68) all missed the cut.

Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning earned bragging rights against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in "The Match", but charity was the real winner.

It was an all-star cast for The Match: Champions for Charity – arranged to raise funds for coronavirus relief efforts – as 15-time major champion Woods teamed up with two-time Super Bowl winner Manning.

Woods and Manning secured a 1up victory over Mickelson and six-time Super Bowl champion Brady in Hobe Sound, Florida on Sunday.

Mickelson and Brady made a late surge on the back nine, but Woods and Manning held on at Medalist Golf Club, where social distancing was front and centre.

More importantly, over $20million was raised to help with COVID-19 relief amid the pandemic, which has wreaked havoc globally.

Bad weather delayed the charity contest by 45 minutes but there was plenty of fun and entertainment once the players teed off, with PGA Tour star Justin Thomas and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley headlining the broadcast.

The star quartet exchanged banter, while Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brady struggled early.

Brady did not look like the NFL's G.O.A.T with a golf club in hand, until holing out for birdie from the fairway at the par-four fifth hole in South Florida.

Team Brady and Mickelson rallied, however, the Woods-Manning pairing were not to be denied.

"It's great, the fact that we all came together and we were able to raise $20million for those that have been so severely affected," said Woods, with the PGA Tour planning to return next month after golf was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 crisis. "This is our arena. This is what we do. We couldn't imagine going out onto the field and doing what they do."

Former NFL quarterback Manning said: "I know Tom and I were kind of comparing notes and feelings to each other. To go behind the ropes in these guys' world and kind of be in the arena with them, it was a really special experience. I was not comfortable the entire time, from the first tee all the way down here."

Mickelson – a five-time major winner – added: "We fought hard. I was a little nervous, a little tight on the front nine. My man kept us in there, and the back nine he really shined. We made a run and came really close."

Is there anything Tom Brady cannot do?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar and six-time NFL Super Bowl champion holed out from the fairway in "The Match" on Sunday.

Featuring in the all-star charity contest – arranged to raise funds for coronavirus relief efforts – alongside Phil Mickelson, Brady had struggled with the golf club against Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning.

Brady, who swapped the New England Patriots for the Buccaneers via free agency in the offseason, is regarded as the greatest NFL player of all time but he looked human at Medalist Golf Club.

That was until Brady produced an unforgettable moment of magic – holing out for birdie from 100 yards at the par-four fifth hole in Hobe Sound, Florida.

Reigning Super Bowl MVP and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, like many others, was left stunned.

"You got to be kidding!!!!! #TheMatch2," Mahomes wrote on Twitter.

Peyton Manning went one up on Tom Brady with quick-witted jibes before the first tee shot was struck ahead of "The Match".

The start of the all-star charity contest – arranged to raise funds for COVID-19 relief efforts – in which Manning has teamed up with Tiger Woods to face Brady and Phil Mickelson was delayed due to the wet weather in South Florida on Sunday.

When the quartet took to the range it was Manning who fired an early blow when asked who his caddie might have been if the quartet had someone to carry their bags at Medalist Golf Club.

With Tampa Bay Buccaneers new boy Brady in earshot lining up a practice shot, Manning replied to a reporter: "Do you bring Eli [Manning, his brother]? Could do that.

"Do you bring Nick Foles? Maybe."

Brady turned out and replied: "That's a cheap shot."

Manning was not finished yet, adding: "I was thinking maybe Bill Belichick ... just to see how that kind of would have worked."

Woods, wearing his famous Sunday red, and Mickelson ensured the first hole was halved after their legendary quarterback team-mates were wayward from the tee in the rain with concerns that a storm may be on the way.

Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning's charity match against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady will be held at Medalist Golf Club in Florida on May 24.

The venue and date were confirmed on Thursday as the golfing and NFL greats do battle to raise funds for COVID-19 relief.

WarnerMedia and the golfers are donating $10million towards the cause, a statement said on Thursday.

Woods/Manning will take on Mickelson/Brady in a team matchplay with a four-ball format on the front nine and modified alternate shot format on the back nine, with the event sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unimaginable tragedy and heartbreak," WarnerMedia news and sports chairman Jeff Zucker said.

"We're hopeful this event and platform will help raise meaningful funding for COVID-19 relief, while also providing a source of brief distraction and entertainment for all sports fans."

All players will have open mics throughout the event, which comes with most sports around the world brought to a standstill by coronavirus.

There have been more than 270,200 deaths from COVID-19.

Mickelson and Woods previously faced off in a match in November 2018, when the former won on the fourth play-off hole.

Tiger Woods revealed the "trash talk" has already started as he and Peyton Manning prepare to face Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in a televised charity golf match next month.

The superstar quartet will raise funds for COVID-19 relief when they do battle in May, with a date and venue yet to be confirmed.

Mickelson came out on top in a winner-takes-all $9million pay-per-view duel with Woods in November 2018.

Woods says there have already been some good-natured exchanges over their next contest, which should generate even more interest with NFL stars Brady and Manning set to tee off for a great cause.

The 15-time major champion told Golf Digest: "It's gonna be Peyton and I against Tom and Phil, and we're gonna have a great time doing it.

"All the money and proceeds are going to go to all the COVID relief efforts. We haven't decided exactly what charities we're going to be donating the money to, but we're gonna be divvying it out to a lot of different causes."

Woods added: "There has been a little bit of trash talk already, a little bit of banter back and forth.

"Whether it's 'I might need extra caddies to carry my Super Bowls,' because he [Brady] has more Super Bowls than my partner. Or, 'I've got more majors than Phil, so I'm gonna have to have a truck come up to the first tee and U-Haul it out'.

"We've had banter back and forth, and it's been fantastic. But it's typical us, it's what we do. We like to give out the needle, and to give out the needle you gotta be able to take it.

"It's been fun, and it'll be like that when we play, when we compete. There will be banter back and forth, but it won't be as rough as what we have in our text exchange."

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