World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler used a well-timed eagle to shoot a 3-under-par 67 Friday morning and briefly grab a share of the lead at the U.S. Open in Brookline, Mass.
Scheffler reached 3 under through 36 holes at The Country Club, which at the time was good for a six-way tie for the lead, alongwith Nick Hardy (68 Friday) and four players scheduled to play in the afternoon, most notably Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.
England's Callum Tarren broke out of that pack early in the afternoon wave when he birdied two of his first five holes to get to 5 under.
Scheffler was 2 over through seven holes before he got rolling. Birdies at Nos. 8 and 13 brought him back to even, and at the par-5 14th, his third shot from out of the rough rolled onto the green and straight in for eagle.
The Masters champion then made a 10-foot birdie at the par-3 16th and parred out.
"Who knows how many I'll be back (from the lead) coming into tomorrow, but we'll see," Scheffler said on the NBC broadcast. "At the very least I should be in position to win the tournament this weekend."
Scheffler won four events in his six starts earlier this season, culminating at the Masters, his first major title.
"I don't really come to tournaments expecting too much. I just show up and try to do my best," Scheffler said. "I've been hitting the ball really well this year and playing some good golf and I'm just trying to continue to do that."
Hardy, a 26-year-old ranked No. 371 in the world, has no professional wins to his name. But he was level with Scheffler through two rounds after making three birdies and one bogey on Friday.
Sam Burns matched Scheffler's 67 to get to 2 under. Matt Fitzpatrick of England shot an even-par 70 to head to the clubhouse at 2 under as well.
Burns made four birdies and a bogey on the front nine and was able to absorb a double bogey at the par-4 10th by making two more birdies down the stretch. Burns has won three PGA Tour events this season -- most recently last month's Charles Schwab Challenge, when he beat Scheffler in a head-to-head playoff with a 38-foot birdie putt from off the green.
First-round leader Adam Hadwin of Canada followed his 66 with a 2-over 72, birdieing the final two holes to get to 2 under for the week.
South Africa's MJ Daffue got off to a hot start early in the morning, making four birdies and a bogey through seven holes to be the first player this week to touch 6 under. He came back to the field on the back nine, though, with three bogeys and a double bogey 6 at No. 18. It added up to a 72 that left him 1 under for the championship.
Shortly after Scheffler holed out for eagle, one of his playing partners, Brooks Koepka, drained a tricky eagle putt on the same hole. He posted a 67 to get to even par through two rounds.
The USGA projected a cut line of 4 over par as of 1:30 p.m. ET; the top 60 players and ties will reach the weekend. Phil Mickelson will not be among them. Though he improved upon his first-round 78 with a 73 that featured two birdies, he finished at 11 over.
Dustin Johnson (73 Friday), PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas (72) and Bryson DeChambeau (71) are all in line to make the cut. Johnson and Thomas are 1 over and DeChambeau is 2 over.
Besides Tarren and McIlroy, other players just starting their rounds in the afternoon wave included David Lingmerth of Sweden (3 under Thursday), Joel Dahmen (3 under), Jon Rahm of Spain (1 under), Collin Morikawa (1 under), Will Zalatoris (1 under) and Jordan Spieth (2 over).
--Field Level Media