Richard Bland set a new US Open record as he added another career highlight to his memorable summer, earning a share of the halfway lead at Torrey Pines.
Bland, still riding the wave of euphoria following his emotional first European Tour victory at the British Masters a month ago, fired a seven-birdie 67 to become the oldest man to lead the US Open after 3
holes, although Russell Henley would have robbed the 48-year-old of that accolade had he not missed a two-foot par putt on his final green.
Henley’s late slip cost him the outright lead and dropped him into a tie at the top with Bland, and the unlikely leading pair ended the day one stroke ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and a resurgent Matthew Wolff, who impressed with a 68 in his first start since being disqualified at the Masters in April.
Jon Rahm and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson are two shots off the pace, while Rory McIlroy flirted with both the lead and the cut line as his bid for a first major title for seven years was blighted by inconsistency, mixing five birdies with seven bogeys in a “roller coaster” 73 – leaving him at one over par heading into the weekend.