Bhatia in T-10 at US Open; Theegala, Scheffler make cut as Woods misses out

Indian American golfer Akshay Bhatia. PHOTO: X @Akshay Bhatia, YouTube screenshot

Pinehurst, North Carolina. June 15: Even as many big names suffered a lot at the tough Pinehurst No. 2, Akshay Bhatia, playing only his second US Open, held his nerve to overcome two early bogeys to card 1-over 71. He is tied for ninth at the halfway stage of the 124th US Open.

A two-time PGA Tour winner, Bhatia was born and brought up in the US to Indian-origin parents are Indian.

He is 1-under for 36 holes with 68-71.
The other Indian-American, Sahith Theegala, improved on his first round of 77 by eight shots for a 68 and squeezed inside the cutline alongside major winners like world no 1 Scottie Scheffler (71-74) and Brooks Koepka (70-75). They were all tied-57th as the cut fell at 5-over.

Leading the field is the Swedish sensation Ludvig Aberg, who shot a 69 to hold a one-stroke lead on 5-under 135 from Bryson DeChambeau (67-69), Thomas Detry (69-67) and Patrick Cantlay (65-71), who are all at 4-under 136.

Rory McIlroy, seeking a fifth career major and first in 10 years, is among those on 137, following a 72. He is tied fifth.

Meanwhile, the legendary Tiger Woods missed the cut with rounds of 74-73.

Aberg is playing for the first time at the US Open after making his debut at the Masters with a runner-up finish and missing the cut at the PGA Championship earlier this year. This is only his third major start.

Aberg has positioned himself to potentially be the first player to win the US Open on his debut since Francis Ouimet in 1913.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and Korea’s Tom Kim fought their way into title contention after cards of 4-under 66 and 2-under 68 propelled them into solo eighth and tied ninth respectively, in the second round.

Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters Tournament champion, fired the day’s low round featuring four birdies without a bogey to sit on 2-under 138 at Pinehurst No. 2.

Kim, a three-time PGA Tour winner, racked up five birdies against three bogeys for a 139 total as he looks to improve on last year’s eighth-place finish in the year’s third major. Compatriots S.H. Kim and Si Woo Kim posted matching 72s for tied 21st and equal 37th, respectively.

No Asian player has won the US Open since its inception in 1895. Matsuyama, a nine-time TOUR winner, and Kim will carry the challenge over the weekend. The 32-year-old Matsuyama, who was a joint runner-up at Erin Hills in 2017 for his best U.S. Open finish, credited his short game for his rise up the leaderboard in one of the toughest tests of the year.

The 21-year-old Kim, who is competing in his seventh straight week, intends to keep his foot on the pedal in his chase for major glory. He enjoyed a season’s first top-10 at the RBC Canadian Open a few weeks ago and intends to improve on his 23rd-place finish in his US Open debut in 2022 and tied for eighth last season. He feels up to the severe test at Pinehurst. Kim’s best major finish was tied second at last year’s Open Championship.



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