Voz media US Voz.us

Surprise at the US Open: Tiger Woods misses cut, Swedish rookie Aberg leads

The legend was not able to make the cut at the U.S. Open, while the favorite, Scottie Scheffler, struggled to ensure a spot for himself on the weekend.

Ludvig Aberg

Ludvig Aberg, in a file photo. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP)

(VOZ MEDIA/AFP) In his first U.S. Open, young Swedish golfer Ludvig Aberg will enter the decisive weekend as the surprise leader. Tiger Woods missed the cut Friday at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina for the second consecutive major championship, while world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler struggled until the end to stay in the tournament.

Leader at -5

So far the star of the third major tournament of the year has been Aberg, debuting this season on the PGA circuit. The Swede had already warned of his potential by finishing second at The Masters in April, his debut in a major. On Friday, Aberg repositioned himself to fight until the end with a second round of 69 strokes (one under par) that left him in the solo lead with a cumulative score of 135 (-5).

At 24 years old, the Scandinavian player is the first rookie to reach the halfway point of the U.S. Open in the lead since 1985. Until now, the only player to win his first U.S. Open was Francis Ouimet more than 100 years ago (1913). "I hit very well," he said. "Obviously it was a challenge, it's not an easy course to play. But I felt like we stayed very disciplined, very patient, and tried to hit our targets."

A long and difficult road to claim victory at the US Open

The Swede still has a long way to go before he can declare victory on Sunday, since three players are just one shot behind him. Americans Bryson DeChambeau, winner of the event in 2020, and Patrick Cantlay, as well as Belgian Thomas Detry. Former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who shared the lead with Cantlay on the first day, is still in it at two strokes behind.

Scheffler's worst round in a major

Fighting to survive in the tournament, American Scottie Scheffler experienced one of the most frustrating days of his career by finishing his round without a single birdie for the first time in a major. The always unflappable golfer from New Jersey lost his composure for once and took out his frustration on his clubs, launching a putter into the air after a putt that lipped out of the hole and slamming his driver into the ground.

The golf displayed by Scheffler is far from that which he has dominated the PGA Tour this season, with five titles won before the U.S. Open, something not seen in more than four decades. The two-time winner of The Masters added to his already poor first round on Friday with a second-round score of 74 strokes, which made him fear that he would suffer his first elimination in a major since 2022. "I don't think that with +5 I'm going to get into the weekend," he said. "But I'm proud of how I fought. I gave myself a good chance." Finally his cumulative +5 was right on the cut line, and Scheffler will indeed return to the Pinehurst No. 2 on Saturday.

Tiger Woods' last US Open?

Tiger Woods was not as lucky as Scheffler and suffered an early exit for the second straight tournament after the PGA Championship. The legendary golfer, 48, finished his second round with 73 strokes (+3) to reach the halfway point of the tournament with a cumulative +7, putting him in 88th place. "It's frustrating not to be here on the weekend to have an option to win," he admitted to the press. "I thought I had played well enough to be in contention but it didn't work out."

The former world number one did not confirm if it would be his last participation in the U.S. Open, an event in which he won three of his 15 Grand Slam crowns. "Maybe it is or maybe it isn't," Woods limited himself to saying, competing weighed down by the physical consequences of his 2021 car accident.

Spaniard Sergio García maintained the momentum of his brilliant first day finished the second round in 16th place, with a cumulative even in his 25th consecutive U.S. Open appearance. From the Latin American delegation, Argentine Emiliano Grillo dropped to 28th place at +2, and Colombian Nico Echavarria rose to 21st at +1.