Brooks Koepka fancies his chances of winning a third consecutive U.S. Open title after moving within three shots of leader Justin Rose at the halfway mark.
Koepka matched his first round of 69 at Pebble Beach on Friday to head into the weekend in a promising position on four under.
Rose led by two shots on seven under when he signed for a one-under 70.
World number one Koepka was pleased to keep himself in the mix for a fifth major title after getting through his round with only one bogey, becoming the first defending champion to break 70 in his first two rounds of the U.S. Open since Scott Simpson 31 years ago.
— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) June 14, 2019
“I feel great. I’m excited. I’ve got a chance. That’s all you can ask for. I just need to make a few putts. Sometimes the hole just needs to open up,” said the American.
“If I can get off to a good start tomorrow, have that feeling where the hole’s opening up, it could be a fun round. And I’ll be honest with you, I struck it so poorly Monday and Wednesday.
“I wasn’t playing good. And then it’s been nice to kind of find some confidence, especially on the golf course.”
Aaron Wise carded a 71 to share second place with Scott Piercy, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Louis Oosthuizen – who were among the afternoon starters.
Tiger Woods will start moving day at level par following a one-over 72, while a 69 elevated Jordan Spieth to one under for the tournament.