Four major champions chase US Open triumph

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The cream rose to the top on day two of the US Open as a quartet of major champions helped set up a mouth-watering weekend at Brookline.

Open champion Collin Morikawa carded a superb 66 to share the lead with fellow American Joel Dahmen on five under par, with reigning US Open champion Jon Rahm and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy a shot behind.

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler was part of the group another stroke back, with England's Matt Fitzpatrick three off the pace on two under.

"It's great," Rahm said of the stacked leaderboard following his 67. "I think it's a testament to the health and the state of this game.

"It's fun for all of us because we all want to compete against the best and beat the best, and it's obviously a lot more fun for people watching.

"I think it's great for the game of golf that the highest-ranked players and the best players are up there, especially in the tournament where truly the best player ends up winning."

McIlroy had been in danger of falling out of contention when he covered the front nine in 36, the world No.3 needing three attempts to hack onto the green from thick rough on the third, before holing from 23 feet to salvage a double bogey.

But after dropping a shot on the 10th, McIlroy picked up shots on the 12th, 14th and 17th to remain firmly in the hunt for his fifth major title and first since the 2014 US PGA.

"I think I have to go out with the mindset this week that I'm going to try to win my first again," McIlroy said after his 69.

"I'm playing as good a golf as I've played in a long time. I have a lot of experience. I'm in a good place. I'm really happy with where my game is at, and I think that's the most important thing."

Scheffler was two over after seven holes but then birdied the eighth and 13th, holed out from 55 yards for eagle on the par-five 14th and picked up another shot on the 16th in his bid for an amazing fifth win in 2022.

"I just stayed really patient," Scheffler said. "I was hitting it good pretty much most of the day. Two silly bogeys early in the round, but outside of that I hit it really good."

Fitzpatrick recovered from a hat-trick of bogeys to play his final five holes in two under par as he looks to secure a Brookline double following his US Amateur triumph here in 2013.

"I played really, really well," said Fitzpatrick, who was fifth in the US PGA last month. "I feel like I've left a couple out there, which to say in a US Open is pretty rare, but it is positive going into the weekend."

Twenty-five players recorded scores in the 60s in the first round, equalling the second most in tournament history and just two behind the record of 27 at Pebble Beach in 2019.

But with a blustery wind helping to dry out the course conditions are expected to get tougher over the weekend.

Marc Leishman (71) is the best of the Australians and is six off the pace.

He is joined at the weekend by compatriots Todd Sinnott (71) and Adam Scott (73 - both two over), and Min Woo Lee (70, three over).

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