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Scheffler narrowly avoids missing 1st cut in nearly 2 years

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Pinehurst No. 2 left Scottie Scheffler visibly frustrated throughout his second-round 74, but the World No. 1 will avoid his first missed cut in two years after making it on the number.

He carded his first birdie-free round in a major championship as a professional and his first round without a circle on the scorecard since the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge.

He struggled tee-to-green Thursday, hitting only six-of-14 fairways and 12-of-18 greens in regulation in Round 1. To Scheffler's credit, his elite ball-striking returned Friday, but the putting woes that have held him back so many times reared their ugly head at the most inopportune time.

While sitting at 1-over and needing to make a couple of early birdies to get back into contention during the scorable conditions at Pinehurst, Scheffler's putter went ice cold. He lost over three strokes putting through his first 13 holes to fall even further off the lead.

And in perfect U.S. Open fashion, Scheffler got burned by getting overaggressive on the easiest hole on Pinehurst No. 2. The reigning Masters champ had 267 yards for his second shot into the par 5 but missed left of the green - a complete no-go zone - while hoping to give himself an eagle chance.

Facing a difficult uphill pitch from the sandy waste area prevalent throughout Pinehurst, Scheffler's third shot barely got the ball to the putting surface before the diabolical Donald Ross-designed greens repelled his aggressive effort back to his feet.

It took Scheffler four more shots to finish No. 5, forcing him to card a double-bogey seven when he was probably thinking about making a three while standing in the middle of the fairway.

Scheffler left his fate of playing the weekend in the hands of the afternoon wave. He's finished Round 2 at 5-over, two shots outside the 3-over cutline at the time.

However, the course played tougher as the afternoon progressed, and the cut moved to 5-over late in the day. That keeps Scheffler in the field for the weekend, but he'll face a 10-shot deficit heading into Saturday. He was able to storm back from six behind entering the weekend at The Players Championship in March, but the test is significantly harder at Pinehurst.

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