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Aberg holds 36-hole lead in U.S. Open debut

Andrew Redington / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Just over one year after his pro debut, Ludvig Aberg has the 36-hole lead in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

The young Swede followed up an opening-round 66 with a 1-under 69 to hold a one-shot edge over Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, and Thomas Detry at the historic layout in North Carolina.

Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, and Matthieu Pavon are two shots off the pace at 3-under with Hideki Matsuyama alone in eighth at 2-under.

In the year since Ludvig Aberg made his professional debut at the Canadian Open, he has won on the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour, partnered with Viktor Hovland in beating Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka 9-and-7 to notch the biggest foursomes win in Ryder Cup history, and finished runner-up in his major debut at Augusta in April.

You can now add first 36-hole leader in a U.S. Open debut since 1985 to the Swedish star's growing resume after he fired rounds of 66 and 69 at Pinehurst.

Place Player Total to par Round 2 score
1 Ludvig Aberg -5 69
T-2 Patrick Cantlay -4 71
T-2 Bryson DeChambeau -4 69
T-2 Thomas Detry -4 67
T-5 Rory McIlroy -3 72
T-5 Tony Finau -3 69
T-5 Matthieu Pavon -3 70
8 Hideki Matsuyama -2 66
T-9 Xander Schauffele -1 69
T-9 Tom Kim -1 68
T-9 Tyrrell Hatton -1 71
T-9 Akshay Bhatia -1 71
T-9 Tim Widing -1 68
T-9 Corey Conners -1 70
T-9 Zac Blair -1 69

Aberg continued his brilliant ball-striking around the challenging layout, as the 24-year-old has now hit an outrageous 25 of 27 fairways to lead the field. He also leads the tournament hitting 29 of 35 greens in regulation. Add the fact he's fifth in strokes gained: putting, and it's easy to see why he's leading through two rounds.

"It was obviously very challenging and it's not an easy golf course to play," Aberg said following the round, according to ASAP Sports. "But I felt like we stayed very disciplined, stayed very patient, and tried to hit it to our targets all the time and see how many ... good shots we can hit today and see where that ends up at the end."

Now that Aberg has grabbed a slice of 36-hole history, he can set his sights on the next bit - becoming the first U.S. Open rookie to win the event since Francis Ouimet in 1913.

A star-studded leaderboard stands in his way. Twenty-six of the last 28 U.S. Open champions have been within three strokes of the leader after 36 holes, according to Justin Ray of Twenty First Group.

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