Zach Johnson may be from the Midwest, but the veteran pro showed yet again Friday that he is more than comfortable playing golf in Europe.
Johnson fired a 4-under 67 in Round 2 to grab a share of the 36-hole Open Championship lead with Kevin Kisner, one shot ahead of Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood, and Xander Schauffele.
It's no surprise to see the 42-year-old near the top of the leaderboard in the season's third major, as Johnson won the 2015 event and has five top-15 finishes in his last six Open Championship starts. After bogeying his first hole of the day, he spread five birdies over the next 17 holes, including a deep one on the 18th to post the 6-under total.
Kisner walked onto the 18th tee with a two-stroke lead at 8-under Friday but found water on his way to a double-bogey and fell into the tie for top spot. The 34-year-old couldn't repeat his brilliant performance of 22 total putts from Thursday, needing 29 to get around the daunting layout.
Rain on Friday morning presented a challenge to the early wave of players, but the moisture softened Carnoustie to more manageable levels after the baked-out fairways of the opening round.
Fleetwood was among those who took advantage, firing a sizzling bogey-free 65 to move up more than 40 spots and into contention.
|Place||Player||Total to par||Round 2 score|
|T6||Erik Van Rooyen||-4||71|
Behind that trio sits a talent-rich group led by Rory McIlroy at 4-under and the duo of Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler at 3-under-par.
Those aren't the only big names within shouting distance of the leaders, as Brooks Koepka at 1-under and Tiger Woods at even par have a chance to make some noise earlier Saturday and put pressure on those at the top.
Koepka continued his torrid play from Thursday's back nine, shooting a 3-under 69 to move up more than 30 spots on the leaderboard. The U.S. Open champion has now played his last 27 holes in 6-under after starting the event with a 5-over 41 on the front nine.
Woods battled the wet conditions for his second straight solid but unspectacular day at Carnoustie, finishing with another round of even par. The three-time champion started 2-over for his first three holes but rebounded with four birdies the rest of the way to remain in the tournament.
The same can't be said for three of the top five golfers in the world, as Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Jon Rahm all missed the cut after struggling in the second round.