Henley joins Bland to share unlikely 36-hole lead at U.S. Open

Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

To say it's an unlikely duo atop the U.S. Open leaderboard after 36 holes would be an understatement.

Russell Henley has never posted a top-10 finish in 26 major starts, and Richard Bland is making just his fourth major appearance in a pro career that's spanned 25 years and yielded just one European Tour victory.

Henley's 1-under 70 on Friday was enough to match Bland at 5-under-par for the championship, one stroke ahead of Matthew Wolff and Louis Oosthuizen.

Jon Rahm and Bubba Watson sit two strokes behind at 3-under-par, an important spot considering 23 of the last 25 U.S. Open champions have been within two strokes of the lead after 36 holes of action.

Place Player Round 2 score Total to par
T1 Russell Henley 70 -5
T1 Richard Bland 67 -5
T3 Louis Oosthuizen 71 -4
T3 Matthew Wolff 68 -4
T5 Jon Rahm 70 -3
T5 Bubba Watson 67 -3
T7 Xander Schauffele 71 -2
T7 Mackenzie Hughes 67 -2
T7 Kevin Streelman 69 -2

Henley has won three times on the PGA TOUR but is trophy-less since 2017. He's played in just two of the last 11 major championships and entered this week as high as 200-1 to claim the title, and that pales in comparison to the 500-1 price Bland was available at.

Bland's career as a professional golfer includes eight trips to European Tour qualifying school and his first top-tier victory earlier this season after 477 starts. The 48-year-old's triumph at the British Masters set the record for the oldest player to claim their first career win on the European Tour.

Either man would represent a stunning victory, especially with talented players like Wolff, Oosthuizen, Rahm, and Watson lurking.

Wolff took a two-month break heading into the U.S. Open, but the ultra-talented 22-year-old already has a second-place showing in his lone previous start at the event. After making eight birdies in the opening round Thursday, Wolff made four more in Round 2 to move up the leaderboard.

Oosthuizen and Watson's major results speak for themselves, while Rahm's previous success at Torrey Pines made him the betting favorite this week.

With a host of talented players like Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, and Collin Morikawa lurking, the stage is set for an incredible weekend at Torrey Pines.

Henley joins Bland to share unlikely 36-hole lead at U.S. Open
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