Scottie Scheffler's disastrous Friday puts him in danger of first missed cut in two years

Pinehurst No. 2 treated Scottie Scheffler the way Scheffler has treated the rest of golf over the last few months

PINEHURST, N.C. — The turtleback greens and clutching wiregrass of Pinehurst No. 2 did what neither the best players in golf nor the Louisville police department could: bring Scottie Scheffler to heel.

Scheffler, the overwhelming favorite to win the 124th U.S. Open, struggled all the way through a vicious, ugly Round 2 that grew warmer, and tougher, by the minute. He finished the day at four-over to fall to +5 on the week, carding a round punctuated with two bogeys and a disastrous double-bogey.

All of this has him on the wrong side of the current cut line, which is top 60 and ties. Scheffler is currently T85. The current cut line is +3.

For most of this year, Scheffler has coolly, calmly stormed to win after win, a relentless and unstoppable force. On Friday, every bit of mojo left him, and the facade cracked and splintered.

By the numbers, Scheffler was deeply, disturbingly ordinary. At the time he finished, he was losing 1.8 strokes to the field, and giving up a full stroke around the greens. He had a much more accurate day off the tee on Friday, hitting 11 of 14 greens in the second round after hitting only 6 of 14 in the first. He averaged 1.96 putts per hole, ranking 117th in the field. He ranked 82nd with just two birdies all week, none on Friday.

Most disastrous of all was the fifth hole, where Scheffler's approach shot failed to hold the green, his first shot out of the sand rolled back to his feet, his second attempt flew the green, eventually ending in an infuriating double-bogey.

"That's part of the mystery of the kind of sandy areas. You get down there and it's kind of luck of the draw whether or not you have a shot," Scheffler said after his round. "Preferably I would have loved to have hit like a little runner out of there, but I had a bush in my way to where I couldn't play the runner that I would have hoped to. Really all you're trying to do from there is get it up on to the green somewhere, and I felt like I took the best route I could think of at first, and just because it's so unpredictable."

All of this chaos has put Scheffler in significant danger of missing the cut. The afternoon wave will determine where the cut line falls, but Scheffler's +5 total could easily fall on the wrong side. If it does, that will mark the end of a remarkable run of success. Projections as of Scheffler's finish put the chance of the cut line reaching +5 — thus allowing Scheffler to play the weekend — at roughly one in three.

"I don't think 5-over is going to get me into the weekend. But I'm proud of how I fought today. I gave myself a good chance," Scheffler said. "This golf course can be unpredictable at times, and maybe it got the better of me the last couple days."

Scheffler last missed a cut at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, all the way back in August 2022 — a span of 672 days. Put another way, when Scheffler last missed a cut, the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Rams were all defending champions. If he falls short, it will mark a tough end to an exceptional stretch of golf.