The cream has risen to the top in Boston. Moving Day at the U.S. Open on Friday saw some of the world's top players show their mettle at The Country Club.
Collin Morikawa, ranked seventh in the Official World Golf Ranking, carded a 4-under-par 66 to share the tournament lead at 5-under with Joel Dahmen (second-round 68). Morikawa is seeking his third major championship after winning the 2020 PGA and the 2021 British Open.
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The group of five players next at 3-under includes world No. 1 and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, whose round Friday featured an eagle on No. 14.
Hot stuff being served in Brookline, Mass.
And then there's Phil Mickelson. Ranked 77th in the world and now playing on the upstart LIV Golf tour, he won't be around for the weekend. Nor will he win his first U.S. Open. Mickelson followed up an opening-round 78 with a 73, 11-over and out. Fellow LIV defectors Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Kevin Na also failed to make the cut.
FrontPageBets takes a look at interesting wagers in store for Round 3 of the year's third major championship.
(Odds courtesy of DraftKings).
Favorite to win: Morikawa (+400)
Morikawa rattled home five birdies in posting the best round of the tournament thus far. A victory here would give him three legs of the career Grand Slam. He would join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen if he can keep the momentum going.
Pick to win: McIlroy (+450)
My colleague Mike Szvetitz picked McIlroy to win pre-tournament and who am I to disagree? The Northern Irishman, who won last week's RBC Canadian Open, rebounded from a double bogey to post a second-round 69. He's as locked in as anyone at this juncture.
Hole-in-one in Round 3 (+900)
The notoriously tough pin placements for the U.S. Open make this an interesting proposition, especially considering Cameron Young tuned up an ace in Round 2. Young holed out on the 165-yard, par-3 sixth hole. Unfortunately, despite the feat, he missed the cut by a stroke at 144.
Matchup: McIlroy (-200) vs. Wise (+170)
McIlroy is coming off a 3-under 69, including that dreadful double bogey. Wise has been the model of consistency with back-to-back 68s. With the pressure as thick as the Massachusetts humidity, the steely McIlroy has the edge here.
Gerry Ahern is senior content editor for FrontPageBets. A 35-year veteran sports editor and digital media executive, he has led coverage of the biggest events in sports, from Super Bowls, to Final Fours, to Olympics, to the Masters.