Another warm, dry day is drying out the course during the second round of the U.S. Open, and the players are noticing a difference.
It's not the kind of leaderboard that makes someone want to cancel their weekend plans to stay home and watch the last two rounds of the U.S. Open.
Paul Casey chopped his way to a triple bogey, only to respond with five straight birdies that carried him to a 1-under 71 and make him the first to post a 7-under 137.
Friday wasn't almost as favorable for the world's three-top ranked players, none of whom will move onto the weekend.
The final pairing of Casey and Harman are scheduled to tee off at 2:29 p.m. (1925 GMT), but a forecast calling for the possibility of thunderstorms could disrupt third-round action. "I didn't score and then I hit a couple loose shots off the tee that cost me my day". There no longer is a 10-shot rule that would allow anyone within 10 shots of the lead to make the cut. He missed almost two months at the start of the year when he was diagnosed with a slight rib fracture, and then the latest break after The Players Championship. "I've pictured winning the U.S. Open a lot of times before".
With Fowler not teeing off until the afternoon, the morning action was dominated by a roller coaster round from England's Paul Casey, who recovered from a dramatic collapse to claw his way back into contention.
"Even though it's very disappointing to not be here on the weekend, I think these last two rounds will serve me well going into the summer", McIlroy said.
That increased the likelihood of a seventh successive major producing a first-time victor, although the likes of Masters champion Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer - who claimed U.S. Open glory in 2014 - were handily placed four off the pace. Unthinkably, Thomas shot a nine under on Saturday.
Rory McIlroy will miss the cut, but at least one of his U.S. Open records is safe - 35 consecutive holes without a bogey to start a U.S. Open.
"When I got here Friday, put a lot of work in - not a lot, but I tried to pace myself".
With the past six majors going to players who have never won a major before, there is a good chance that run could be extended this weekend. It's just, concentrate on each day as it comes. Thomas capped off his record day on the 667-yard 18th hole at Erin Hills with the prettiest 3-wood he ever hit, stopping 8 feet away on a green where some players struggled to land a wedge.
"I saw some positives there on the back nine coming in and hopefully I can take them to the Travelers (tournament) next week", he said.
Stricker improved by a stroke even though Erin Hills showed a few more teeth than it had in Thursday's opening round.
Overnight leader Rickie Fowler had people watching on the edge of their seats on Friday, but appeared to play far too conservatively.
"I couldn't possibly shoot any higher than I did", Johnson said.
Fowler, meanwhile, entered the round with a one-shot lead over Casey and Xander Schauffele, who is now in the group at 5 under.
"[It's] not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an eight on the card, but I'm a pretty happy man", said Casey.
"As we all know, this game's all about putting", he said.
He then bogeyed the 15th hole, hitting it short of the green in two and failing to get up and down.