There no longer is a 10-shot rule that would allow anyone within 10 shots of the lead to make the cut.
He clawed that back with a birdie on the 12th, draining a six-foot putt but was soon in trouble on the 13th, three-putting for bogey.
Brooks Koepka had the lead until he turned a birdie chance into a bogey on the par-5 first hole after making the turn. With a blind shot to the green, he went long into deeper hay, and his first hack at it moved the ball only a few feet. But I couldn't have shot any higher. With wind a nonfactor, a red-number logjam emerged on the first page of the leaderboard with two rounds to play in the second major of the season. McIlroy expressed fondness for Erin Hills despite heading home early.
Other notable players failing to make the cut included British Open champion Henrik Stenson (147), former Masters winners Charl Schwartzel (147) of South Africa and Australian Adam Scott (147) and double Masters victor Bubba Watson (148).
Day, however, came to the U.S. Open off of a second and a tie for 15th in his last two starts.
On Saturday, the two-time major victor played like he should have been.
A 94-year-old spectator has died at the U.S. Open.
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. Day, however, said he felt ready to go before flaming out early.
He never would have guessed it. "And just unfortunately, this didn't pan out".
It didn't for McIlroy, either. That's not to say big names and quality players aren't in the mix here in Wisconsin. "If you hit the fairways, the scores are there". The Englishman shot a one-under 71 but had to fight back from two bogeys and a triple bogey in his first six holes. And even that was frustrating.
Branden Grace (72), Louis Oosthuizen (70) and Brandon Stone (74) are level-par, but Charl Schwartzel (3-over), George Coetzee and Oliver Bekker (both 7-over) missed the cut.
"My best friend has caddied for me for six or seven years", said Champ.
Tommy Fleetwood will try to block out thoughts of the "life-changing" effect of becoming the second English victor in five years in Sunday's final round of the US Open. That still didn't appear to be almost enough.
"I think at the end of the day, it's competitive rounds and get the card in my hand", McIlroy said.
His schedule will pick up immediately.
QUOTEWORTHY: "I'm not here on the weekend, so it's unfortunate".
American Chez Reavie also scored 65 on a day when Erin Hills failed for the most part to bare its fangs. He is long and straight off the tee and an excellent chipper from closely mown areas around the green. "Every time you have a hard golf course, they'll jump out at the beginning, and Rickie (Fowler) had that great run yesterday, and he's seeing 7 (under par)". "But when you're visually looking down the fairway, I think when you're trying to aim at a target at a normal golf course, with normal width fairways, there's some pressure into hitting the fairway because it is a lot narrower than we have out here". It didn't matter at that point because I was so far from the cut line, but at least I know it's in there, it's just a matter of getting it out of me and getting myself in the right frame of mind.
"Being out of position off the tee does not help", he said.
Johnson, who arrived late at Erin Hills following the birth of his second child on Monday, will now have extra time to spend with his infant son.
After the Travelers, McIlroy will take a week off and then play in the Irish Open, the Scottish Open and the British Open in consecutive weeks.
Thomas poured in the eagle to become the 29th player with a 63 in a major championship.