Portugal Colonial - Frustrated Scheffler tosses clubs in birdie-less 74 at US Open

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Frustrated Scheffler tosses clubs in birdie-less 74 at US Open
Frustrated Scheffler tosses clubs in birdie-less 74 at US Open / Photo: Gregory Shamus - GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Frustrated Scheffler tosses clubs in birdie-less 74 at US Open

Scottie Scheffler, the world's most dominant golfer, was so frustrated Friday at the US Open that he flipped a putter in the air and slammed a driver to the ground.

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Top-ranked Scheffler struggled to a four-over par 74 in the second round at Pinehurst, his first birdie-less round at a major.

Standing on five-over 145 for 36 holes, Scheffler was right on the projected cut line for playing the weekend.

"I don't think five-over is going to get me into the weekend," Scheffler said. "But I'm proud of how I fought. I gave myself a good chance."

Scheffler last missed a major cut at the 2022 PGA Championship.

When the 27-year-old American began the week, he was a huge favorite, coming off his fifth victory of the year at the Memorial, a run that included his second Masters triumph in April.

No golfer had won five PGA Tour events before the US Open since Tom Watson in 1980. He had 12 top-10 efforts in 13 2024 starts.

He started on the back nine in a glory group with second-ranked Xander Schauffele, last month's PGA Championship winner, and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy.

Scheffler began on the back nine and made bogeys at the par-3 15th and 17th holes, then stumbled to a double bogey at the par-5 fifth.

At 15, Scheffler left a 17-foot par putt just on the edge of the cup, a near-miss so maddening he flipped his putter into the air and let it fall awkwardly to the green.

"Today I just couldn't get the putts to fall," Scheffler said. "This golf course can be unpredictable at times, and maybe it got the better of me the last couple days. I'll sit down and think about where we're going the last few days and figure it out."

At 17, his tee shot plunked into a greenside bunker and television microphones caught Scheffler saying to himself, "Maybe the worst golf shot I've ever seen you hit."

At 18, Scheffler's tee shot soared way left into native brush and he responded by hurling his driver to the ground.

"Around this place you have to hit such good shots," Scheffler said. "The golf course is challenging. I think personally it's fun to play, but it was definitely a grind."

Schauffele agreed it was fun but had a warning as well.

"You get a little greedy, you try and grab a shot where you shouldn't, it bites you really quick," said Schauffele. "It makes you think sort of about instant regret on not taking your medicine."

- A difficult spot -

Scheffler was unhappy at the waste area he found on the fifth, which limited his options for shotmaking.

"I think that's part of the mystery of the sandy areas. You get down there and it's kind of luck of the draw whether or not you have a shot," Scheffler said.

"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.

"Just pretty challenging spot for your ball to end up in."

Scheffler said he couldn't get much out of his game on Friday.

"I felt like especially the back nine today I actually hit it really well. I just couldn't get a putt to fall early," he said.

"Then I had that unfortunate deal on five which probably on any other golf course if I hit those two shots -- driver, 3-wood -- into a green on a par-5 and probably have a pretty good look at birdie, I'm not going to (be) walking off with a seven.

"Just unfortunate place for me to put myself."