U.S. Open projected cut: Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner likely heading home

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Watson, who called Pinehurst "unfriendly" in spots at the start of the week, is probably backing up a Masters win with an MC at the U.S. Open for the second time in three years.

Update: Mahan, Watson headed home early

Fortunately for the field at the U.S. Open, the USGA does not have a 10-shot rule in place at its most prestigious championship. Martin Kaymer has run away from everyone, playing a different course, it seems, en route to back-to-back rounds of 65 and a 10-under score at the midpoint. It's the first time -- ever -- at any major championship that someone has opened with those two scores. The closest score to Kaymer is 3-under, and the group 10 shots off the pace is in a tie for 15th (!) place.

With no 10-shot rule in place, the USGA simply takes the top 60 and ties from the starting 156-man field. Right now, the projected cut line is 5-over, meaning all those at 6-over and higher will be packing their bags on Friday night. That includes some of the favorites at the start of the week and some of the biggest names in the sport. Perhaps the top player who will be jetting off Friday night is Bubba Watson, who will miss the cut at the U.S. Open shortly after winning a green jacket for the second time.

In 2012 at Olympic, Bubba was fresh off his first major championship and not really focused on golf. He and his wife had just adopted a son, Caleb, and he was understandably still basking in the glow of that Masters win. This year, he's been on a tear up to the Masters, though the Masters and since the Masters. It looked like he'd win again at the Memorial two weeks ago before a late Sunday implosion, a win that would have probably locked up Player of the Year honors.

But just as he complained about the the difficult course setup at Olympic two years ago — "too tough for me" and "I don't like it," among others — Bubba started this week with a less-than-enthusiastic review of Pinehurst No. 2. He called the greens "unfriendly" and never endorsed the layout in the way pretty much everyone else had. So mentally, it didn't seem like Bubba, who has probably played the best golf in the world through the first six months of the year, had the best approach. And it was evident Thursday morning when he quickly dropped down the leaderboard. He finished Friday at 6-over and will need some dramatic movements late in order to make the weekend.

Also at 6-over is Hunter Mahan, who would have entirely different plans right now if he had just hit the correct ball out of the 18th fairway. Mahan and Jamie Donaldson got confused and hit the wrong balls, and then realized their mistakes up around the green. That's a two-stroke penalty for each, and Mahan would be safely inside the cut line at 4-over if it were not for that gaffe, which is more suited for the most junior competitions in golf.

In addition to Mahan and Bubba, some other big names likely going home are Luke Donald, Jason Dufner, Charl Schwartzel, Angel Cabrera, and Lee Westwood. Here's the group hovering around the projected cut line of 5-over and those on the wrong side.

Place Player Score Thru
T48 Alex Cejka 4 F
T48 Bill Haas 4 F
T48 Stewart Cink 4 F
T48 Harris English 4 F
T48 Ernie Els 4 F
T48 Louis Oosthuizen 4 F
T48 Retief Goosen 4 F
T48 Bo Van Pelt 4 F
T48 Kevin Tway 4 F
T48 Cody Gribble 4 F
T48 Ryan Moore 4 15
T48 Zach Johnson 4 14
T48 Russell Henley 4 13
T48 Matt Dobyns 4 10
T48 Clayton Rask 4 10
Projected Cut: 5-over
T63 Kevin Stadler 5 F
T63 Justin Leonard 5 F
T63 Paul Casey 5 F
T63 Toru Taniguchi 5 F
T63 Zac Blair 5 F
T63 Matt Jones 5 16
T63 Boo Weekley 5 15
T63 Kenny Perry 5 11
T63 WC Liang 5 10
T63 Nicholas Lindheim 5 9
T73 Casey Wittenberg 6 F
T73 Hudson Swafford 6 F
T73 Andres Echavarria 6 F
T73 Mark Wilson 6 F
T73 Shane Lowry 6 F
T73 Luke Donald 6 F
T73 Charl Schwartzel 6 F
T73 Bubba Watson 6 F
T73 Jason Dufner 6 F
T73 Hunter Mahan 6 F
T73 Rod Pampling 6 F
T73 Cory Whitsett 6 F
T73 Hunter Stewart 6 F
T73 Kyoung-Hoon Lee 6 F
T73 Roberto Castro 6 16
T73 David Toms 6 14
T73 Angel Cabrera 6 14
T73 Nick Watney 6 13
T73 Smylie Kaufman 6 10
T73 Maverick McNealy 6 10
T73 Brian Campbell 6 10
T94 John Senden 7 F
T94 Ken Duke 7 F
T94 Nicolas Colsaerts 7 F
T94 Darren Clarke 7 F
T94 Geoff Ogilvy 7 F
T94 Ryan Blaum 7 F
T94 Luke Guthrie 7 F
T94 Jim Renner 7 F
T94 Christopher Doak 7 F
T94 Andrea Pavan 7 16
T94 Pablo Larrazabal 7 16
T94 Stephen Gallacher 7 15
T94 Thongchai Jaidee 7 13
T94 Craig Barlow 7 11
T94 Justin Thomas 7 11
T109 Lucas Glover 8 F
T109 Ryan Palmer 8 F
T109 David Gossett 8 F
T109 Sam Love 8 F
T109 Cameron Wilson 8 17
T109 Brian Stuard 8 16
T109 Chad Collins 8 F
T109 Lee Westwood 8 14
T109 Anthony Broussard 8 8
T118 Oliver Fisher 9 F
T118 Joe Ogilvie 9 F
T118 Henrik Norlander 9 F
T118 Matt Every 9 16
T122 Niclas Fasth 10 F
T122 Graham Delaet 10 F
T122 Hyung-Sung Kim 10 F
T122 Bernd Wiesberger 10 F
T122 D.A. Points 10 15
T122 Robert Allenby 10 12
T122 Kevin Sutherland 10 12
T122 Aron Price 10 12
T122 Jeff Maggert 10 11
T122 Maximilian Kieffer 10 10
T122 Nick Mason 10 10
T133 Graeme Storm 11 F
T133 David Oh 11 F
T133 Y.E. Yang 11 F
T133 Jamie Donaldson 11 F
T133 Brett Stegmaier 11 17
T133 Jonas Blixt 11 13
T133 Tom Lewis 11 11
T133 Brady Watt 11 10
T133 Will Grimmer 11 8
T142 Steven Alker 12 F
T142 Kevin Streelman 12 F
T142 Gonzalo Fdez-Castano 12 F
T142 Simon Griffiths 12 F
T142 Rob Oppenheim 12 F
T142 Kevin Kisner 12 F
T148 Oliver Goss 13 12
T148 Brandon McIver 13 10
T148 Robby Shelton 13 10
151 Chris Thompson 14 F
T152 Bobby Gates 15 F
T152 Donald Constable 15 F
154 Andrew Dorn 19 F
155 Azuma Yano 20 F
156 Kiyoshi Miyazato 22 F

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