Toss that card
Charl Schwartzel: The former Masters champ was five shots out of the lead to begin Friday, but that quickly ballooned. Schwartzel made the turn in 6 over par, then took a double bogey on his 10th hole. He rebounded for three birdies down the stretch but the damage was done, and he’s headed home for the weekend, missing the cut by a stroke.
Keep that card
Brendon Todd: He carded a bogey-free 3-under 67 to get within six shots of the lead. The U.S. Open rookie will be in the final group Saturday with Kaymer.
On the course with ...
Hunter Mahan: He was hit with a two-stroke penalty when he and Jamie Donaldson mistakenly played each other’s ball in the 18th fairway following their tee shots. Mahan finished with a 2-over 72 to fall to 6 over for the tournament — one shot off the cut. “You can’t imagine yourself doing something colossally stupid as that, but I did,” said John Wood, Mahan’s caddie.
U.S. Open moment
When can par be thrilling? Anyone watching Ken Duke on the par-3 ninth will tell you. Duke’s iron shot off the tee landed up against a patch of wispy native-area grass alongside a bunker. Miffed at his options, Duke purposely and hastily played the next shot — with his putter — into the trap. He then holed out from the sand for his par. Just like he drew it up.
• Phil Mickelson returned to a more conventional putting grip Friday after his switch to the “claw” didn’t work out so well Thursday. But it didn’t matter. Mickelson shot a 3-over 73 in Round 2 and is 13 strokes back.
• Only Kaymer and Dustin Johnson birdied both of the par-5s at Pinehurst No. 2 in Rounds 1 and 2.
• After winning the PGA Championship last summer, Jason Dufner has now missed the cut in the first two majors of 2014.
219-yard, par-3 sixth: Only one birdie was made on the hole all day.
Quote of the day
“Don’t play like you’re leading.”
— Adam Scott, when asked what advice he’d give Kaymer.
Tweet of the day
“I had the flank steak for lunch; Martin Kaymer had the field for his.”
— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd), covering his 222nd major this week.
Can anyone catch Kaymer? “The Germanator” looks unstoppable, but that’s why we watch. Ch. 11 (11 .a.m.) will have the coverage.