UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. — On Thursday, playing in his second consecutive U.S. Open as an amateur, Brian Campbell of Irvine, Calif. shot 67 and sat just two shots behind opening-round leaders Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson. It was the lowest score by an amateur in a U.S. Open first round since Mike Reid fired 67 at Atlanta Athletic Club in 1976.
"I couldn’t ask for a better day," Campbell told the USGA on Thursday.
In 2014 at Pinehurst, Campbell opened with 70 but shot 76 on Friday to miss the cut by a stroke.
The Pacific Northwest brought better vibes for the recently graduated 22-year-old who was a star at the University of Illinois. He posted a two-over 72 on Friday to not only make the cut, but enter the weekend with four shots between him and leaders Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.
Campbell birdied holes 2 and 3 to begin his second round, and briefly owned a share of the lead at five-under.
"I walked underneath a big leader board and I saw my name up there, so that was pretty cool to at least have that today," Campbell told the USGA. "It was pretty special. I definitely want a little more of that."
Five other amateurs made the cut, a number up from just one a year ago when 2013 U.S. Amateur winner Matt Fitzpatrick of England was the only non-professional playing Pinehurst on Saturday and Sunday.
Florida State junior Jack Maguire was the most impressive of the group on Friday, firing a two-under 68 that included birdies on 16 and 17 to close out the day. At one-over 141, Maguire is tied for 21st and only six back of the lead.
Also making the cut were Georgia Tech graduating senior Ollie Schniederjans (+2), 2014 Western Amateur champion Beau Hossler (+3), and former University of Maryland golfer Denny McCarthy (+4).
HARDY'S PRESSURE-FILLED FINAL HOLE
Things got especially interesting late in the evening for Campbell's sophomore teammate Nick Hardy, whose result on his final hole, the par-3 9th, would decide whether the cut line fell at four-over or five-over.
Either way, Hardy would have made the cut. But a bogey would have raised the mark by a stroke, allowing 15 more players to play the weekend, including notables Sergio Garcia, Colin Montgomerie, Angel Cabrera, and Jimmy Walker.
He found the rough behind the green off the tee at the par-3, chipping his second shot to about 26 feet — a putt that would decide the fate of 15 professionals. Hardy missed, two-putted for bogey, and possibly made 15 new best friends.
Here's a round-up of the remaining 10 amateurs missing the cut:
T98 - Lee McCoy, Clarkesville, Ga. — 74-74=148
T107 - Bryson DeChambeau, Clovis, Calif. — 74-75=149
T107 - Bradley Neil, Scotland — 76-73=149
T119 - Jake Knapp, Costa Mesa, Calif. — 74-76=150
T119 - Kyle Jones, Snowflake, Ariz. — 78-72=150
T119 - Gunn Yang, South Korea — 74-76=150
T119 - Sam Horsfield, England — 75-75=150
T119 - Matthew NeSmith, North Augusta, S.C. — 76-74=150
T140 - Davis Riley, Hattiesburg, Miss. — 73-80=153
154 - Cole Hammer, Houston, Texas — 77-82=159