Rhys Enoch will tee off at the third round of the US Open on Saturday afternoon, boosted by the confidence gained from the round of his life.
The young Welshman fired an astonishing 5-under-par 66 at Pebble Beach – the second best round of the day.
Only tournament leader Gary Woodland, who shot 65, managed a better score on the day as Enoch made the cut, despite opening with a round of 78 on Thursday.
For Enoch, 30, it will be remembered as the day he beat all the best golfers in the world, bar Woodland – confirmation of his rich potential which has taken a few years to finally flourish.
The 66 tied for the second-lowest round ever in a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Only Woodland, Tiger Woods and Justin Rose have gone lower in the six U.S. Opens held at Pebble.
Enoch’s round, which included an eagle and five birdies, was three shots better than defending US Open champion Brooks Koepka and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, four shots better than 2016 Olympic champion Rose, and five better than 15-time major winner and three-time US Open champion Woods.
His 12-stroke improvement from the first to the second round was the best of anybody in the field and left him two-over-par for the tournament – just one the cut.
A former player on the American college circuit with East Tennessee State, Enoch finished tied for 67th at The Open at Carnoustie last year.
This time, a front-nine 31 that included a bogey on his first hole, three birdies and an eagle at the par-five sixth hole set Enoch up for success.
After a bogey at No. 11, he made birdies at the 13th and 16th holes before parring the final two to just make the cut. He enters the weekend tied for 56th place.
Through two rounds, Enoch’s eight birdies rank 14th in the field.
Rose believes he will need to find an extra gear over the weekend to claim a second US Open title, despite setting the clubhouse target on day two.
Rose added a second round of 70 to his opening 65 to post consecutive sub-par scores in the tournament for the first time in his career as the 2013 champion finished two shots ahead of American Aaron Wise on seven under.
Defending champion Koepka, who is seeking a hat-trick of US Open titles and a fifth major victory in his last nine starts, was ominously placed on four under after a second consecutive 69, with former major champions Henrik Stenson and Adam Scott a shot further back.