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Leish left to fly flag alone

Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman gives the big dog a run at Erin Hills. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Marc Leishman remains squarely in the mix at US Open, the lone Aussie standing tall at Erin Hills.

Leishman carded an even-par 72 in the second round to remain at four under overall, despite “a bit of a sleep-in’’ that left him rushing to the course.

With his early tee time, the Victorian made three birdies and three bogeys, the best return of the five-strong Aussie contingent with the other four heading home early.

He is just three shots behind a group of four leaders at seven under when Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka had earlier threatened to establish a signifcant buffer before a string of late bogeys.

Leishman is one of 18 players within three strokes of the lead on a jam-packed leaderboard.

“It was definitely a lot more like a US Open today than yesterday,’’ he said later.

“It was more US Open-like. The greens were a little quicker again, starting to firm up. The ninth green is getting pretty firm there. So, yeah, (I am) happy with the day. Got a little bit of a rough start, but there's probably going to be more bogeys out there today than what there was yesterday.”

Leishman had to scramble a few times, notably making a challenging putt for bogey on the fourth hole.

“I said to Matty (caddie Matt Kelly), the par putts are really important.

"But when you have an eight- or a ten-foot bogey putt, that's probably more important. You don't want to have any doubles any time.

"Also a couple of bogey putts which, it's funny, it feels wrong saying this, but it kept momentum going while making a good bogey. So, trouble out there on the 3rd or 4th hole there and had a good bogey putt, so I walked off that hole not feeling too bad.”

Leishman said he felt more comfortable than at any previous US Open.

“I haven't had a whole lot of success at U.S. Opens so far, but I felt like this course has done pretty well for me.

"I finished top 20 last year at Oakmont, but that gave me confidence. Obviously playing well early in the year gives me confidence. But, yes, I feel pretty comfortable, but there is a lot of trouble out there, so you've got to keep your foot on the pedal.”

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