1, 2 and 3 all missed the cut in a major.
The rounds of the day were turned in by Hideki Matsuyama and Chez Reavie, who equaled Fowler's 65 on Thursday.
Paul Casey chopped his way to a triple bogey, only to respond with five straight birdies that carried him to 1-under 71 and make him the first to hit the clubhouse with the lead at 7-under 137. Whatever happens, bogey, double, birdie, eagle, I'm pretty chill anyway.
Both players - ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the world, respectively - put themselves in poor position with bloated opening-round scores: Day a 7-over 79 and McIlroy a 78.
"Guess what?" he said to his 4-year-old son.
"The majors have a different feel and sound to the roars and to hear the crowd go insane when I holed that putt on 18 was really cool", said Thomas, whose back-to-back wins in Hawaii in January included an opening 59 in the Sony Open. "Even just trying to take my medicine was very, very hard. It's a good 8 in the end".
Family members say the two loved golf and traveled the country playing in couples' leagues.
After weeks of pouring his heart and soul into qualifying for the first U.S. Open played in Wisconsin, Madison's Steve Stricker was right where he wanted to be after the tournament's second round.
"The greens were still receptive to good shots, but they were firmer and faster", said Fowler.
Sure, he birdied four of his last six holes to salvage a 71 and finish at 5-over 149. Fowler shot 73 and was still very much in the hunt.
Fleetwood (70) joined the group at seven under with a birdie on the par-five 18th, while Harman quietly shot a 70 to make a major cut for just the third time.
He then hacked out his fifth out sideways and now some 52-feet from the hole from where he chipped and two putted.
"I hit the ball better than I did yesterday, I drove it very well and hit a lot of good iron shots, I just didn't make any putts", Johnson said.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson missed the cut, as did Rory McIrloy and Jason Day. Johnson (+4) can't be too upset to be travelling home to California to see his newborn baby. He played in any country and on any continent he could find a game.
Stricker improved by a stroke even though Erin Hills showed a few more teeth than it had in Thursday's opening round. "I think seven under can still win the championship".
It was McIlroy's first tournament since taking time off to tend to a recurring rib injury.
The 26-year-old from Southport, who finished a shot ahead of Johnson to claim his second European Tour title in Abu Dhabi in January, said: "It's going to be great". The top 18 players on the leaderboard going into the weekend have combined for zero majors.
Rickie Fowler, the first-round leader, is in a three-way tie at 6 under, followed by an eclectic mix of five golfers at 5 under. Despite the bumpy finish, he's a confident man heading into the weekend.
"I was upset with the score I had made, but it did not have any effect on my attitude or how I was going to then approach the rest of the round or the next shot".