"And then I think of the ultimate grinder, head strong, course management, and I think of Tiger Woods".
"I didn't want to be 12 feet below the hole, so I went the aggressive route, and you just can't do that", Spieth said.
There were 200 double bogeys or worse on day one - compared to 212 for the entire tournament in 2017 - as players faced a combination of wind, punishing rough and testing pin positions.
"I'm not very happy the way I played and the way I putted", Woods said.
That one hole, a 400-yard par-4, cost Woods 5 shots, which is ultimately the difference in him playing the weekend.
Woods seemed to be close enough to the cut line after the first nine holes of his second round to give many hope that he would see Shinnecock on Saturday, but then he made a double-bogey on the first hole - his 10th on the day - and another bogey at the second. "You can't fake it at a major championship". "I hit some nice pitches from around the greens", said Johnson. "I felt like i didn't hit that bad shots yesterday - I just wasn't prepared for those conditions". And then you have to battle yourself to try to do it, because it's very hard. "I just haven't done that".
Phil Mickelson, approaching 48 and looking for glory in the twilight of his career; Rory McIlroy, 29 and cruising for additional hardware in the throes of his prime; and Jordan Spieth, at 24 enticing everyone with visions of a long, dominant future to follow his torrid start. Stenson played with him in the final round at Shanghai past year when Johnson lost a six-shot lead in the final round. Poulter's world ranking left this year's trip to Shinnecock in no doubt, but just two months ago, he missed qualifying for the Masters for the second straight year.
A attractive drive followed by a second shot to 20 feet gave him the birdie putt to do it at the par-4 ninth, and he drained it!
Dustin Johnson took a massive step towards a second US Open victory in three years and Tiger Woods looked set to miss the cut.
Defending champion Brooks Koepka (66), major winners Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson (both 70), as well as Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood (66) and Ian Poulter (72) share fourth at 1-over. The man they called Poults held second place outright in the U.S. Open, and his fans-one in particular-expected jubilation.
Billed as one of the pre-tournament favourites, world No.8 Day shot 73 to finish at 12-over, while Scott's 75 sank him to 13-over.
"One over par in the U.S. Open; I'm not sure how else to look at it but like that", he said. It would have taken two-and-a-half to three rounds to do that - unfortunately I went the other way.
But with a razor-sharp short game, the three-time US PGA Tour victor said a nasty Shinnecock set-up would play into his hands.
"I like where par is a good score on every hole no matter what club you got in your hand and what hole it is, " he said.