The 124th playing of the U.S. Open at the prestigious Pinehurst No. 2 is halfway home. Thus far, international golfers are running the show with Swedish phenom Ludvig Aberg leading the way at 5-under. Germany's Thomas Detry is one back.

Rory McIlroy is also right there, two shots off the pace entering the weekend.

But that isn't to say that there are not some Americans playing well. 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau is in the mix at 4-under par, tied with Patrick Cantlay, one shot ahead of Tony Finau.

With Pinehurst No. 2 showing its teeth Friday, things are expected to get even tighter at the top. No one is running away and hiding this weekend. So, anyone at even par or better following play Friday has to feel like they have a legitimate chance at winning.

On the flip side, there are a number of PGA Tour and LIV Golf stars that were sent packing early.

U.S. Open: Biggest Names to Miss the Cut

Tiger Woods

There is still no bigger name in the sport of golf than Tiger Woods. Sadly, he will miss out on the weekend after carding a 3-over 73 Friday. He finished 7-over for the tournament and missed the cut line by two strokes.

Woods is not accustomed to going home early at a major. He made the cut in 47 of his first 48 major starts. Yet, he will miss the weekend for the second time in a major this year after failing at Valhalla for the PGA Championship as well.

Despite the poor score, Woods felt confident in his play after his round Friday.

“I hit a lot of good shots that just didn't quite go my way, or I hit good putts, and then I put myself in a couple bad spots with some bad lag putts,” Woods said.

“I thought I played well enough to be up there in contention. It just didn't work out.”

He was visibly frustrated after his round, going so far as to hint at this possibly being Woods' final U.S. Open appearance.

Max Homa

Max Homa plays his shot from the sixteenth tee box during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament.
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Max Homa once again struggled on the major championship stage. He entered play Friday in decent shape, having carded a 1-over 71 during his opening round. But it got away from him quickly and Homa was never able to recover.

He shot a 5-over 75 Friday to miss the cut by a single stroke. Following a string of pars to begin his round, Homa would bogey five of his next eight holes.

It is yet another major that sees the ultra-talented Homa struggle on the biggest stage.

Viktor Hovland

After winning the PGA Tour Championship in 2023, Viktor Hovland's 2024 season has been a thing to forget. That continued this week at the U.S. Open.

Hovland was doomed by his opening round. He actually played fantastic golf Friday, carding a 2-under 68. But shooting 8-over during his opening round was too steep a hill to climb.

The Norwegian star had an atrocious start to his season, but had been playing better his last couple of starts. He logged a third place finish at the PGA Championship and was T15 at The Memorial. Yet, here he is heading home early once again.

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler putts on the first green during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament.
© Katie Goodale-USA TODAY Sports

Rickie Fowler actually had the opposite tournament to Hovland. He played very well Thursday, and found himself in contention.

The wheels fell off Friday though as Fowler shot a 7-over 77 Friday to miss the cut by a single shot.

Like Hovland though, this has been a season to forget for the Orange Warrior. He snapped his winless streak last year, only to watch his game fall apart in 2024.

Other Notables

There were a number of other big names who struggled in North Carolina. On the PGA Tour side, 2023 back-to-back winner Lucas Glover is done, as are Will Zalatoris and Jason Day. They are joined by Justin Thomas, who had an awful week at Pinehurst No. 2 finishing at 11-over par.

On the LIV Golf side, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson had terrible performances and were sent packing.