McIlroy followed an opening-round 78 with a 71 and is now a combined 43 over par in 18 U.S. Open rounds since winning the tournament at Congressional in 2011.
The Wisconsin native is a fan favorite in the first Open in his home state.
Adding to the logjam are Australian Marc Leishman, Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, Americans Xander Schauffele and Jamie Lovemark and South Korean Kim Si-woo all on six under, leaving 14 players within one stroke of the lead.
Johnson shot 1-over 73 on Friday to finish at 4 over, three shots off the cut line.
"It was really cool".
"It would change my life, I know that". (That was his first competitive round since the Players, having taken time off to heal from a rib injury.) On Friday, he hit 11 fairways and 12 greens but his five birdies were offset by four bogeys.
"Yeah, that would have been nice to get".
"I did everything I could to make more birdies coming in", he said.
He's not slowing down either.
Still, Stricker was struck by the players' power.
He's not sure if his wife, Nicki, will repeat as his caddie next week, though.
Jordan Spieth is not among them. Ryder Cup hero and firebrand Patrick Reed shot 65 yesterday and stands just four back at 8 under, though Erin Hills has not been kind to guys who went so low; they usually fell back the next day.
Spieth was well off the lead, but seemed to be feeling much better with his game after shooting 76 in the third round.
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"I still feel like I've got a lot of good golf in me, and that's what I'm trying to do this week", Stricker said.
When asked to rate his confidence level, Spieth assigned himself a "B", though he graded himself at an "A" with his putter. "I was just a little bit off". "So it's pretty simple, I just didn't get it in the hole fast enough".
This has been quite the confidence-building experience for the 20-year-old who plays at Texas. That's been the case all week at Erin Hills.
Tom Kite knows a little something about hard conditions for the final round of the U.S. Open.
Cameron Champ, the only other amateur to make the cut, shot a 76 to finish at even par. He ends his weekend at Erin Hills at 1 over. When the wind picked up Sunday, Ernie Els thought of another major championship. "It's a big golf course with lots of rough but it lets you play".
The 40-year-old Hoffman is playing in his sixth U.S. Open.
Day never had a chance, following his career-worst 79 in a U.S. Open with a 75.
That victory five years ago at Royal Latham was his last tour win. "I had to hit it all". If not, it's fine. "It's been really good".
Mullinax shot 68 on Sunday to tie for ninth at 8 under, eight shots behind victor Brooks Koepka. Mickelson has won every major but the U.S. Open. He also qualified out of Memphis, surviving a five-man playoff for one of the final two spots. I hope when they found the guy who did that.
HAIL THE KING: The 18th hole at Erin Hills had a special flag for the final round of the U.S. Open.
The player who turned the U.S. Open into a soap opera of sorts the previous two years won't be around for the weekend this time. It featured a silhouette of Palmer in mid-stride, tossing his visor in the air.
"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".