That is expected to tax the 76 players remaining after the cut, which barely spared Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay, Rickie Fowler and Scottie Scheffler, the world’s top-ranked player. But it still claimed a collection of stars, including the past major champions Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas, who won last year’s P.G.A. Championship but missed three of four major cuts this year.
“Everybody has their waves, their kind of momentum and rides and rock bottoms, whatever you want to call it,” said Thomas, whose best major finish this year was a tie for 65th at the P.G.A. Championship in May. “I just keep telling myself, ‘This is it, I’m coming out of it,’ and I unfortunately have surprised myself a couple times with some bad rounds.”
Instead, far less familiar players were far closer to Harman. Shubhankar Sharma, who has never finished higher at a major than a tie for 51st, quietly assembled two rounds of par or better to stand at three under, just like Min Woo Lee. Jason Day, a former world No. 1, was tied with them after shooting a 67 on Friday.
Just ahead of them was Sepp Straka, who also carded a 67.
Tommy Fleetwood, the son of nearby Southport who began play on Friday with a share of the lead, finished at even par, putting him in second place and five shots behind Harman.
But the others who had led at sunrise faded. Emiliano Grillo made a double-bogey on the second hole and a bogey on the third. A meager recovery on the back nine collapsed when he bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes, leaving him with a 74 for the day and eight shots off the lead. Christo Lamprecht, a 22-year-old amateur from Georgia Tech, bogeyed five of the first seven holes on Friday, shoving him so far down the leaderboard that it was not entirely certain during his round that he would make the cut.