"And I've been very light on competitive rounds this year, and it's just a matter of getting into a good round of golf now".
Johnson also missed the cut at the Memorial, so this was the first time since 2013 (Pebble Beach, Riviera) that he has missed the cut in consecutive events.
The cut was at one-over par after Friday's round, allowing 68 golfers to make it to the weekend.
Most freaky about Thursday was that as many amateurs broke par as top 10 players in the world - two apiece.
Fowler was among those who wouldn't mind seeing the conditions toughen up for the final 18 holes.
"Shooting a good score today gave me a lot of confidence", Matsuyama said. "Just excited to get on a run of golf and get going". But I don't let it bother me.
"It feels great. I came in this week with no expectations really at all", said the 22-year-old. "I'd like to shoot a good round here". I don't know what else it was. I've got four weeks off now and I'm looking forward to it very much. In the Sony Open he became the seventh player to shoot a sub-60 round with a 59.
Among the other notables who will be packing their bags are Daniel Berger (+9), who won last week in Memphis; Masters champions Bubba Watson (+4) and Adam Scott (+3); and 2016 major winners Jimmy Walker (+6) and Henrik Stenson (+3).
The Northern Irishman will now attempt to hone his game and round into form before the Open Championship in July.
World number two McIlroy will have the weekend free after the Northern Irishman added a 71 to his first-round 78 for a 5-over total of 149. Amateur Stewart Hagestad of Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset shot 75 and missed the cut at 8 over. Unlikely as it seems, that was the last major he played on the weekend.
"The biggest thing about this course is that the fairways are massive. These guys play a different game".
McIlroy has played in only seven tournaments this season and was coming off a layoff resulting from a nagging rib injury. I need to practice a little bit and I need to work on my putting mostly. "I was a little anxious starting out yesterday and it caught up to me. If the sun stays like it is and the wind keeps baking this golf course out, it's pretty treacherous on the weekend, which is just what I would like, and I think what the rest of the players want to see".
McIlroy has a hectic schedule again. After another week off, he will play the WGC-Bridgestone and PGA Championship.
That's eight of the next 10 weeks after just seven starts in 2017.
"It's been the best preparation going into a major, I felt like, in my career, which is playing in majors and knowing what I needed to do to prep for a tournament such as this", Day said.
Deepdale's Hagestad misses cut.
"I put it in the wrong places, ' he said".
But not long after he signed for his record score and an 11-under 205, he began to appreciate the significance of a 63 on this day.
Casey finished his wild day with six straight pars for a 1-under 71 to set the target Friday.
Jason Day's struggles continued. It's the first 63 at the U.S. Open since Vijay Singh in 2003 at Olympia Fields and the fifth overall in tournament history.