SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- Dustin Johnson followed his 1-under 69 on Thursday at the 2018 U.S. Open with a 3-under 67 in Round 2 and now leads Scott Piercy and Charley Hoffman by four going into the weekend at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

On a week in which there have been 14 total rounds scored under par, Johnson now holds two of them. On Friday, he made just one bogey and wrapped his lithe hands around the heart of an indomitable golf course that has thus resisted being controlled by anyone save the USGA, which sets the place up on a daily basis.

Johnson started his day on the par-4 10th and played a clean 2-under 33 on that side of the course. The only blip he had all day came on the par-4 1st hole, where he hit his approach in the sand and couldn't get up and down. Four pars and a birdie after that bogey led to the denouement of a round in which D.J. seemingly had one of the most fickle tracks in the country on a string.

Johnson hung his tee shot on the par-3 7th a little out to the right side and had a 45-foot birdie putt on that famous redan green that honestly would have been a good two-putt par. He delicately rolled it toward the cup where it took one final rotation and found Fox's microphone at the very bottom. A fist-pump birdie and a stolen stroke from the field that pushed him to 4 under for the week. It wasn't curtains on the tournament, except ... maybe it was.

Tiger Woods, who played with Johnson and stood right next to him as the putt fell, looked up and over at D.J. as it dropped and the crowd erupted. He smirked and gave a semi-eye roll as if to say, "I've done that before. Yeah, that's what wins U.S. Opens." It was piling onto a field that was already suffocating under the pressure of having to track down this thoroughbred at a place like Shinnecock.

"That was a good one," said Johnson. "I knew coming off the putter ... obviously, I'm trying to make it, but I was more focused on just making sure I had good speed. You know, hit a really nice putt, and it went right in there. I knew about halfway there it was on a really good line if it would just get to the hole, which I guess it dropped right in the front door."

It wasn't even close to the only putt he hit like that on Friday. D.J.'s pace was exquisite all day, and it reminded me that, for all the accolades Johnson gets for how far and straight his unique swing sends the ball, he doesn't get nearly enough credit for his short game. 

On a week when the longest players in the world are struggling mightily, Johnson is showing that he's more than just a bomber, or than just a champion of straight, long course. He's showing how you play golf at the highest level, and in that sense, he might be the outlier of the top 10 players in the world (most of whom are either clawing to make the cut or have already missed it).

Of the top 11 golfers on the PGA Tour in driving distance in the field this week, only two are better than 4 over so far. One is Brooks Koepka, who is 1 over. The other is D.J., and he's 4 under. He came into the week 20th in putting and 51st in strokes gained around the green. After hitting just 58 percent of greens in regulation over the first two days, he's showing off those bona fides.

"Dustin was in complete control of what he's doing," said Woods, his playing partner. "He's hitting the ball so flush and so solid. I know it's windy, it's blustery, it was raining early, but he's hitting right through it. It was good to see because I watched a little bit of it last week [when Johnson won the St. Jude Classic], and he was doing the same thing down there. He's brought it up here and is doing it under these conditions. He's got beautiful speed on the greens. Every putt looked like it was going to go in. Even though it didn't, just had that look and that pace."

The third member of their threesome, Justin Thomas, called Johnson's performance "D.J. Golf." When asked to explain what he meant, he explained: "It's just really good and really consistent. He drives the ball really well. His distance control and his iron, his flights are great. And he's a very, very underrated bunker player. He had some great up and downs out of bunkers today, and he's putting the ball well. So pretty much has it all covered, I think."

I'd say so.

U.S. Opens are chaotic, but Johnson is calm (to put it mildly). His game is violent, but it's a violence that is controlled in such a way that makes you wonder if the entire plot has been rehearsed. This course, too, has players scrambling for their lives, while the No. 1 player in the world taps in for par after par after par. It's been a clinic thus far in how to put away one of the best fields in this sport. Two-week stretches like the tear D.J. has been on sometimes make you wonder how in the world he ever loses.

Johnson, who is the only player under par so far, has gained over 14 strokes on the field over the first two days. That's an outrageous number. His 136 total is more than 14 better than the field average at the halfway point. For those wondering, 20 strokes gained is the point at which you're going to win about 95 percent of the time.

Johnson is going for his second U.S. Open win in three years, and to do it at Oakmont and Shinnecock would be monumental. If you could hand out bonus trophies (like, 1.5 trophies for conquering more important courses), then D.J. should have more than two majors if he wins this weekend. But we're getting ahead of ourselves a bit. There's a long way to go, and even though Johnson can't be caught if he keeps playing like he's playing, we're always one unmarked bunker (or oscillating ball) from disaster.

"I usually don't have any trouble sleeping," said Johnson. "But, yeah, I mean, there's still a lot of golf left. There's still 36 holes left no matter what position I'm in. Going into [Saturday], I'm going to stick to my game plan, stick to trying to play the holes how I have the first couple days and see what happens."

Thomas, who trails by eight going into the weekend but is one of the few (sort of) within striking distance who has the juice to run down Johnson if he struggles, was asked if he could do just that. He gave an answer which everyone outside of Camp D.J. can identify. Other players, caddies, their families, viewers, fans on the property, television executives and those of us covering the event all echo Thomas' sentiment and wistfulness as he took in the question and spit out exactly what he was thinking.

"I'd like to hope so."