This might have been more than anyone was expecting.
Paul Casey declared himself satisfied with a "roller-coaster" second round at the U.S. Open, which saw him break par despite dropping five shots in four holes on his first nine. "A lot of players were saying thank you, they mowed the fescue because of me".
His best finish at a major is a tie for third at the 2010 Open.
But the world's top three missed the cut - the first time that has happened at a major since the rankings began in 1986.
But the second-ranked player in the world still has a lot of ground to make up at Erin Hills.
Fowler won the Honda Classic in March, and the 2015 PLAYERS Championship.
Harman was the first left-handed victor of the Wells Fargo Championship and first left-hander to win on the PGA Tour since Greg Chalmers at the 2016 Barracuda Championship.
This is Harman's 20th start of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season. His most recent top-10 was T7 at the Dean & Deluca Invitational.
Rickie Fowler reacts after finishing on the 9th green during the first round of the U.S. Open at Erin Hills on June 15, 2017 in Hartford, Wisconsin. Unlikely as it seems, that was the last major he played on the weekend. I've never a led US Open, so it will be a very cool experience.
But the Englishman now has a share of the lead at the U.S. Open. Heading into Friday, there were murmurs around Erin Hills that enough was enough. There have been no reports yet of anyone getting sick.
But under sunny skies on Thursday, Erin Hills looked more friend than foe with 44 golfers breaking par to set a record for the opening round of a U.S. Open.
Dustin Johnson was right on the cut line with eight holes to play.
"I lost a bit of skin out there", Casey said of the triple bogey.
"Even though it's very disappointing to not be here on the weekend, I think these last two rounds will serve me well going into the summer, " he said. "I just didn't hit it into them".
McIlroy was never in the short grass from the 11th hole to the end on Thursday when he opened with a career-worst 78, and he didn't do almost enough in the second round until it was far too late.
The Northern Irishman closed out his round in style with four birdies over his final six holes for a 71 but it was a case of too little unable to undo the damage of a first round 78.
He finished 27th two years ago and earned a big $64,000 pay day. "You're going to make some bogeys in there, so it's really hard to get away from anybody".
"Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an eight on the card, but I'm a pretty happy man", Casey said after his one-under round.
McIlroy entered the U.S. Open having not competed since last month's Players.