Well, at least Robert MacIntyre got to watch the big game. "I was hoping I would get the draw I got, I just want to see the football game,” the Scot had said in the build up to the US Open after being handed late-early tee-times for the third men’s major of the season

A second round six-over 76 at punishing Pinehurst was certainly not what he wanted, though. He may have been tempted to shove a boot through the tele he was going to watch the fitba on. And given how things were going in Germany, he wouldn't have been the only one.

MacIntyre was home and lederhosed – is that even a word? - in North Carolina long before the Scotland national team marched on to the pitch in Munich last night. Kaput? Well, MacIntyre’s hopes of building on his impressive opening round certainly were.

The 27-year-old, back in action after his thrilling breakthrough on the PGA Tour in the Canadian Open a couple of weeks ago, had been handily placed after a spirited level-par 70 in round one which left him tied 16th.

But the Oban lefty endured a trying, tormenting morning as he slithered down the order with a six-over aggregate and outside the early projected cut mark.

Four bogeys in six holes on the front nine didn’t help but a  birdie on the 10th, his only one of the day, offered some respite. It was a brief reprieve, however, and a crippling double-bogey on the 13th was followed by a three-putt bogey on the 17th. It was a frustrating day.

MacIntyre’s compatriot, Grant Forrest, was another early starter but, after an opening 77, he was facing the kind of uphill struggle faced by the Scots  when the Germans thumped in a third goal.

The 30-year-old, who had earned a tee-time for the 124th US showpiece in the international qualifier at Walton Heath, signed off from the third major outing of his career with a 76 and joined the early casualty list.

At the sharp end of affairs, meanwhile, Rory McIlroy embarked on a operation of damage limitation as he posted a two-over 72 to add to his fine opening 65.

Starting on the par-five 10th, McIlroy had hoped to exploit ideal conditions and fresh greens on Friday morning but a mediocre chip from short of the green on his opening hole – we’re all familiar with that, aren’t we? – scuppered a birdie chance.

That was McIlroy’s first five of the week – he had birdied both par fives on Thursday – and another soon followed on the 11th when he was unable to get up and down.

McIlroy also bogeyed the par-three 15th and his day looked set to go from bad to worse when his birdie putt on the 17th rolled past the hole and off the front of the green. A moment of McIlroy magic followed, though, and he promptly chipped in for an unorthodox par.

A first birdie of the day finally arrived on the third and McIlroy made a vital save on the fifth after seeing title rivals, Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele, both rack up double-bogey sevens.

McIlroy’s approach also found a perilous position on the fifth but he wisely cut his losses with a more conservative third shot across the green and two-putted for par.

A bogey on the ninth cost McIlroy a share of the lead but at three-under, the four-time major champion is in a nice place.

“Obviously it didn’t go quite as well as yesterday, but I feel like the golf course played a little more difficult, even though we were off in the morning,” McIlroy said.

“Some of the hole locations were definitely a little tougher. You had to have your wits about you. I putted it off one green there on 17.

“Overall, I felt like I did a pretty good job at keeping some of the mistakes off the scorecard. I wish I had converted a couple more of the chances. Hit the ball pretty well. I think only missed one fairway. I had plenty of opportunities.

“It wasn’t quite as good with the putter today but still overall,  in a great position going into the weekend.”

Scheffler, the Masters champion and the odds on favourite to knock off his sixth win of an astonishing campaign, failed to record a single birdie for the first time in 169 rounds as he returned a 74 to finish at five-over.

In stark contrast, the LIV rebel Bryson DeChambeau made five birdies, including one from tap-in range on the 18th, to set the early clubhouse target on four-under with an eventful 69.

Belgium’s Thomas Detry had been leading at five-under but two late bogeys in a 67 dropped him back to three-under.

Rather like Scottish fitba, it’s the hope that kills you.