Winged Foot has tamed the world's best golfers, wiping Tiger Woods and more than half of Australia's nine-strong contingent out of the US Open.
Cameron Smith is the leading Australian, eight shots behind halfway leader Patrick Reed after a brutal second round in New York.
Only three players in the 143-man field broke par on day two as one of the toughest courses on the Open rota bit back in savage fashion.
Many of the biggest names in the game including Woods, fellow major winners Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Collin Morikawa and defending champion Gary Woodland missed the cut.
Smith's three-over-par 73 left him at four over for the tournament, one ahead of Adam Scott (74) and two clear of Jason Day and Lucas Herbert, who both made the cut on the number.
But Matt Jones (74), Marc Leishman (78), Curtis Luck (76), amateur Lukas Michael (77) and Scott Hend (84) were all sent packing.
Hend, a 2016 Olympian, endured possibly the most forgettable round of his career, his 14-over total featuring a quadruple-bogey seven, a triple-bogey eight, a double-bogey six and six other bogeys.
And all that after Hend opened with a birdie.
Scott will enter the weekend nine shots off the pace after mixing three birdies with seven bogeys.
"It's a lot to digest really," the world No.12 said.
"When it gets tough at a US Open, unless you shoot even par, you're trying to figure out how it's all a positive.
"It's just very, very hard to get in a rhythm out there because if you're just off the fairway, you're just slashing and scrambling.
"I did an OK job of it. I finished well, hung in there."
With the greatest comeback in history an 11-shot halfway deficit, Scott is refusing to throw in the towel.
"I still like my chances for the weekend," he said.
"I've got to play a great round tomorrow. If I shoot under par tomorrow, I'll be right in the mix for Sunday.
"I'm confident now, after seeing what was out there this afternoon, that over par will win this tournament.
"The greens finally dried out. It was a difficult afternoon. If there's any breeze, over par is winning."
Australian Geoff Ogilvy won the last Open at Winged Foot in 2006 with a plus-five 72-hole total.
Reed followed up his opening 66 with an even-par 70 to be one stroke ahead of Bryson DeChambeau (68), with fellow Americans Justin Thomas (73) and Harris English (70) and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello (70) two strokes off the pace.
Twenty-one players started the second round in red numbers, but only six remained under par by the end of the day.
Woods' hopes of adding a 16th major crashed and burned with a 77.
HOW THE AUSSIES AND BIG NAMES FARED IN THE SECOND ROUND OF THE US OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP IN NEW YORK
-4: Patrick Reed (USA) 66-70 - leader
-3: Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 69-68
-2: Justin Thomas (USA) 65-73
+1: Jon Rahm (ESP) 69-72
+3: Dustin Johnson (USA) 73-70, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 67-76
+4: Cameron Smith 71-73
+5: Adam Scott 71-74
+6: Jason Day 72-74, Lucas Herbert 72-74
+10: Matt Jones 76-74, Tiger Woods (USA) 73-77, Justin Rose (ENG) 73-77
+11: Marc Leishman 73-78, Curtis Luck 75-76
+17: Lukas Michel 80-77
+18: Scott Hend 74-84