Both players had the worst of the draw as well, but there is a reason on top of their prodigious ball-striking why Johnson is a past victor of this event and Fleetwood finished tied fourth a year ago.
The pin positions were fairly sensible, so we saw far more players under par and I think that was nice to see a few more birdies after Thursday's war of attrition.
I'm going out on a limb here, but I predict that Mickelson won't win the tournament.
If Johnson's lead holds up through the end of play Friday - which seems likely, given his cushion and the hard conditions - then there's one stat that should give him some added confidence, too.
No matter the weather, Shinnecock can punish anyone in a NY minute.
UPDATE: FRIDAY, 9:50 a.m. Wenchong Liang of China just eagled hole No. 1.
Woods did play the next 10 holes in even par - with one birdie and one bogey. "(There were) a couple times where I hit a couple of bad iron shots, but every time I felt like I was able to save par, at least give myself a really good look at par.
"The conditions were a lot better today (Friday) and I played well, the way I have been playing in decent conditions recently".
Contributing to his downfall was a meltdown on the par four 13th.
World Cup match report Argentina v Iceland 16 June 2018
That was an incredible performance in a group which included Croatia, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland and Kosovo. Iceland sits deep and packs the center, and when there is no space it is very hard for anybody to play.
"Dustin plays a whole different golf game than I play, so I'm not going to play the guy", Hoffman said.
"I'm just leaving everything short". Keep it in the fairway, bring your A-game to the greens, show a bit of patience, rein it in when you need to, and the scores are there. The latter finished with four late birdies but still missed out by two shots - a classic example of a man able to play freely only when his chance had gone.
Tiger Woods waves on the 18th green.
Phil Mickelson, still searching for a first US Open win to complete the set of all four majors after six runner-up spots, carded a one-under 69 to inch to six over, two shots inside the cut. Jason Day opened with a 79 and missed the cut. Johnson three-putted for par to finish one shot behind Jordan Spieth.
In tough, windy conditions Woods got off to a disgusting start with a triple-bogey seven at the first hole and later added a four-putt double at the par-four 13th.
Major champions Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger were equally stunned.
It was a shocking display on the 13th green at Shinnecock Hills on Saturday.
Defending champion Brooks Koepka (66), major winners Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson (both 70), as well as Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood (66) and Ian Poulter (72) share fourth at 1-over.
All three Canadians in the field missed the cut.