Lahiri has been on the PGA Tour since 2016 but is yet to make his breakthrough.
He made two early birdies with that magical wedge game and let a cast of contenders fall too far behind to catch him in the shifting wind of Kiawah Island.
After missing a bunch of putts in and around 10 feet, Lahiri had a roller coaster of a second round with six birdies, four bogeys and eight pars.
Anirban Lahiri has tested positive for COVID-19, ruling him out of at least a couple of events on the PGA Tour.
Some of the big stars in Top-10 of the world who missed the cut were Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Tyrrell Hatton and Webb Simpson.
Lahiri was the first alternate to start with, but then made it to the main draw as former World No.1 Brooks Koepka pulled out due an injury.
Johnson arrived at Shinnecock fresh from a US PGA Tour victory in Memphis that propelled him back to the top of the world rankings.
Tiger Woods is still in the early stages of his recovery from spinal fusion surgery and unsure if he would resume his golf career.
Rory McIlroy has called for a limit on alcohol sales at US PGA Tour events to ease the effect of a growing number of hecklers at tournaments.
Golf ace Tiger Woods finds a lot of things to love about Riviera Country Club, but his record here isn't one of them.