Sharing any record with Jack Nicklaus means the achievement is inevitably blessed with epochal significance and on Sunday Matt Fitzpatrick has the chance to join the Golden Bear as the only players to win the US Amateur and the US Open at the same course.
In as many months, the 27 year-old will play in the final group in the final round of a major.
On a brutal day in which The Country Club bared its teeth and gnawed away at a few huge reputations, including that of Rory McIlroy, the Yorkshireman stood firm and re-emphasised his suitability to the game’s toughest tests – and, of course, to this magnificent Boston layout
After bogeying the first, Fitzpatrick played the last 17 holes in three-under for a 68. On four-under, he is alongside Will Zalatoris, the American who started the third round in a tie for 15th but leapfrogged to the upper echelons with a brilliant 67.
Zalatoris also played an influential part in the US PGA four weeks ago, falling to countryman Justin Thomas in a play-off. The 25 year-old is emerging as a perennial major challenger, despite not having yet broken his duck on the PGA Tour. He has two runners-up finishes after coming in behind Hideki Matsuyama in last year’s Masters.
Yet those close calls are not the whole of it. In seven major starts, Zalatoris has racked up five top eights. And, at the very least, this looks like being another.
Jon Rahm must be the favourite on three-under, however. The Spaniard is aiming to become just the second player in 33 years to retain the US Open title. The world No 2’s 70 was ominous in the fact it could have been quite a few better, not least because of the double-bogey on the 18th when he took two get out of a fairway bunker (watch video below).
Fitzpatrick will not feel intimidated, however. Not at the scene of his 2013 US Amateur success. He has revelled in his newly-found length off the tee and with his shortgame he will always be a threat. He learned a lot at the US PGA as he fell away on the Sunday before finishing fifth and is embracing this opportunity to sit with Nicklaus.
“I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about it,” the 27 year-old said. “It would just mean the world. It’s obviously a special place for me and to go one step further and win a US Open round here would be even more special.
“The US Amateur was one of the biggest achievements in my career and still is, and if I won a major here it would definitely overtake it.
“My family are in town, got a couple of freinds here as well, and the family I am staying with are the same as in 2013 and I’m having great fun. I will have plenty of distractions tonight, which will be good. I’m excited for tomorrow (Sunday) and to give myself another chance in a major just a month later. I am just really proud with the way that I played. I feel so comfortable playing here. But it was really, really tough.”
Zalatoris concurred. “Yeah, that was brutal,” he said. “When I made a mistake, I made sure I was on the fat side of the green or having room where I could maybe at least chip one up there to 8, 10 feet. I think it took a lot of discipline today. I mean, we didn’t aim at a single flag even with some wedges just because you really only have a foot or two to deal with on these greens in some situations.
“Normally guys out here when they have wedges in their hand, they’re firing at pins no matter what the situation was, but it’s just a lot of patience and giving myself as many 15- to 25-footers as I could, and obviously, a couple happened to go in today, and it felt pretty good.”
Fitzpatrick would have taken the outright clubhouse advantage, but for a bogey on the 18th. But he was not moaning, particularly as he peered at the leaderboard and saw the idendidties of those who were struggling. McIlroy bogeyed three of the first six holes and actually fared valiantly to hang on and post a 73 to move back to one-under.
That is plenty close enough, but McIlroy will be desperate to ensure that his putter does not catch a dose of the chills as it did early on Sunday. Thankfully, it regained its previous hotness, as he astonishingly made eights single putts in nine holes from the ninth. That alone kept alive the 33 year-old’s hopes of a first major in eight years.
Sunday should be dramatic, if only because no lead is safe at The Country Club. Not when it is playing like this. This was highlighted by none other than world No 1 Scottie Scheffler. Looking to become just the sixth player in history to win the Masters and the US Open in the same season, Scheffler was in command when he holed from 101 yards for an eagle on the eighth. That took him to six-under and two clear and it seemed like Augusta National all over again.
But in a startling mini-collapse, Scheffler dropped five shots in four holes from the 11th, double-boegying the shortest hole on the course and then compounding that error with three bogeys in succession. He stopped the rot with a par on the 15th and birdied the 17th to post a bizarre 71 and remained in contention on two-under alongside Keegan Bradley, the Massachusttes local lad who fired a 69.
Collin Morikawa enjoyed no such fightback. The joint-overnight leader went out in a three-over 38, with a double-bogey on the seventh, and then took another six on a par-four at the 13th. Playing the last, the world No 7, looking for his third major title in just his 12th major start, was seven-over for the day and two-over for the tournament.
There is no LIV Golf representation at the business end of the leaderboard. Fifteen of the players who have signed with the Saudi rebel circuit set out here in Boston, but only four survived the cut. Dustin Johnson is best-placed on two-over, following a 71, while Richard Bland, the 49-year-old defector from Southampton, is on four-over after a 72.
LIV’s next $25 million, no-cut event is in 12 days time in Portland, Oregon. That 48-man field is set to be announced early next week and rumours are rife that there could be a few new big names in the their ranks, with Matsuyama a strong mention in the locker room.
US Open, third round: as it happened
The stage is set for Sunday
Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick share the lead on four-under but it’s all to play for tomorrow.
Jon Rahm sits one back on three-under with Keegan Bradley, Adam Hadwin and Scottie Scheffler on two-under. After Rahm’s meltdown on the 18th you’d have to think that Rory McIlroy on one-under is also firmly in the hunt.
Dahmen and Morikawa round off the day
The final pairing of Joel Dahmen and Collin Morikawa finish their rounds. Dahmen got par on the last to finish one-under while a par for Morikawa left him two-over having gone seven-over on the day.
McIlroy on his front nine
It was impossible to hit greens, so many cross-winds and the greens were firm.
Double bogey for Rahm
That meltdown has cost Jon Rahm as he missed a fairly simple putt to bogey. That double bogey now means he’s dropped behind both Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick on three-under. Rahm clearly lost his composure and was interacting with spectators as it all started to go wrong around him.
It makes things very interesting for tomorrow, increasing the chances of the two at the top of the leaderboard and giving hopes to the likes of Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy in the chasing pack. It’s all set up to be an incredible championship Sunday at Brookline tomorrow.
Rahm meltdown on the last
Jon Rahm looks in serious trouble on the 18th hole. He didn’t manage to escape a bunker with his first attempt and then put his second attempt in the right greenside bunker. It’s going to be a very difficult shot from here.
Gutsy performance from McIlroy
Rory McIlroy finishes on 73 as he heads back to the clubhouse after a par on the 18th. After four bogeys in the first six holes it looked like he was in trouble but he’s fought bravely and pulled off some outrageous shots to finish the day just four shots behind Jon Rahm.
Scheffler in the clubhouse at two-under
After a hot start it looked like Scottie Scheffler was about to accelerate off and build a strong lead at the top but things didn’t work out quite like that. The par on the 18th feels like it could be significant and left Scheffler with a round of 71, three shots off Jon Rahm’s lead.
Rahm surges to the lead
Jon Rahm has been electric in this back nine and has seized sole control of the lead after a birdie on the 17th. A great drive set Rahm up nicely before his second shot left him with just a five-foot putt.
Scheffler within two
A birdie on 17 for Scottie Scheffler puts the Masters champion on two-under. It looks like he’s steadied the ship after a torrid spell between holes 11 and 14.
Par for McIlroy
McIlroy drains an 11-foot par to stay at one-under as he heads to the final hole of the round. He was giving the ball daggers as it rolled towards the hole. This is another one of those pars that feel like they could be huge once all is said and done tomorrow.
Fitzpatrick on winning on the US Open tomorrow
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it
So close Rahm!
Jon Rahm taps in at 16 to seal par but his second shot was so, so close to sealing the birdie and giving him a one shot lead. He’s really found his groove in the back nine.
Rahm ties the lead
Back-to-back birdies for Rahm give him a share of the lead. A 358-yard drive and a good second shot left him with a long 29-foot putt which he nailed.
The defending champion is now level with Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris and has three more holes remaining to grab sole control of the lead.
Looking over their shoulders
Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris are deserved leaders but they’ll be keeping an eye over their shoulder with some dangerous names in the chasing pack.
Jon Rahm is just one shot behind with four to play, quite a feat given that he’s not played at his best so far today. Scottie Bradley, Hadwin and Scheffler sit two behind and Burns, McIrloy and Dahmen three-back.
Fitzpatrick bogeys the last
Matt Fitzpatrick left himself with it all to do on the 18th, needing a 19-foot putt for par. It comes up just short leaving Fitzpatrick with a bogey. He finishes with 68 and now enters the clubhouse tied for the lead with Will Zalatoris.
He’ll be gutted to have drop a shot on the last but he’s played some fantastic golf today and now has a chance to win his first major tomorrow.
Rahm birdies on 14
Jon Rahm has bounced back after that bogey on the 13th but nailing a birdie on the 14th. The Spaniard is now on three-under and within two shots of the lead.
Morikawa’s nightmare third round continues
He came into today with an overnight lead but things couldn’t have gone worse for Collin Morikawa. A double bogey on the 13th, his second of the day, in addition to three bogeys, have put him T14 on one-over. It can be a cruel game sometimes.
If things remain as they stand
Nothing can be ruled out but if things stay the same we’ll see Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris as the final pairing tomorrow.
Fitzpatrick the new sole leader
Yet again we saw Matt Fitzpatrick with a brilliant drive on the 17th. He was left with an eight-foot putt after his second shot and he duly delivered. He now leads the the US Open on his own, one-stroke ahead of Will Zalatoris. Now he’s just one hole from the clubhouse and potentially an overnight lead.
Zalatoris discusses tomorrow’s task
Tomorrow is going to be no simple test, you look at the major champions on the leaderboard and this course is a beast. The job is not even close to being done.
An angry Jon Rahm falls two shots off the lead after a bogey on the 13th. In truth he should be thankful that he escaped with just a bogey when it looked like it might get worse.
Elsewhere Adam Hadwin birdies the 17th to join Rahm on two-under alongside Sam Burns and Keegan Bradley.
Jon Rahm fumes
For crying out loud man! The wind just died. What a freaking day.
Fist pumps tell the story for McIlroy
It’s not always the shots which cut into a lead which matter, it’s often those that keep you in the running and the par at the 13th was just that for Rory McIlroy.
A terrible tee shot left him in all sorts of problems but a clutch 15-foot putt has kept him in the game at one-under. You can see how much it means with McIlroy fist pumping the air. Momentum matters and this could be a moment we remember down the final stretch tomorrow.
Scheffler drops another shot
After the 10th hole Scottie Scheffler was sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard with a two shot lead and since then it’s been all downhill.
A bogey on the 14th is just the latest of three bogeys which have followed the double bogey at 11. Now he’s at one-under and three shots off the lead. He’s still in contention but he needs to stem the bleeding and finish the back nine well.
Burns and Fitzpatrick spurring each other on
While Matt Fitzpatrick being four-under is the main headline it’s worth noting that his playing partner Sam Burns is now two-under.
They’ve both birdied 14 and 15 and it’s clear that they’re both pushing each other on and up the leaderboard.
Fitzpatrick tied for the lead
It’s been an incredible day’s work for Matt Fitzpatrick with the 27-year old Sheffield native now tied with Will Zalatoris at the top of the leaderboard after a birdie at the 15th.
It started with another brilliant drive, something he’s done all day long, followed by a second shot which left him with a six-footer for a share of the lead. He’s now two-under on the day and level at the top on four-under.
Bradley finishes two-under
He’s a local favourite and the crowd were willing him to birdie on the 18th but it just wouldn’t drop. Despite that he’s still two-under and like Matt Fitzpatrick has quietly put himself into a position which could see him win the US Open tomorrow.
Matt Fitzpatrick one-shot off the lead
He’s quietly gone about his business today but now Matt Fitzpatrick is three-under and just one shot back from the lead.
He reached the green in two at the par-five 14th and duly dispatched the birdie to get him level with Jon Rahm.
Having won here as an amateur in 2013 could Matt Fitzpatrick win his first major at the same course?
Zalatoris enters the clubhouse at four-under
After a nightmare of a tee shot which ended up right in amongst the spectators it looked like Zalatoris might drop shots on his final hole of the day, that wasn’t to be the case though. After getting a drop be found the front bunker before getting it up and down to seal an incredible round of 67.
Now Zalatoris heads into the clubhouse to keep a watchful eye on his lead at the top. There’s every chance that we see him in the final pairing tomorrow.
Bradley enters the conversation
Keegan Bradley birdies at the 17th to join Adam Hadwin, Matt Fitzpatrick, Aaron Wise, Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa at two-under.
That’s three birdies in the past five holes and Bradley has been exceptionally hot in this back nine, getting himself right into contention.
Rory McIlroy back amongst it
Well, well, well, it appears that after a poor start Rory McIlroy is back in contention. A birdie on 11 leaves him T4 and crucially on two-under, just two shots back from the lead. Given the struggles that he was having at the start of the round this could well be an incredible turnaround if he can keep it up.
Zalatoris takes control of the US Open
Will Zalatoris has seized the sole lead of the US Open after Scottie Scheffler bogeys the 12th. It looks like the double bogey at 11 may be playing on the mind of the world number one. Zalatoris won’t care about that though as he pars the 17th and heads into the last.
Bad day at the office for JT
Most of the action is going on at the top but Justin Thomas just finished his round with a bogey at the last. The finishes with a 72 and is three-over for the tournament.
Elsewhere we’ve seen Patrick Cantlay finish with 70. Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson finish with 71, Hideki Matsuyama with 72 and Bryson DeChambeau, Joaquin Niemann and Tyrrell Hatton with 76.
We’ve seen the lots of struggles on the course in this third round, as evidenced by just six players being under-par on the day. The numbers back up just how difficult it’s become today.
Scheffler in trouble
It’s game on as Scottie Scheffler gets a double-bogey on the 11th having found thick grass on the par-three. That sees him drop to four-under, level with Will Zalatoris.
It’ll be news to the ears of Jon Rahm and Aaron Wise too, who are on three-under. At two-under and just two shots off the lead sit Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitzpatrick and Joel Dahmen.
Things just got interesting folks.
Zalatoris just two shots from the lead
We’ve been watching all day as Will Zalatoris has played some incredible golf to catch up with the leading back and now he’s within two strokes of the leader, Scottie Scheffler, after a birdie at the 15th.
As great as Scheffler has been it feels like we’re seeing something special with Zalatoris today.
With Scheffler in trouble on the 11th and looking like he might drop a shot we might see this get very tight soon.
Rahm escapes with a bogey
The eighth hole looked like a disaster for Jon Rahm, so the the Spaniard will be pleased to have got out with a bogey because it could have been far, far worse. He’s now fourth and three shots off the lead.
Jon Rahm in bother
Pictures speak a lot louder than words here.
Double bogey for Morikawa
Collin Morikawa misses an easy putt for a bogey on the seventh, with the double-bogey meaning that he’s now on three-over for the day and has dropped four shots from the lead, despite having topped the leaderboard earlier today.
Fitzpatrick’s US Open hopes on the rocks
A very difficult lie on the 10th saw Matt Fitzpatrick in serious trouble. He bogeyed the hole before getting par on the next. He’s now two-under and four strokes behind leader Scottie Scheffler.
Scheffler’s two-shot lead is back
Scottie Scheffler pars the ninth hole to finish the front nine three-under for the day. Meanwhile Collin Morikawa bogeys the sixth to drop to four-under, tied with Patrick Rodgers, and once again two strokes behind the world number one.
Speaking of Patrick Rodgers here is the eagle that saw him get right into contention.
Big group tied for fourth
We’ve got a big group tied for fourth currently with Will Zalatoris, Matt Fitzpatrick, Aaron Wise, Jon Rahm, Hayden Buckley and Joel Dahmen all level.
Morikawa back within one
As we’re all gasping for breath after that incredible piece of Scheffler magic, Collin Morikawa birdies the fifth and gets within one stroke of the current leader.
Scheffler grabs the lead
Wow, the US Open just got flipped on it’s head. Scottie Scheffler is now two-stokes clear at the top of the leaderboard. A poor tee shot saw him unable to make the green in two, he then pitches from the fairway, a full 101 yards from the pin. The ball soars and lands on the green before rolling back into the hole. The crowd, naturally, erupts and Scheffler and his caddy chest-bump in celebration. A simply sensational shot.
If Scheffler goes on to win this then we’ll look back at this shot as the moment that sealed it.
That might have been a jinx
Not long after hitting send on the previous post about Callum Tarren’s good end to the front nine he had a meltdown at the 10th, hitting seven on the par-four.
Tide turning for Tarren?
A dreadful start for Callum Tarren saw three bogeys and a double bogey in his first six holes but two birdies on eight and nine have helped him begin to turn things around. An improved back nine could see the Englishman finish strong.
All tied at the top
Collin Morikawa’s tee shot at the fourth saw him into the thick rough, which meant he was always struggling to make par, and that was how it turned out with a bogey meaning that there was now a three-way tie at the top between Morikawa, Wise and Scheffler.
Wise drops back
Despite a great tee shot on the fifth a poor shot to then find the bunker puts Aaron Wise in trouble, which ultimately sees him bogey the hole and drop back, leaving Collin Morikawa alone at the top once more.
He makes do with a birdie
It was always going to be difficult to get an eagle with a 20-foot putt and Matt Fitzpatrick can’t quite manage it. He still birdies the hole and is now on three-under and closing in on the leaders.
Fitzpatrick for the eagle?
Some great approach play from Matt Fitzpatrick on the par-five eighth gets him just 20 feet from the pin. Can he putt it for an eagle and to get within one stroke of the lead?
McIlroy misses birdie chance
Rory McIlroy had a chance to start making up for his two bogeys today with a birdie opportunity on the fourth. A six-foot attempt, much like the one his playing partner Aaron Wise just putted to tie for the lead, but it just squeaks past the hole. You wouldn’t be surprised if he were feeling that it was turning into one of those days.
Wise joins Morikawa at summit
Aaron Wise birdies the fourth to put himself level with leader Collin Morikawa. The South African has been brilliant so far.
A second bogey for McIlroy
Is it starting to unravel for Rory McIlroy? He was fortunate to escape with par on the first but since then he’s hit back-to-back bogeys and is now two-over on the day. It’s now going to be a real test of his mental fortitude as he looks to halt the slide.
It’s lonely at the top
The final pair of the day, Joel Dahmen and Collin Morikawa, have now finished the opening hole. Morikawa makes par while Dahmen bogeys, leaving Morikawa alone at the top of the leaderboard.
Xander Schauffele crumbles
If Zalatoris has shown us how to do the front nine then Xander Schauffele has shown us how not to do it. Schauffele started the day in contention but his hopes for glory are shattered after five bogeys and a double bogey in the front nine.
It’s hard not to feel for him after watching that, we’ve all been there.
Zalatoris finishes front nine in two-under
A birdie on the ninth leaves Will Zalatoris two-under for the day and just two strokes back from the lead, after a brilliant front nine which has seen him get third birdies and a bogey.
A delightful eight-foot birdie on the fifth has now made up for that bogey on the opening hole and Matt Fitzpatrick is back within three shots of the lead. He’s par for the day and has played well. He’ll be hoping that this could be the beginning of something.
So close but so far for McIlroy
McIlroy can’t believe it. Left needing a great putt after a pitch it looked so much like McIlroy had managed it to secure par, except he hadn’t. The ball rolled towards the hole before teetering and somehow not dropping in. Desperately unlucky.
Scheffler back in biting distance
Scottie Scheffler’s up and down start continues on the third as he gets within one stroke of the leaders after a superb iron shot gives him the easiest of birdies.
McIlroy escapes with par
Escaping with a par on the first is a huge boost for McIlroy after what looked like a horrific opening tee shot. He got fortunate with a far better lie than expected which saw him able to wrap up the par and remain just one stroke off the lead.
The course giveth and the course taketh away
After Scottie Scheffler’s birdie on the first got pulses racing he’s only gone and followed it up with a bogey on the second. A poor tee shot got him bother as did the rough, so he should probably be thankful to escape with the bogey, as he now sits two stokes back from the lead.
To the hospitality
A terrible start for Rory McIlroy who sends his opening tee shot so far left that it ends up where we’d all like to be, in the hospitality area. He’s going to need something special to rescue this hole.
Burns heating up
Sam Burns is now T9 and three under alongside NeSmith, Hardy and Zalatoris following a birdie at the third which leaves him one-under on the day.
Scheffler just one back!
The world number one is just one stroke behind leaders Joel Dahmen and Collin Morikawa following a birdie on the first hole.
Joohyung Kim moves to two-under
An impressive start for Joohyung Kim who is now on two-under through seven holes. He is now just three shots behind the leaders, having got a birdie on the seventh to go with the eagle he got on the fifth. Ranked 66th in the world Joohyung Kim is now moving into contention.
The business end of the third round starts
Matthew NeSmith and Scottie Scheffler, world number one, are about to tee off, signifying the beginning of a run that sees the favourites and some of the world’s best golfers begin their third rounds. In the next 45 minutes we’ll see the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa in action, and it’ll be interesting to see if they see the same struggles that we’ve seen throughout the day.
Game on for Zalatoris
Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Will Zalatoris is on the march with his second birdie in the first four holes after a 15-foot putt which highlights exactly why he’s going to be a danger to those at the top. Make no mistake, Zalatoris is now firmly in the mix.
Great round for McCarthy
As one of six players to now be in the clubhouse it was a strong finish by Denny McCarthy who held his nerve from six foot to end up with a round of 68 to now sit one-over.
He’s currently T24 but given the struggles we’ve seen from others today you’d imagine that he should be within the top 20 by the end of the day.
That’s what you call a ricochet
Hideki Matsuyama can’t believe it. A terrible tee shot saw the ball sailing over the scoreboard and put the Japanese star in trouble but it was his third shot which was most unusual. His 14 yard chip down onto the green looked like it was hit too hard and heading to a bunker, only for the ball to hit the pole and bounce back towards Matsuyama before ending up in a different bunker. He then missed a chance to par the hole but a bad miss sees him bogey and puts him on one-over.
Zalatoris makes ground
He’s been tipped for a major win and Will Zalatoris has started well today. A birdie on the second hole sees him one-under on the day and two-under for the weekend. He’s now three shots behind the leaders and a strong showing in this third round, especially when others are struggling, could see him fly up the leaderboard.
DeChambeau in shambles
A front nine to forget for DeChambeau who is five-over today despite a birdie on the first. Four bogeys and a triple bogey since then have seen him slump to eight-over.
Draining for JT
Terrible luck for Justin Thomas on the fourth hole as an unfortunate lie sees him needing to take his third shot over a drain.
JT turned the air blue as he loudly and crudely documented his decision to not ask the referee for a drop, something he stated many other players would have done. If you can’t beat them, then join them, because there’s certainly an argument that he’d have been granted a drop. Thomas eventually bogeyed the hole and is now one-over.
He may not be teeing off for another two hours but Rory McIlroy has arrived at Brookline. Just one shot behind the leaders he looked relaxed in shorts and a hoodie but behind the AirPods there’ll be a man focused on the task in hand. He’ll be playing alongside Aaron Wise in the third from last group.
Anybody know a Justin Thompson?
Confusion and bewilderment at Brookline as the US Open starter mistakenly announces Justin Thomas as Justin Thompson.
Fortunately, the faux-pas doesn’t look like a bad omen for JT who has hit par on his opening two holes.
Shot of the day so far?
A sensational birdie from Min Woo Lee could well be a contender for shot of the day.
Lee reads the green beautifully as he putts majestically from 18 yards on the 10th. That’s going to take some beating today.
A tough day ahead
Front nine scoring has averaged 36.80 so far today, worse than that of the previous two rounds. With firm greens and a devilish wind we could be looking at a very difficult day.
JT ready to start third round
This year’s PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas is minutes away from beginning his third round. He’ll start at one-over and is paired alongside Seamus Power.
Hatton halts slide
A par on the ninth has seen Tyrrell Hatton end a poor run which saw him go double-bogey, bogey, bogey. That puts the Englishman at seven-over and four-over on the day.
Scottie Scheffler is in the building!
Scheffler has arrived at Brookline ahead of his attempt to become the first current world number one to win the US Open since Tiger Woods.
The Masters champion had a great second round yesterday, which saw him get within two shots of the lead and he’ll be looking to continue that march when he tees off in a little under three hours.
Bryson DeChambeau birdies the first
Bryson DeChambeau, one of the controversial defectors to the LIV Golf series, has started his third round well after a birdie on the opening hole.
The American started two-over but is now moving up the leaderboard as he hopes to get back in contention and challenge for his second US Open.
Today’s pin positions
Jordan Spieth off to a poor start
Jordan Spieth, the 2015 US Open winner, finds the bunker before escaping to bogey the first hole.
The third round is underway
The halfway point of the 2022 US Open doesn’t feel all that different from the day before it started.
There are stars and household names lined up, all in good position to capture another major championship. However, next to them, there are plenty of journeymen and potential one-hit wonders.
For every Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy among the top 12 spots of an eclectic halfway leaderboard, there’s a Joel Dahmen or Nick Hardy or Hayden Buckley. For every Scottie Scheffler, there’s a Patrick Rodgers.
Only two shots separate Morikawa and Dahmen, who lead the way, from the rest of the top 12.
Four of this diverse dozen, Morikawa, Rahm, McIlroy and Scheffler, have major titles. Six more, Dahmen, Buckley, Beau Hossler, NeSmith, Rodgers and Hardy, made it to this week by earning spots via 36 holes of qualifying in a process that starts with nearly 9,000 entrants, whittles to 870, then ends with 65 joining the other 91 who had earned exemptions straight into the field.
The golf course they face over the weekend will be unlike most any other they’ve seen, not only because of the craggy, hilly layout at The Country Club, but also because the weekend forecast expects 10-15 mph wind blowing from the north.
“I would expect over the weekend for it to get a little faster and a little fierier,” McIlroy said. “You have to be pretty precise already, but maybe just that little bit more precise with everything.”
Given how we stand with the field and forecast there’s still every chance we see a surprise winner emerge even with some established names also in the running.