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18 Junio 2017, 10:34 | Dolorita Barahona
Although he remains well behind the tightly bunched leaderboard, he gave himself a chance to at least be in the conversation today at 2-under for the tournament, but had he not bogeyed 18 this might have been an even more joyous afternoon for him and for Wisconsin golf fans.
Walking to the 18th green, Justin Thomas knew he had a chance for history.
The left-hander shot 67 to reach 12-under and take a one-shot lead.
Harman and Fleetwood began Saturday's third round as part of a four-way tie for the lead with Paul Casey and Koepka.
Erin Hills fought back on Friday and the world's top three players won't be around for the weekend at the U.S. Open.
NOTEWORTHY: None of the top 18 players on the leaderboard have won a major. He lost the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur final to Smithtown's Jim Liu, but he helped Alabama win the NCAA title in 2013 and the U.S. win the Walker Cup at National Golf Links of America in Southampton that same year. "I'd love to have another one of those", Thomas said. "But to me, it's going to basically all be kind of the same".
"It's been the best preparation going into a major, I felt like, in my career", he said. Tomorrow's going to be fun.
Thomas, decked out in fluorescent pink pants, produced a no less electric performance signing for nine-under 63 to equal the lowest numerical score in a major and the best ever in the 117 year-history of the US Open in relation to par. Friday he claimed to have had 15 birdie putts of which he made one.
Thomas leads the U.S. Open after shooting a 63 in the third round, matching the major record for low score.
It was super soft at Congressional in 2011 when McIlroy set the 54-hole record (199) and 72-hole record (268) in an eight-shot victory.
That's something Day, the No. 3 player in the world, rarely says at a major.
"I couldn't possibly shoot any higher than I did", Johnson said. "I don't know what I'm going to feel tonight or if I'm going to sleep well". When I get it going, I don't fear, like I used to.
"I've got a good plan for this course". He loved Erin Hills, a course with wide fairways between the knee-high fescue that he figured would allow him to attack. But a weather shift that is expected to hit for Sunday's final round may add a twist to a tournament that hasn't yet experienced U.S. Open-like conditions.
Thomas set the U.S. Open scoring record despite registering a pair of bogeys, offsetting them with nine birdies and his closing eagle. "Whether it's 20 under or 20 over, they want a good tournament and an action-packed leader board".
If his hot pink trousers were not enough, Thomas finished in style. And he missed an eminently makeable eagle putt after driving the green on the par-four 15th.
"I hadn't been out of position all day and suddenly I was staring double bogey in the face".
And, yet, as this 117th edition of the US Open played out on the glacial drumlins of Erin Hills in the wilds of Wisconsin, so many storylines developed as a packed leader board - headed by the left-hander Brian Harman - sought to make up for the absences of golf's poster boys.
Reed, who beat Rory McIlroy in the first singles contest at Hazeltine previous year and was wearing the pants from his Ryder Cup uniform, said: "You always can take that fire from Ryder Cup and use it in other events".
Just about everything already has at Erin Hills. His best finish at the U.S. Open was third in 2001.
"It's so nice to be playing on my anniversary that we're moving our anniversary officially this year to Tuesday", Cink said.
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But it was too little too late for the Northern Irishman who remains anchored near the bottom of the leaderboard at five over. To dent the field full of red numbers, it had to be. "It's still Saturday - 36 holes is a very long time in a U.S.
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I missed another one on four from about three feet, but I didn't feel like I was hitting bad putts, I was just misreading them. Thomas's magical round equals the lowest numerical score in a major and the best ever in the 117-year history of the U.S.
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The soft, forgiving conditions created opportunity for major movement up the leaderboard for those players willing to take it. DJ looked very disappointed as he was hoping to defend his title while Day and McIlroy seemed more resigned to their fate.
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