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US Open - the story of the third round
18 Junio 2017, 12:01 | Gerardo Tarin
Fowler is also in search of his first major title. It's time for him to prove he has what it takes to win a major championship.
Rickie Fowler, Chez Reavie and Hideki Matsuyama had all shot seven-under 65s across the first two days in Wisconsin, a feat that was then matched by Patrick Reed in round three.
One shot back. Jamie Lovemark.
Now he'll have to go home and try to decipher what went wrong and, just like McIlroy, gear up for the next major, the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in July.
Reed, who beat Rory McIlroy in the first singles contest at Hazeltine a year ago 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". But I'm looking forward to getting the job done. And I feel like once the can gets open, I'll start pouring them in.
"I'm not sure when it's going to sink in or when I'm going to realize what I did", Thomas said.
At this point, nobody should care.
Casey discovered how little it takes to make a big number in the U.S. Open - and at this U.S. Open, how a recovery is never too far away.
"We're going to have a good time", Fowler said.
The leaderboard may not be packed with household names but the frontrunners bring legitimate credentials to what should be an intriguing Sunday showdown.
It was the second straight year McIlroy missed the cut at the U.S. Open.
The crowded leaderboard also included three players at 6 under and five more at 5 under.
"The big thing is going to be just driving it well tomorrow", Fowler said.
"Well, it would change my life, I know that", Fleetwood told reporters. "It means I have a lot better chance to win the tournament than I did when the day started", said Thomas. "But we did a good job staying within ourselves and let it come to us".
Eight of the top 12 in the world will not be around for the weekend at this most unusual U.S. Open, where the top 60 and ties advanced to the final two rounds.
At Erin Hills, all Johnson could do was go down swinging on a Friday. On No. 7, he sank a 15 footer. "But you still have to golf your ball out there".
"It doesn't need to be too much of a change for this golf course to play pretty hard", he said.
The 25-year-old Matsuyama, ranked No. 4 in the world, birdied six of his first eight holes in the second round. He has felt this kind of pressure before. Johnson won by one, though maybe Fleetwood's most memorable moment there, for better or worse, was the embarrassingly bad high-five he shared with his caddie after draining a long birdie putt to pull within one. Now he has his chance.
"Even though it's very disappointing to not be here on the weekend, I think these last two rounds will serve me well going into the summer", added the 28-year-old, who has added the Scottish Open to his schedule in between the Irish Open and Open Championship. He needs to finish the job today.
"With where I was hitting it", he said with a smile, "I wasn't in the way". Casey's third round of 75 dropped him from a tie for the lead to joint 17th.
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