Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Justin Thomas sets single round record at US Open


It never has been. With another round to go and the U.S. Open hanging in the balance, Harman wasn't about to let go of the chip on his shoulder a day early and had a message for the media at Erin Hills.

None of these players just mentioned have ever won a major championship. "I'm just so excited to give myself a great chance to win this golf tournament".

This isn't like most Opens.

"It doesn't matter how long, how whatever the course is", Thomas said about the longest course in major championship history. It led to an eagle to close out his 63.

South Korea's Kim Si-Woo was one behind Fowler on nine under after also shooting 68, while three players - Patrick Reed, Russell Henley and Charley Hoffman were on eight under.

Harman and Thomas will tee off in the final pairing at 2:54 p.m.

Harman, bidding to become the first left-hander to win a US Open, is a victor on the PGA Tour this year, while Thomas is the World No 13, a three-time victor this season and a member of the exclusive "59" club after breaking 60 at the Sony Open this year. And he wasn't through.

Thomas may have had one of the more entertaining birdies of the afternoon at the par-4 fifth. And then Morgan came undone. With not a single major champion inside the top 16 through three laps, the biggest question going into Sunday Funday is how far back is too far back? There are 12 golfers within five shots of the lead. "I forget what hole we were on, but I just remember looking up at the leaderboard and there were, like, nine people at 7 (under), 8 (under) total". For all his good work, the Englishman needed a ideal pitch shot to save his round.

He bogeyed the 10th hole when he hit a bad second shot right of the green. No one had a chance.

Thirty-two players had sub-par rounds on Saturday, the most ever for the third round. If somebody does it tomorrow to win the U.S. Open by one, that's the specialness of my round. Vijay Singh was the last player to accomplish the feat in 2003 at Olympia Fields.

The tournament was such a slog that it didn't finish 72 holes until Monday. The soft Black Course allowed players to take dead aim, and Barnes opened with rounds of 67 and 65.

Sporting a pair of pink pants, Thomas holed nine birdies, including a remarkable putt that broke at a 90-degree angle at the fifth, and an eagle. He had birdies at 1, 4, 9, 11, 14, and 15.

Whether this week's display is good for golf is a debate for another day, and probably another golf course, but there is no more room for doubt when it comes to Erin Hills; without an assist from Mother Nature the game's best can make a pitch-and-putt out of even the longest layouts.

Erin Hills again lacked enough wind to be the stern test the U.S. Open wants, and it showed. "I'll just rely on confidence", said Harman, who won his second PGA Tour event at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. The tournament was never really in doubt after that, though the wind arrived and Kaymer couldn't maintain the pace.

Fleetwood also looked free of nerves until the final hole, where two clumsy shots around the green resulted in his first dropped shot of the day. He shot 72 in the third round for an 8-under 202. 9-iron off the back slope to 18 inches.

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