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19 June 2017, 12:36 | Sandy Nunez
Justin Thomas powers into US Open contention with thrilling round
Thomas, in his third round Saturday at Erin Hills, set a U.S. Open record for lowest score to par in a round with a stunning 9-under 63 to vault himself into the lead at 11-under when he finished his round.
Thomas established a U.S. Open championship mark by shooting 9-under 63, which broke Johnny Miller's record for lowest score in relation to par.
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. He capped his round with a brilliant 3-wood from 310 yards and made an 8-foot eagle putt.
Rickie Fowler has a shot at winning his first major if he can stay out of trouble.
Left-hander Brian Harman emerged from the pack as the single leader by one stroke at 12-under par.
South Korea's Kim Si-Woo is one back on nine under, just ahead of Patrick Reed, Charley Hoffman and Russell Henley on eight under.
Another big mover was Patrick Reed, who looked like he might have posted the round of the tournament shooting a 7-under 65 early on Saturday, before Thomas' posted his insane good score later in the day.
Harman is now in pole position to become the first left-handed U.S. Open champion and only the fourth man to win the event having previously picked up the U.S. Junior Amateur title. "I will do my best", he said.
Chez Reavie had an incredible round of 65, but he was not the only person to shoot that score with Hideki Matsuyama showing his class and the world number four is just two shots back now - the Japanese player was tipped by the GM tipster before the tournament.
And the prime beneficiary was Thomas, who catapulted up the leaderboard with his record-breaking nine-under-par 63.
Thirty-two players had sub-par rounds on Saturday, the most ever for the third round.
"I knew I hit it really well, " Thomas said.
As a 7-year-old, Justin got to hang out in the clubhouse the day Tiger Woods beat Bob May in a playoff at the 2000 PGA Championship.
"It would be nice to see the course dry out a little bit and just make it to where it's going to take a quality round of golf", he said. It doesn't matter how long, how whatever the course is.
"It was obviously an awesome day", he said. "I'm looking forward to my shot at it and I know it's not going to be an easy day for sure".
Brian Harman putts in front of a not-so-who's-who of a leaderboard at the U.S. Open. "I was just happy that I was the one to take advantage of it today". He made an 18-foot curler on the long par-4 fifth hole, rolling the ball up through the fringe to find the right angle to the hole.
NOTEWORTHY: None of the top 18 players on the leaderboard have won a major.
But two-time major victor Jordan Spieth proved a good score was still possible, the 2015 champion carding five birdies and two bogeys in a 69 to finish one over par overall. But I'm looking forward to getting the job done.
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