June 26, 2017

Wind howling as final round at Erin Hills gets under way

19 June 2017, 12:29 | Lucia Cruz

US Open: Fowler equals record in blistering start

PGA U.S. Open- Second Round

Peer at the leaderboard and you eventually find Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen, straining to keep in touch.

Thomas became the fifth player to shoot 63 in the U.S. Open, and the first with a score of 9 under.

And he'll likely have to do it in a manner that most of the past winners of the big trophy rarely would have considered - by making birdies.

"It looks like a PGA Tour event course setup".

That is not to say there hasn't been excitement or drama. Going into the final round, 42 players were still under par. He is just one of about 13 golfers (all within five shots of the lead) with a chance to win the 117th U.S. Open.

Justin Thomas made US Open history by posting a record-breaking round of 63 to leave himself on 11-under par going into the final day of competition at Erin Hills. I'm sure I won't sleep in; I usually don't.

"I'm going to enjoy my time tonight with my little girl and my wife".

It is almost impossible to predict because the competitors and their body of work offer no clear pattern.

His round was a one-shot improvement on the eight-under-par 63 Jonny Miller fired in the final round at Oakmont in 1973 - rated as possibly the greatest round in Major championship history.

They fearlessly attacked the pins and nobody was more ruthless than Thomas, who ripped apart the links-style layout carding nine birdies and two bogeys before capping his record-smashing effort by coolly rolling in an eight-foot putt for eagle at the par-five 18th.

South Korea's Kim will lead the Asian quest for a major on Sunday after Hideki Matsuyama was unable to build on his second round 65.

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When asked, Harman said that he plays with a proverbial chip on his shoulder. "It's hard to qualify for these things". Harman missed the cut in his previous two U.S. Opens. I think I hit 17 greens today which was just awesome in these conditions.

"But at the same time, it's taken me longer to adjust to professional golf than it did to junior golf and amateur golf".

Harman was at 12-under 204 and still only had a one-shot lead, with Rickie Fowler two shots behind.

One of them is likely to prevail, and might do so in dramatic fashion.

Fowler started Round 2 atop the leaderboard but finished Friday one stroke back, then fell behind by another stroke on Saturday. There were 18 rounds in the 60s on Saturday.

A dizzying day of action could be topped on Sunday with six players within three shots of the lead all eyeing their first major.

"I played a lot", a smiling Harman said. It was never that way in the U.S. Open. The venues typically produce a level of grumbling that has not been heard this week. Certainly, not anyone who will be at Erin Hills for what promises to be an exciting Father's Day Sunday.

And the prime beneficiary was Thomas, who catapulted up the leaderboard with his record-breaking nine-under-par 63.

But the bottom line is there will still be enormous pressure on Sunday. He still built a six-shot lead through 36 holes, despite hitting his tee shot into the ocean on the 18th hole and salvaging bogey. This promises to be different, a shootout perhaps, but no less stressful.

"It's going to be a really cool day for someone tomorrow", Fowler said.

"I was able to get to a few under by just accepting the fact that the putt might miss instead of having to have it be flawless".

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