Thomas delivered, and now he has a shot at capturing his first major championship, as he’s only a shot behind leader Brian Harman.
American Justin Thomas led a charge by early starters up the U.S. Open leaderboard on Saturday, grabbing a share of the third round lead.
Tommy Fleetwood, who was hoping to follow in the footsteps of 1970 victor Tony Jacklin and 2013 champion Justin Rose, held a share of second place on 11 under par alongside Americans Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas.
It was only previous year at Oakmont that Andrew Landry, who had to make it through two stages of qualifying to get into his first U.S. Open, shared the 36-hole lead with Dustin Johnson.
Thomas’ third-round 63 eclipsed the famed 8-under record set by Johnny Miller in 1973 at Oakmont that has been a major point of pride for the golfer turned broadcaster since.
All it took was a 9-under 63, the lowest round to par in a major long known as the toughest test in golf.
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.
However, the Englishman then bogeyed the next hole before carding a damaging eight on the par-five 14th.
The US Open is set for a fascinating final day at a new venue that has yielded much lower scores than this tournament would usually allow – today being the lowest daily average score to par in the tournament’s 117 years.
Spieth, who won the 2015 event, dropped away with a 76 leaving him in 59th at four-over while 2014 victor Kaymer fell to even-par after a 75.
Fowler was even better on the back nine, as he not only notched two more birdies on the par-fives but also birdied the par-four 11th and 12th holes. I had 310 yards to the hole, but it was downwind so I knew if I hit it solid, I could definitely get it there. But I couldn’t have shot any higher.
“I told Jimmy (caddie Jimmy Johnson) walking up there once I found out we had a putt, I said let’s try to become a part of history here”.
“I mean, it’s all pretty self-explanatory, I guess, in terms of what it means”.
“The six-iron I hit into three was one of the best shots I’ve hit”.
“It’s been an off-week for me with the putting”, said the former world number one.
Furyk was never seriously challenged in the final round, and he wound up winning by three shots and matching what was then the U.S. Open record at 272.
Torrential rain that doused the 7,818-yard layout at Erin Hills course overnight presented the field with a feast of birdie chances, transforming the leaderboard into a sea of red as dusk fell. “It means I have a lot better chance to win the tournament than I did when the day started. It’s interesting to see where the USGA has gone with the U.S. Open, being a little more friendly than in years’ past”. I think that was the difference. “And I feel like once the can gets open, I’ll start pouring them in”.
Bill Haas played bogey-free in his round of 68 and joined a group at 4-under 140 that included Harris English (69) and Marc Leishman (72).
“I’m going to enjoy my time tonight with my little girl and my wife”.