Wind howling as final round at Erin Hills gets under way

Thomas fist-bumped caddie James Johnson, and doffed his cap to the grandstand area as he closed his third round of the 117 U.S. Open.

Justin Thomas made history on Saturday when he shot a 63.

That's because Justin Thomas shot a 63, tying the all-time U.S. Open record; one of the men who did that was Johnny Miller, who famously shot a final-round 63 to win the 1973 edition at Oakmont.

Thomas is 2 under on the day and for 4 under for the tournament. There were only three other rounds in the 60s that day.

Rickie Fowler, who is two shots back, said after his round Saturday that he was hoping the wind would pick up to make the course tougher.

Fleetwood was tied with Harman on 12 under until a bogey on the last hole.

"I'm not surprised", Koepka said. I'm not sure when it's going to sink in or when I'm going to realise what I did.

"I knew I hit it really well", he said. "And it came out nicely". Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood were one shot back.

"I was excited to take the lead", Thomas said. "I knew it was for 63", Thomas said. It was the lowest third-round score in Open history. He got down in three from there.

Then he had a run of three birdies. He is listed at 5-foot-7, 150 pounds. The world No. 13 stuffed his 310-yard approach shot to within 8 feet on the par-5 that stretches well beyond 600 yards.

For all his good work, the Englishman needed a ideal pitch shot to save his round. The 9-iron out of the dreaded fescue at No. 12 found its way surely to a non-dreaded 10 feet.

"I'm getting to do exactly what I wanted to do since I was 10 years old". Open is being played on Sunday. He won that tournament by seven shots.

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Low scores were available. Friday night, there was nearly an inch of rain to slow the course down.

Thirty-two players had sub-par rounds on Saturday, the most ever for the third round.

"It's good to get a good round under my belt", Stricker said. "We're definitely in good position for tomorrow". "And this week it's been key, I've been working with my coach, just sitting there and thinking, 'All right, let's go out and try to make a good golf swing and try to make a good putt and at the end of the day add them up and see how you do'". He made two more birdies, including one on the par-3 seventh that put him at 12 under.

He had a chance to extend his lead to two but missed an 11-footer for birdie on 18. I've pictured winning the US Open a lot of times before. I still feel like I've got some game. I usually don't. So I'm pretty much docking that for tomorrow and figure I have no chance to sleep in.

Harman, who won his second PGA Tour title this year in the Wells Fargo Championship, said sleeping on the lead will be no problem. Thomas may not need to do that again, but it seems pretty clear that he need to go low.

"Well, it would change my life, I know that", Fleetwood told reporters.

Heck, I'm guilty of this myself.

Indeed, just about the only certainty is that the new champion will be a first-time major victor - only the best recent member of that exclusive club, Sergio Garcia, is in the top-20 here - the destination of the famously nameless trophy is up for grabs.

The highest former major winners are Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen at 4 under, tied for 17th. Woods made four birdies against no bogeys in the final round for a 67 and a 15-shot victory. It would have been the round of the day had Thomas not shot 63.

A three-time victor on the PGA Tour this season, Thomas also joined the exclusive "59" club by breaking 60 at the Sony Open, but he may have saved his best for Father's Day weekend and his quest for his first major crown. I could not be leading the golf tournament by the time I tee off. "I guess it's rare you get through a U.S. Open or any major without some kind of a hiccup".

An Associated Press report is included.

  • Lawrence Cooper