Justin Thomas shoots 63, trails Brian Harman by 1 at US Open

by Leon Thompson June 19, 2017, 0:05

15 and 17 before he hit a 3-wood on his approach shot on the par-5 18th hole to set up a short eagle putt that allowed him to get to 11-under for the tournament.

Justin Thomas had yet to realise the significance of his record-breaking U.S. Open round on Saturday as he focused on contending for a first major title.

The Englishman heads into the final round in a three-way tie for second alongside Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka, with the trio now one behind Brian Harman on 12-under. Felt like I had a good feel for the speed of the greens today, hit a lot of good lag putts. And then he made birdie on the next hole. Former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson shot a 71, though he was still seven shots behind. "I wish he was calling it", Thomas said of Miller, the longtime broadcaster, "just to hear what he would have said".

When you think of the US Open, it's hard not to have imagined that the first left-handed golfer to win the tournament would have been Phil Mickelson.

Brian Harman was one of the four tied for the lead when round three began.

Athletic-looking Brooks Koepka is very impressive, especially with his distance off the tee. I was just trying to get a 4 and get out of there. "I'd love to have another one of those", said Thomas, who posted at 11-under 205.

Low scores were available. The course took an inch of rain overnight, making it about as menacing as a Golden Retriever puppy. By the end of a wild and wide-open Saturday, five players were double digits under par.

Today, the pins are a bit tougher, and the wind has picked up mightily; that's going to mean plenty of higher scores, along with a lengthy broadcast filled with players backing off their shots.

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Leishman's even-par 72 looked to be building to something so much better when he drained a long birdie on the eighth, his third of a promising round.

Patrick Reed joined them after his own 65 during the third round to get to nine-under for the tournament, but it was Justin Thomas who stole the show by placing his name in the record books and overtaking Johnny Miller's record, which had stood since 1973.

But Thomas' lead, which sat at two shots after he eagled 18, lasted only temporarily as Fleetwood and Harman each birdied Nos. I got off to a pretty good start, which I really haven't done yet, so that was nice. I've been putting it pretty good. "So I didn't put any expectations on myself after seeing how well he was playing". "Yeah, yeah, I know". "I just knew he was going to make it".

Fleetwood insisted he will not be overawed by being in contention for the first time in a major championship, and he is determined to retain the same mindset he has had over the first three days.

Rickie Fowler, sharing a house with Thomas this week, was being left behind until he ran off three straight birdies and shot 68. I usually don't. I know I'm going to be nervous, but it'll be a good nervous.

Harman's college coach, Chris Haack, watched the final few holes from Charleston, S.C., before heading off to a wedding party.

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.


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