Harman edges clear, Thomas dazzles in US Open blitz

Solenn Plantier
Juin 19, 2017

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.

Birdies figured to be more scarce in the tight battle atop the leaderboard with Brian Harman carrying a one-shot lead into the last 18 holes with five players within three shots.

Koepka, whose caddie Ricky Elliott is from Portrush in Northern Ireland, becomes the seventh first-time major victor in succession, a run stretching back to Jason Day's victory in the 2015 US PGA Championship. He failed to get up-and-down from behind the 17th green, and then he three-putted from 40 feet on the final hole to finish at 8-under 272.

Fowler, sharing a house with Thomas this week, was being left behind until he ran off three straight birdies and shot 68.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama was battling his way into contention going four-under through 13 holes to sit four off the pace alongside Englishman Tommy Fleetwood.

Morgan was at 9-under 135 after two rounds and became the first player to reach 10-under par in the U.S. Open with a 30-foot birdie putt on the third hole of the third round.

Earlier, Thomas mixed nine birdies and two bogeys before hitting his second shot to six feet on the par-5 18th and tapped in for eagle to record the lowest round (nine under) in relation to par in US Open history.

Those are words rarely uttered at a U.S. Open.

Spieth shot a 4-under 76 in a third round that ended with a double bogey on the par-5 18th.

"I'm motivated by the fact that I've made a plan and I've stuck to the plan so far", Harman said. Going into the final round, 42 players were still under par. They spend time a lot of time together on the course, in the gym and at home, so Koepka has seen that U.S. Open trophy plenty at Johnson's house in south Florida.

He gave back a stroke on four when his drive went into the right fescue and his second shot was over the green.

Thomas joins Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Johnny Miller and Vijay Singh as players to fire 63s at a U.S. Open.

But the third-round leader at the U.S. Open? There are 12 golfers within five shots of the lead.

Stricker shot a 69 to move to 2 under going into the final round. "Obviously, today I definitely had something to show for it".

Koepka carded a closing 67 at a windswept Erin Hills to finish 16 under par, matching the tournament scoring record set by Rory McIlroy at Congressional in 2011. He missed the second green with a sand wedge, and he missed a short par putt on No. 4 after he thought he almost chipped in, only for the wind to blow the ball back some 4 feet.

Before the start of the final round, there was a bunched leaderboard with the top six players all striving to win their maiden major.

They were comfortably outweighed by nine birdies, the most spectacular coming at the fifth, where Thomas held a putt that broke at a 90 degree angle, and 12th, the scene of an unlikely recovery from the fescue rough.

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