England’s Matt Fitzpatrick is on course to join Jack Nicklaus in the history books with the club’s lead at the US Open

0

Fitzpatrick would have taken outright clubhouse advantage, but for a bogey on the 18th. But he wasn’t whining, especially as he looked at the standings and saw the identities of those struggling. McIlroy bogeyed three of the first six holes and actually valiantly managed to hang on and post a 73 to get back to one under.

It’s pretty close, but McIlroy will be desperate to ensure his putter doesn’t get a dose of chills like it did early on Sunday. Fortunately, he regained his previous heat, as he surprisingly hit eight single putts in nine holes from the ninth. That alone kept alive the 33-year-old’s hopes of a first major in eight years.

Sunday should be dramatic, if only because no track is safe at the Country Club. Not when it plays like that. This was pointed out by none other than world number 1 Scottie Scheffler. Seeking to become the sixth player in history to win the Masters and the US Open in the same season, Scheffler was in charge when he broke through from 101 yards for an eagle in the eighth. It took it to six under and two clear and it looked like Augusta National again.

But in a surprising mini-collapse, Scheffler dropped five strokes in four holes from the 11th, double boegy the shortest hole on the course, then compounded that error with three successive bogeys. He stopped the rot with a par 15 and birdied the 17 to post a bizarre 71 and stayed in contention on two under alongside Keegan Bradley, the local Massachusetts lad who shot a 69.

Collin Morikawa did not experience such a response. The overnight leader came out in a three of 38, with a double bogey in the seventh, then took six more on a par four in the 13th. Playing last, the world number 7, seeking his third major title in just his 12th major start, was seven for the day and two for the tournament.

There is no representation of LIV Golf on the business side of the ranking. Fifteen of the players who signed with the Saudi rebel circuit left here in Boston, but only four survived the cut. Dustin Johnson is the best placed on two on, after a 71, while Richard Bland, the 49-year-old defector from Southampton, is on four on after a 72.

LIV’s next $25 million uncut event is 12 days from now in Portland, Oregon. This 48-man squad is set to be announced early next week and rumors are swirling that there may be a few new big names in their ranks, with Matsuyama a heavy mention in the locker room.


US Open, third round: how it happened

Share.

Comments are closed.