Justin Thomas Breaks US Open Record In Bonkers Third Round

Tom Kite knows a little something about hard conditions for the final round of the U.S. Open.

The second is this fantastic approach shot on the 18th to set him up with an eight-foot putt for eagle and the new U.S. Open record.

Justin Thomas has just shot 63, Patrick Reed 65; both have always been tipped for a major breakthrough, and appear in the mood to deliver.

Justin Thomas and Charley Hoffman have joined 36-hole leaders Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka, Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood at 7 under.

Fifteen players are within six shots of the lead in what shapes up as a Sunday to remember at the U.S. Open - and never mind the big names who aren't here. It's just a matter that this is one of the four majors in a year, and this is a US Open.

"It was obviously an awesome day", Thomas said. "And I'm kind of going out there and just doing it, and letting it go".

"It's going to be really fun".

"But I'm confident that I am prepared for whatever happens", he added, "whether something bad happens or something good happens - I'll just rely on that confidence".

A record-setting 63, the best U.S. Open round in history relative to par and tied for the best score overall in major championship history, could change that in a hurry. He became the fifth player to shoot 63 in a U.S. Open and the first player at 9 under.

Thomas drained a putt on No. 5 which he literally started it in the wrong direction, and that, he said, wasn't even his best shot of the day.

"I don't see it turning into a situation that gets out of control, like people saw in 1992". I (think) like, let's get to 8, let's get to 9, whatever it is.

Rain on Friday night softened up Erin Hills once again, taking a lot of the danger out of a course that relies on firm greens and fast conditions to provide the bulk of its challenge.

A dizzying day of action could be topped on Sunday with six players within three shots of the lead all eyeing their first major.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson probably didn't feel so badly by the end of a most peculiar day.

"It's a heck of a score - even if it was the Milwaukee Open".

But is he playing well enough to win a U.S. Open? "Whether it's 20-under or 20-over, as long as [USGA officials] want a good tournament and an action-packed leaderboard".

If his hot pink trousers were not enough, Thomas finished in style. On the back nine, a double bogey on the 10th and an 8 on the par five 14th with a wedge to the green for my third shot made me finish sixth to Jack Nicklaus, the victor. And he missed an eminently makeable eagle putt after driving the green on the par-four 15th.

Spieth had a nice day considering how the winds have picked up at Erin Hills.

In other words, going really low in the U.S. Open just doesn't happen, so when you do, you win and you win big.

"It was a good bogey though", joked Fleetwood, who regained his composure to hit a superb pitch from well below the putting surface. In the classic film "Tin Cup", the protagonist, Roy McAvoy, tells fellow U.S. Open contender David Simms, "Keep shooting pars, a--!"

"It's so nice to be playing on my anniversary that we're moving our anniversary officially this year to Tuesday", Cink said. "When you give us soft greens and not much wind, you know there are going to be some good scores".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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